Monday, April 30, 2012

The FIT Kids Act

It is no secret that childhood obesity is on the rise. Children who suffer from obesity and obesity related illnesses are more likely to struggle with their weight as adults. In response to this epidemic, Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (IA) reintroduced the FIT Kids Act. FIT stands for Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids. Its goal is to tackle childhood obesity by strengthening physical education programs in schools.

Currently, physical education programs are on the decline in schools. Whether it’s due to budget cuts or other constraints, children simply are not getting enough exercise. This causes weight issues which leads to cardiovascular issues. Active kids are healthy kids and the FIT Kids Act seeks to raise awareness, educate parents on the importance of physical activity and increase physical activity programs throughout schools. If you are interested, contact your representative and encourage them to pass the FIT Kids Act.

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ten Faces of She


I met this phenomenal woman at the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem event last fall.  This event was designed to build self-esteem in young ladies ages 8-13.  I was a celebrity speaker.  I also had a chance to join the various seminars throughout the event. 


I found myself observing a very special seminar lead by Andrea Callahan.  Her seminar encouraged young ladies to take pride in themselves, realize their self-worth and respect for themselves.  She helped them identify the best practices to surround themselves with positive people.  As you can imagine, it was inspiring and motivational to listen to her encouragement, and to see the light bulb go on in these young ladies.  Andrea was able to connect with them.  And, it was clear she made a positive impact on their lives - and mine.


Andrea is the owner of Ten Faces of She, Lifestyle Management for Women of Distinction.  She developes and presents workshops and seminars throughout the year.  She is currently launching programs for 8th - 12 grade students.  I will be attending her upcoming event in May titled, The Ten Faces of Success.  As an honorary member of the Ten Faces of She "Sphere of Sisters," I encourage you to check out her workshops at tenfacesofshe.com.  You will be incredibly inspired.

Janet Bolin

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sherri Hill Trunk Show

Dothan-the fashion capitol of Alabama was taken over byInternational titleholders this past weekend at the Sherri Hill Trunk Show! Ihad the honor of being the “host” at The Competitive Image, where contestants werepicking out their wardrobes and getting their headshots taken by the fabulousClay Spann!

At the Competitive Image

A wonderful cake made just for Sherri Hill!


I got to meet up with Sherri Hill again and design another gown with her-my farewell gown! I told her what I wanted and she drew it as I spoke. We changed things here and there and finally came up with the gown of my dreams! I can’t wait to reveal it at nationals!
With Sherri Hill and owner of the Competitive Image-Joey Rutherford 


I also got to catch up with my fabulous director, Mary Richardson. She, Joey Rutherford, Clay Spann, Terri, my mother, Sherri Hill and I all went to dinner after a tiring day!


 
Picking out some makeup from Clay Spann’s line FACE! Get fabulous at http://www.clayspann.com/pages/cosmetics.html  

It was so fun to meet International contestants. I can’t wait to see Sherri’s fabulous creations on the stage in Chicago!

Jurnee Carr

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Upcoming Appearances

Many exciting events are coming up for me.  As we head into the month of May, I’m lined up for a charity fundraiser hosted by one of my sponsors, Fink’s Jewelry.   Then, I’ll be attending the Greater Charlotte Go Red For Women Luncheon, followed by a weekend of filming segments for Sprint Vision at Darlington Speedway and then a big celebration on Friday, May 20th to support NASCAR Day! 

Looking further ahead is the patriotic celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 followed by the annual Walmart Shareholders meeting in Arkansas, a weekend of volunteering at the Special Olympics and then a trip to Michigan.  To all the contestants who are gearing up to compete at Nationals, don’t give up.  You are just 12 weeks away from the experience of a lifetime.  And, once you earn that crown, life isn’t going to slow down. 

Janet Bolin

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Donating to Pulaski County Humane Society

This Vol fan had an exciting weekend in Razorback land! Yes, our teams may be rivals, but I can’t help but love the Diamond State!

What made Arkansas so special, you ask? The first cool thing I did was meet Ernie Bowman on the plane!



Ernie played in the 1962 World Series as an infielder for the San Francisco Giants! I even got to hold his World Series ring!! He signed a baseball card for me and I signed an autograph card for him! So cool!


Upon arrival, I headed over to the Humane Society of Pulaski County to tour the shelter and make a donation. The facility was absolutely beautiful!


I first walked in and was welcomed by a floppy bloodhound puppy named Oakley! He lost his eye from abuse, but saw me enough to where he could give me lots of slobbery kisses!


Some amazing ladies were running the shelter. I also got to meet some women who drove down to Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina to recuse dogs and cats. What amazing stories they had!

These puppies were getting spay/neutered the next day! Yay!


It was such an honor for Jurnee's Journey: Helping All God's Creations to give to this amazing organization. This facility is run on a love for animals and desire for their justice. Many blessings to the Pulaski Co. Humane Society as they continue to bless animals!

Jurnee Carr

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Competing is a Privilege- Winning is an Honor

Throughout the past year, you can only imagine the amount of time that I have spent speaking with titleholders and contestants.  As someone who has competed, won, and now as a titleholder and frequent judge, I know what it feels like to be caught up in competition mode.  Or, as I like to call it, Pageant Land.  Pageant Land is a place where reason takes a back seat and insecurities take the wheel.   

You overanalyze your clothes, which tends to make you spend beyond your means.  You overanalyze your hair.  You start looking at the other contestants’ headshots.  You drill yourself on interview questions and beg your coach for more tips.  You watch past pageants over and over again.  You second guess your platform. You psych yourself out and practice envisioning yourself being crowned.  You don’t think about the day after and what it will feel like if you don’t.  And Pageant Land is made all the crazier by the fact that 9 times out of 10, you’re hungry J  ALL OF THE TIME!
The problem is, you get so caught up in doing whatever it takes to win that you forget that the act of competing, in and of itself, is a privilege- winning is an honor.  There are so many girls and women who would love to compete in a pageant but, due to circumstances beyond their control, they can’t.  All they want is a shot.   What many don’t realize is that by merely showing up, they are living out someone’s dreams…
As you all prepare for Nationals and your state pageants, please remember to keep all of this in perspective.   It’s not about whether you win or lose.  It’s about whether you made an impact with your platform & whether you challenged yourself to grow as a person. 

Your biggest competition is staring at you in the mirror.
Best,
Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Monday, April 23, 2012

AHA Billion Calorie Count -Up

The AHA has just launched its Billion Calorie Count-Up Initiative!  What is it?  It is a nationwide effort to burn 1 billion calories by the year 2020.  From now until 2020, the amount of calories burned at heart walks throughout the country will be tallied and recorded.  As more and more calories are burned, the ticker on the AHA website will increase.

So how can you get involved?  One way is to take part in your local heart walk.  Go to www.heartwalk.org to sign up.  There are a couple more options.  You can join a walking club or you can check out designated AHA walking trails. 

Make every calorie count! 

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another Day at the Office

Local Kansas driver, Clint Bowyer, at our early morning video shoot

Most of you reading this know my world encompasses spending more than 40 hours a week engulfed in everything racing working for the second largest sports organization in the world.  I am constantly aware of numbers – attendance and TV Ratings – but what really makes it worthwhile is interacting with the fans of our sport.  The fans truly make the sport.

Behind the scenes at my early morning video shoot with hometown driver, Clint Bowyer

So, I am at Kansas Speedway.  And like many weekends, I have a tight schedule which starts before the sun rises.  (Lucky for my coworkers, I am a morning person.)  If you have ever been to Kansas you know this state is very proud of all they have to offer tourists, and there are tourists from all walks of life and countries who come to this great state. 

One of the magnificent attractions in Kansas – Kansas Speedway – celebrating 11 great years of entertainment

Everyone in the sport loves to share our world.  This specific weekend, Kansas Speedway had partnered with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) inviting fans of all ages to come enjoy a day at the track for a mere donation.  So, on Friday, as I was walking toward the midway of Kansas Speedway, I was able to meet fans of all ages.  Hundreds of families were everywhere!  It was so heartwarming to mingle with everyone.   They truly loved the chance to come to the track, as a family, and also be part of a larger initiative to help others less fortunate.

Fans always love to share their thoughts, and I am always open to listening.  So, it brought tears to my eyes to hear their input on how appreciative they were that Kansas Speedway waived their fees to help a great cause.   If you are reading this and were one of the fans I spoke with, thank you.  Your generosity will make a difference.  God bless you all. 

Janet Bolin

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Judging Little Miss Arkansas International

My sister queen, Miss International-Ciji Dodds, and I had a blast this past weekend at the Arkansas International Pageant! It was so great to catch up with her and share stories. She is so very inspirational to me and I aspire to accomplish just a few of the astounding things she has done throughout her life.

Judging photos for the Most Photogenic category!

Along with Mrs. Louisiana International 2007-Jennifer Ables, Ciji and I were special guest judges at the Little Miss Arkansas International Pageant! We judged almost 40 cuties who worked the stage!


It was very tough to select a winner, as all the young ladies were outstanding!


I am so glad I got to spend time with Ciji and be a part of such an amazing pageant!

Jurnee Carr

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mrs., Miss & Miss Teen Arkansas International Pageant

Over 50 girls took over Jacksonville this past weekend at the 2012 Mrs., Miss, and Miss Teen Arkansas International Pageant! The weekend was packed with outstanding ladies with inspiring platforms.

The Hotel was decorated with my crown!

Miss International-Ciji Dodds and I had such a blast meeting all the contestants and catching up with Blanche, Toni, Renee, and Bernee!

Blanche Murphy-Miss Teen Arkansas International 2011 and I kicked off the weekend by welcoming all the contestants before they went into interview. Blanche gave some incredible advice about how interview, calming the tense air!

All of the Teen contestants!

I also welcomed the contestants and parents at orientation. Afterwards, we began rehearsals! Ciji and I were a part of the opening number act and joined the ladies (in comfy shoes, of course) on stage for practice.

Trying to steal each other's sash!

Before the pageant, we signed autographs for the audience. Then it was show time! I got the opportunity to speak to the crowd about my platform and what I have done throughout my reign.


Congrats to the new Arkansas International queens!

Jurnee Carr

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kansas Speedway

I am heading to Kansas City, Kansas this weekend and wanted to share a very special announcement with you all.  On Friday, April 20, Kansas Speedway is offering free admission to the grandstands on for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice sessions. In lieu of admission, Kansas Speedway is hopful fans will be able to make an on-site donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


Parking lots will open at 9 a.m. and gates will open at 11 a.m. with the first on track activity scheduled for 11:20 a.m. with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Truck Series will practice again at 2 p.m.  The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will hold practice sessions from 12:30-1:50 p.m. and 3:30-5 p.m.  And, as a special note, parking is always free at Kansas Speedway.



About the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS): Since its inception in 1949, LLS has invested more than $814 million in research.  These dollars have funded programs that have led or contributed to such advances as chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and new, targeted oral therapies such as Gleevec®. Locally, LLS is partnering with The University of Kansas Medical Center to develop life changing therapies.  More than $1.5 million has been committed to the Therapy Acceleration Program which is currently testing six existing drugs in hopes they can be used as effective cancer treatments. One of the most promising is an existing arthritis drug, auranofin, which will be tested using clinical trials to see if it’s effective as a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

I love visiting Kansas and am thrilled to be able to support this effort.  To learn more, visit KansasSpeedway.com.  Be sure to share this with friends and family who may be headed to the races this weekend. 

Janet Bolin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Countdown Until Haiti!

There is one week left until I embark upon the trip of a lifetime. The Richardsons have blessed me with an amazing opportunity to promote my platform and I intend to use it to the fullest! I have been overwhelmed with the generosity that so many of you have and continue to display. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You! But, our work is not yet done, I’m making a final push for donations and I hope that you all can help.

I am still accepting, books, pens, pencils, crayons, notebook paper and spiral notebooks. If you are interested you can mail them to P.O. Box 421, Laurel, Maryland, 20725-0421; c/o Madison Donovan Group. If you are close to Maryland, I will be more than happy to come pick them up. I will also be holding an in-person collection where you can drop off donations on Saturday, April 22 from 11 a.m.– 1 p.m. at 401 Main Street Laurel, Maryland 20707. Companies or individuals who are interested in donating towards or sponsoring costs associated with shipping and preparation should contact the Madison Donovan Group at-
http://www.madisondonovangroup.com/#!contact

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Arkansas International Pageant


What a weekend!  I attended the Arkansas International Pageant this weekend and watched as three new Arkansas International Queens were crowned.  I also judged the Little Miss pageant – which was a ton of cuteness.  Mrs. Bernee kept me busy and full, and Toni, Blanche, and Renee welcomed me with open arms to Arkansas.  I also got to spend some quality time with Jurnee!   All of the contestants were amazing and lit up the stage.   Congratulations to the new Arkansas International Queens!

Introducing the new Miss Arkansas International, Kola Brown!

Julia stole everyone’s hearts with her spunk and sparkling personality!


It was so great catching up with Toni! She and her mother were wonderful hosts and made me feel right at home!

I couldn’t leave without meeting Miss International 2009, Erin Golden-Vance!  She is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out!

A trip to Arkansas wouldn’t be complete without a visit with Mrs. Mary Tate!

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Saturday, April 14, 2012

BRC Supporter Challenge

Chip and I ventured down to Fort Benning, Georgia to get a glimpse into the life of an Army Ranger.  We competed in the Best Ranger Competition “Supporter Challenge” which was a day filled with activities, mirroring the training of an Army Ranger.  The experience was an overwhelming mixture of excitement and appreciation. 


Our day started off with a stop at Starbucks before we headed to orientation.  At orientation, we received our MRE’s (meal-ready-to-eat) and hands on instructions on the weapon we’d be shooting later at the range - the M-4.  Once we’d been briefed on our activities and safety precautions, we divided into two groups and headed to our first grouping of challenges. 




Our group rappelled down a 60-ft tower.  (On most days, you want to coach someone to step AWAY from the ledge - not today!)  We suited up in a harness, headgear and protective eyewear.  Next, the Rangers were instructing us step by step, maintainging safety precautions at all times.  I didn’t look down and kept repeating to myself, “You can do this.  You aren’t the first person to do this.”  When I stuck the landing, I was ready to do it again.




Tomahawks were next.  After spending much of the holiday weekend trying to get the hang of this activity, I still wasn’t very good.  Practice rounds didn’t count, so I only was able to get one tomahawk to stick.  Chip, was much better at this than me.


The Rangers were able to show us some of their weapons they use frequently including the M249 and M240B.  We even had the chance to take them apart and put them back together.  To an engineer, like my husband, he appreciated this opportunity. 



Grenades were next.  This activity included a vest to carry the grenades, elbow and knee pads along with a safety helmet and glasses.  We had some practice tosses without the pin, but there really wasn’t anything to fully prepare us for this activity.  We had to simulate live battle by running from point to point, lying on the ground, standing up just to throw the grenade and then get back on the ground to take cover.  Pulling the safety off the grenade was easy, pulling the pin was incredibly hard for me.  Plus, throwing at the targets proved to be a skill that needs improvement.  Thank you to SFC Hendrix for helping coach me.  You rock!




We loaded up on the busses and headed to the live fire range. When we arrived, we had a quick 15 minute lunch break to enjoy our MRE’s and get briefed.  At this event, we were in full body armor, helmet and safety glasses.  We had three magazines, each loaded with 10 rounds.  On the range, we each had a Ranger coaching us as we fired 10 rounds in the prone position, 10 rounds kneeling and 10 rounds standing.  Thank you to Cris Schumacher, who helped me.  You are awesome!





Next it was time for the much anticipated, Malvesti Obstacle Course.  Here is where we got a little dirty.  Pull ups, a rope climb, then ‘monkey bars’ which included a water pit underneath and then the worm pit which had low hanging barbed wire overtop of it.  No one warned us the water pit underneath the monkey bars was ICE COLD.  I think this made me appreciate the worm pit.  The worm pit was actually nice and warm, muddy, but warm.  We survived all of that and then ran for the finish line. 




The Ranger’s were kind enough to add a special visit for Chip and I to meet some of the Cadre’s who were practicing with the actual competitors for the BRC over at Todd Field.  This was incredible.  A big thank you to SFC Richard Scott for coordinating this special visit.  Rich also gave us a complete tour of the Fort Benning facility.  We loved your insight and learning more about your career.  Thank you also to Candyss Bryant for coordinating our entire visit.  You are magnificent!  And, also a big thank you to Commander King and the Cadre’s who organized a fabulous event to showcase your world to us.  The words “Thank You” always mean so much, but the reality is there are no words to describe the appreciation for everything our Army Ranger’s go through to keep our country safe.   May God continue to bless you all. 

Janet Bolin