Sunday, September 30, 2012

“The Best Ever You Show “ on Blog Talk Radio

If you have never listened to “The Best Ever You Show” on Blog Talk Radio…this is your invitation to do so! The fabulous Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, Founder & CEO (aka Mrs. Maine International 2011), was an absolutely gracious host, and I could not have enjoyed our second hour long interview any more if I had tried! The first interview was in June, and I was a guest on the show as Mrs. Minnesota International 2012. We agreed (or maybe Elizabeth agreed and I giggled) during the live interview to re-unite if I was fortunate enough to capture the Mrs. International title. ..which is exactly what we did on September 16th.

Prior to the show going “LIVE” Elizabeth informed me we were selected for Today’s Picks section, which meant we were featured on the homepage of Blog Talk Radio, giving the show even more exposure. Not only was it my pleasure to share a very conversational interview with such a lovely lady, but the power of social media and its ability to connect people continues to amaze me!

I want to say “THANK YOU” to Elizabeth, her staff, and Blog Talk Radio for giving me an opportunity to promote the Mrs. International Title, the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. If you would like to know more about Elizabeth, who has quite a story to share herself, please feel free to checkout her website:

If you have an hour - get a cup of java or tea, sit back, relax and I hope you enjoy our interview!

With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Phoenix Society Founder Alan Breslau

The mythical bird called the Phoenix was the inspiration for a society focused on rising from the ashes and being reborn more brilliant than before…just as the legendary bird. In 1963, Alan Breslau was extensively burned in the crash of a commercial airliner, and he went on to become the Founder of the Phoenix Society in 1977. Today the organization is the largest of its kind, and though it is based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, it has reached the burn community around the world.

Alan worked tirelessly to expand the burn survivor network from an office in his home in Pennsylvania, and even with modest resources was able to touch thousands of lives. He retired in 1998 and the Board of Trustees worked hard to raise the necessary funds to hire and Executive Director and developed a strategy to fulfill Alan’s dreams.

It was my privilege to visit with both Alan and his lovely wife Delwyn during the World Burn Congress earlier this month. Alan also signed a copy of his book “The Beauty of Disfigurement,” which I am currently reading with awe and respect. The Breslau’s now reside in New Zealand, and I hope to connect with them in early 2013 during a tour as Mrs. International that will take me to the neighboring Australia.

With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dralion - Cirque Du Soleil

As you all know, I am a lover of the arts. That includes performance art. For my mom's birthday this year we went to the Cirque Du Soleil performance in Minneapolis. I was so excited! I had heard many great things but I had never seen a show in person. We headed into the theater equipped with mini donuts and peanuts, ready for the show! The inside of the theater was decorated with large stage sets, unique lighting, and tribal markings.

Each Cirque Du Soleil performance has a different theme. This year’s theme was “A harmonious blend of Eastern and Western acrobatic prowess”. It was a blend of multicultural music and costumes. Each performance was more extravagant and dramatic than the next. There were performances that left me so in awe I kept asking my mom, how does someone become good at that? How do you pick up a talent like ribbon acrobatics?

My favorite was the act where a woman came down from the ceiling on a large metal ring. She did death-defying acrobatics and if I could choose any job in the Cirque Du Soleil circus that would be it! They also had people running on top of large sphere balls, trampoline acts, extreme juggling, gymnastics, and an entire pyramid of people jump rope. If you are interested in experiencing a one of a kind performance, I highly recommend this production. There are tons of You Tube videos as well.

Here is a clip form the show I saw:

After the show we enjoyed a lovely birthday dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery. My mom got a giant chocolate cupcake for desert! Happy Birthday Mama Wanous! The best mom there ever could be!

Krista Wanous

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

JR Martinez

What can I say...JR Martinez has many titles; War Hero, Brot Monroe on the ABC daytime drama All My Children, Champion of ABC’s Season 13 Dancing with the Stars, one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, and now his favorite title of all Daddy to little Lauryn Anabelle! It was such a treat to sit down with JR in the “Green Room” back stage before he was introduced to the highly charged audience in Milwaukee just over a week ago!

When I think back to the first time I met this amazing individual, it was just after JR stood up at “Open Mic” and shared his story of surviving an explosion of an IED while serving as a United States Army infantryman in Iraq. He had not yet become a soap opera star, I am not certain if he knew he could dance, but he might have agreed with the sexiest man alive title…seriously, he had one of those personalities that just made you take notice and believe you were in the presence of someone special.

The Phoenix Society is fortunate to have JR as a director, and he was honored by the association with the first ever 2012 Advocacy Award. This award recognizes the significant contribution of time and positive exposure, thereby bringing greater awareness, support and understanding of the burn survivor community as a whole. I personally want to thank JR for sharing his time with me and smiling for the camera!

Best wishes always,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Pink Out

Last Friday, my school celebrated our annual “Pink Out” football game. Every year we have a “Pink Out” themed pep rally and game to celebrate and honor those who are fighting or have fought breast cancer. Everyone in attendance wears pink. We decorate the stadium with pink balloons and signs, as well. The cheerleaders have pink poms and ribbons…even the football players wear pink socks!

The Pink Out game is especially close to my heart, because my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in fifth grade. She continued her fight for 2 years before finally receiving the news that she was in remission. I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am to have her in my life!

October 1 marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer affects women and men of all ages. Actually, one in every one hundred cases occurs in a male. It is important to know the signs of breast cancer and have a yearly mammogram with your physician. I encourage you all to join the fight against breast cancer by finding a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in your area or simply wear pink during the month of October in honor of those who continue in the fight.

Caroline Crowley

Monday, September 24, 2012

Miss International Featured in Hometown Park Pages Article

I had a lovely surprise as I opened my mailbox the other day to find myself on the front page of the September issue of the Brooklyn Park Community Park Pages. A reflection on my journey as a youth city ambassador to now, Miss International! There is also a fantastically embarrassing photo of me from when I was a youth ambassador. Yes, we all have our awkward stages. I hope you get a chuckle out of it.

Check out the article here:

I have already gotten so much feedback from members in my community wanting to join my cause or help raise awareness about theirs! Ladies preparing for pageantry, even the smallest opportunity, or article in this case, can open countless doors. Don’t’ get caught up in trying to achieve the biggest and largest goals at once. Baby steps create staircases.

All my love,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

World Burn Congress

If you are reading this blog, you might be wondering, “What exactly is a World Burn Congress?” Well, please allow me to share with you…that it is a beautiful experience to witness individuals who have overcome unimaginable adversity and pain as they find support, encouragement, peace, hope, and unconditional love in a safe environment.

With fellow burn survivor and friend Tony

Just last week, more than 800 burn survivors, caregivers, fire fighters and burn care professionals joined together for the 24th Annual World Burn Congress in Milwaukee, WI. Though I am certain this event means something a different to each attendee, I will share with you my perspective as a board member and burn survivor.

Local visitors bureau capturing testimonials from WBC participants

Starting with my favorite part in all of the conference, which is called “Open Mic.” This is a period of time devoted each day to an open forum where anyone in the room can raise their hand and be given as much time as they need to tell their story. There is no judgment, no repeating of stories outside the room, and boxes of tissue on each and every table.

The strong and courageous Jonathan

Aside from open mic, there are seminars on how to apply makeup to add eyebrows where they no longer exist, groups gather to discuss how to respond to strangers who stare, a large ballroom is filled with exhibitors who are devoted to burn prevention and care, a silent auction raises funds to support programs and a youth program that gives young people a chance to feel as though they belong without anyone pointing out their scars. The speakers and panels that educate and inspire go on for days, awards are given for those who make significant contributions (including a very special guest this year, who I will be blogging about shortly), and the event always ends with a fabulous party.

Not only is Ariel a survivor, but a future Miss Teen International

Also, this year there was a once in a life time opportunity for me to participate wearing a different “hat,” literally…my crown! I was so thrilled to spend hours posing for pictures with attendees and signing autograph cards, which was so very special for me. As a keynote speaker last year following my selection as Mrs. Minneapolis International, many of the Phoenix Society members cheered me on as I became Mrs. Minnesota International and were over the moon when I was crowned Mrs. International!

Signing Autograph Cards with local CBS News filming
Congratulatory hug from Laurie
Congratulatory kiss on the hand from the charming Richard
As a board member there is a business side to it all, therefore, I am always tuned into the number of attendees, the value they receive for the registration, how well the conference runs, and trying to assess the level of stress on a staff that gives 100% and then some. A board meeting is always conducted at the beginning of the event, and an annual membership meeting is held near the end with an update to all members of the financial, as well as, overall condition of the organization.

It takes a village and both Grant and I know to survive

The 2013 World Burn Congress will be held in Rhode Island, and it will be the 10th Anniversary of the Rhode Island Station nightclub fire, which some of you may remember from the news coverage it received in 2003. It is certain to be a wonderful event, and if you…or someone you know could benefit from attending a World Burn Congress, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Phoenix Society at or send me a message.

Best wishes always,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Roll Tide

Fall is my favorite time of the year! I love spending time with my family and especially….football! I am a huge fan of the University of Alabama football. Sitting in Bryant Denny stadium, cheering on the Tide is my favorite way to spend a Saturday. Here are some interesting facts about my favorite team!
1.Paul “Bear” Bryant only lost two games in Bryant Denny stadium during his 25 years of coaching the Tide, once to Southern Miss and once to Florida.
2.There are 21 Alabama football players currently in the College Football Hall of Fame.
3.Mark Ingram, Jr. is the only Heisman trophy winner from the University of Alabama. He now plays for the New Orleans Saints.
4.The University of Alabama has won 22 SEC Championships and 14 national championships.
5.The Crimson Tide cheerleaders won the 2011 College Cheerleading National Championship!
Caroline Crowley

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Importance of Board Membership

For many of the women who participate in the International Pageant System, serving on a board of directors for a given charity or non-profit organization is a responsibility for which we have decided to commit. This level of service and passion regarding charitable work is one of the many attributes of the Mrs. International Pageant that motivates women from around the world to seek this prestigious title. My personal road to serving as an officer on the National Board of Trustees for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors started years ago.

In 1995, just months after I was released from the hospital (after being severely burned in a helicopter crash), I found myself volunteering to meet with burn victims and family members in an informal manner. I was compelled to connect with these people who were in pain and scared, and to assure them they could become survivors.

As the years progressed I was introduced to the Phoenix Society, and specifically the Survivors Offering Assistance in Recover (SOAR) program, which was a new concept in 2001. SOAR was developed to connect those who had endured a burn injury with those in the process of treatment. I quickly volunteered at Regions Hospital to be trained. Shortly after I completed the SOAR initiation, I was asked to join the National Advisory Committee for the organization and went on to become the Co-Chair of the committee.

A year later Amy Acton, Executive Director of the Phoenix Society formally asked me to submit my résumé to the National Board of Trustees for a position on the board. I accepted the invitation, knowing that there were serious commitments involved in participating on such a board; significant travel, financial commitment, and a dedication of time and energy to serving the burn community. The board voted affirmatively and I was promptly elected as the Chair of the Investment Committee. Soon after, I was elected as Treasurer of the organization, and last year was elected as the Vice President.

I am sharing the journey of serving a non-profit with you, because for those who may not know, the commitment is very real and very important. Serving on any board, for that matter, is an opportunity to lead, to make change when necessary, and a responsibility that should not be underestimated. Fortunately for me at the age of 46, I have had many opportunities to serve on boards of various types; corporations, charities, non-profits, foundations, professional organizations and community groups. In nearly every case I have chaired committees, served as an officer, and on almost each board served as President or Chairperson of the Board. Regardless of the type of board, I have consistently taken my role as a leader to heart.

I could not be more honored to be affiliated with the Phoenix Society, which is the largest organization of its kind, serving the burn community throughout the world. Both the members of this board, and the staff who get the job done every day, are exceptional individuals who have a sincere passion about the mission of this organization. In the center of this photo is the founder, Alan Breslau (seated in the wheelchair) , to his right is our Executive Director, Amy Acton and I was thrilled to stand to his left. The remaining members of the Board of Trustees who were in attendance at our meeting in Milwaukee, WI on September 12, 2012 are (left to right); Don Cheley, Billy Leahy, Vickie Pritchett, Tim Sendelbach, Pat Horan, Tony Burke, Lorraine Carli, Peg Paul, and Dr. Lynn Solem.

Submitted with respect and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ian Hoy, Gillette Children’s Hospital

I had the great honor of meeting a young man who is quite inspirational. His name is Ian Hoy. 3 years ago, Ian was hit by a car in the crosswalk of a busy intersection in my hometown, St. Cloud Minnesota.

I was asked to come celebrate with Gillette Children’s Hospital and the Hoy family because Ian has a very special trip coming up. He will be traveling to Washington D.C. and Florida for the 25th anniversary of Gillette as a 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Champion. Ian and a few other Gillette patients will be speaking to congressional leaders and Gillette supporters about his personal story and how much Gillette has helped he and his family.

During our celebration for Ian, his mom said, “I never knew Gillette was there. I never knew how much they would help us. Gillette has changed our lives. They gave us our son back.” After suffering a traumatic brain injury, Ian was in a coma for three weeks. His family was unsure if he would ever wake up. Luckily, Ian is one tough kid. After coming out of a coma, he could no longer speak, walk, or swallow.

This was hard to imagine as I looked at a young man who stood tall and proud, shaking hands, taking photos, and enjoying a big piece of cake. “Ian has a wicked sense of humor, and I think that had a lot to do with his attitude and recovery,” said father Hoy. “But without the help and support from Gillette, we may have lost our son forever. He is still recovering, but there has been huge progress so far.”

I spoke with Ian’s mother about how the injury has affected his cognitive thinking and functioning. She said, “Well, we keep finding new issues and problems. Lately, he has been very sensitive to heat. If he gets too hot, he could fall back into a coma. We had to install a central air system to keep our house cool and our son safe. He can’t go outside in extreme heat so traveling to Florida will be interesting!

He also can’t do more than one thing at once. Literally, he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time!” Now, I thought that was true for all men, but for Ian it is really hard. He has to think about moving his feet. So, if he were chewing gum or eating an apple, he would have to concentrate so hard on moving his feet that he couldn’t take a bit of his apple. These little tasks and daily activities we all take for granted are the things Ian struggles with everyday.

He is making progress slowly but surly and we are all very proud of him! Ian’s family was presented with a Minnesota Twins package and a $500 Sam’s Club gift card. The family was very grateful and humble and I felt so blessed to share this day of celebration with them.

Read more about Ian and his journey here:

All my love,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

A New Baby Sister!

On Wednesday, my family welcomed our precious new addition, Adeline Kate Crowley! She was three weeks early, so we definitely did not expect such a surprise. Addie Kate weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces, and she was 17 inches long. We are so blessed!

My first time holding Addie Kate

So precious and so tiny!

Caroline Crowley

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wedding Survival Guide

I am sure many of you were just like me, as the summer was winding down, the weddings were winding up!  August is wedding season. Over the past month I had a wedding, or two, every single weekend. Not to mention, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and lost of shopping for the right gifts. For all of you wedding goers, or wedding crashers, I have compiled a list of dos, don’ts, and must haves for your next wedding celebration.

Attire: I always have a hard time decided what to wear to a wedding. It should be something conservative, not too flashy so you don’t take away from the bride, but also romantic and sweet. What is not sweet is being able to see your underwear through your skirt. Make sure you have on a basic great fitting nude thong. Victoria’s Secret makes the perfect pair. Stand in front of a sunlit window or a bright light and have a friend look. If you can see your undies when the light shines through your skirt, you are in trouble. You do not want grandma and grandpa in the pew behind you getting a peak when you bend over to tie your shoe. That reminds me, make sure your skirt isn’t too short. Be comfortable at a wedding, not hoochie. Save the mini skirt for the club. A wedding is a time to look sophisticated and classy, no matter what your age.

Make sure you have on the right shoes. This is not the time to wear your highest stilettos. Between the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, and dancing, you are going to be on your feet for hours. Give them a break and go with a lower heel. Your feet will thank you, and you will be able to dance all night long. I often wear a wedge if the wedding is outdoors or I know I will be walking in grass.

In your purse: Bring small items. There is nothing worse than lugging a big heavy purse around all day. Bring mints or gum. Nobody likes bad breath.

Bring an I.D. even if you don’t plan on drinking. I always pack a credit card and cash incase I need a cab home or need to tip coat check.

Bring a camera. You will want to capture special moments during the night that the professional photographer may have missed.

Every girl needs her beauty essentials. Blotting papers and powder are a quick and easy way to touch up for pictures after the dance floor. Bring lipstick and gloss to touch up after dinner. I always pack a hair tie and a small hair spray to throw my hair up after dinner. I hate when my hair starts to get sticky on my back and shoulders. A sleek pony looks classy and fun and is really easy to do in a hurry.

Last but not least, I always wear a watch to a wedding. You do not want to be the one walking in late to a wedding ceremony!

Krista Wanous

Friday, September 14, 2012

Regions Hospital Burn Center Video Filming

Within a matter of minutes, my office was turned into video film set; with lights, cameras, interview chairs and crew. This was the start of several hours of filming for a promotional video being produced for Regions Hospital Burn Center.

As a former patient of the burn center, current volunteer, and as Mrs. International 2012, the hospital staff asked me to participate in their production, with a focus on my perception of care provided and support available for burn survivors. The interview afforded me an opportunity to talk about the helicopter crash, the burn center and staff, returning to my life, giving back, the Phoenix Society and the incredible work done by all the women who compete in the International Pageant System.

Following the interview, we moved filming onto a construction site to which my company is currently supplying materials for seven bridges along Interstate 694. We parked on top of a decommissioned bridge directly over active West bound traffic, which gave us a panoramic view of the new bridge construction. Our customer, Lunda Construction of Black River Falls, WI, was kind enough to participate in the filming and I want to thank Dennis, Bruce and Mike for their time and effort.

Once the crew was satisfied with the shots from the bridge, we drove to Regions Hospital and set up three more action scenes, including a SOAR visit with a current patient named Jill. Though we were supposed to be acting the roles of a Survivor Offering Assistance in Recovery with a burn patient, the meeting quickly became a live SOAR visit and Jill was able to ask me the types of questions any person who has just been burned would ask. It was my pleasure to meet Jill and I wish her the very best in her road to recovery.

Shooting this video was a wonderful experience! Once the video is complete, I hope to share it with all of you.

Best wishes always,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

KVSC Radio Interview

I recently had a wonderful interview with KVSC Radio.

Listen by clicking the link below!

Krista Wanous

Home Town Parade!

There’s no place like home! I have lived in the “big city” of Minneapolis for 28 years, but spent the first 18 years of my life in the little Swedish community of Scandia, Minnesota. When I was a girl, I thought the whole world revolved around the two stop signs, Elim Lutheran Church, the corner store, play ground, ice rink next to the Elementary School, and the 50 acres with a pond I called home with my Mom, Dad, and five older siblings.

After all these years, I still giggle at the idea that this Scandinavian community with Swedish Dalecarlian horses scattered throughout the city named its annual celebration “Taco Daze!” One would think Lutefisk or Lefse would be the edible highlight, but I guess those of Scandinavian decent are satisfied with the Swedish Meatball Race that occurs on the hill from the church to Meister’s, the home of the famous Meister burger.

With Swedish Horse & Friends
With the Unicorn & Fairy
 With a future International queen 

Before the parade began, I had a chance to visit with some family and long time friends, which was such a treat! Most importantly, I was introduced to a very special young lady by the name of Madison Travers. Maddie was the Grand Marshal of the Taco Daze Parade, and she is a fighter! Maddie was diagnosed with Leukemia in December and a benefit has been planned for her on October 27, 2012 at the Forest Lake, Minnesota VFW. I was thrilled to capture a photo with Maddie in front of her float.

With Maddie Travers
I would like to thank the Scandia City Council and Lions Club for welcoming me to participate in the parade. Also my driver, and the owner of a classic 1967 Bonneville Convertible, Malcolm Terry for graciously spending his Saturday with Joe, me, and the many residents who turned out to celebrate the town I will always call home!

With Malcolm Terry

All my love,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 11th

It is hard to believe that yesterday was the 11 year anniversary of the tragic events that took place at the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001. Although I was only in first grade, I remember watching the events unfold on the television at school. Since I was so young, I couldn’t grasp the concept of what was happening. So many lives were lost that day, but so many people also showed the world what it truly means to be an American. I am so thankful for the first responders and ordinary citizens that willingly gave their lives to save others. They will forever be in our hearts and will forever be true American heroes. I will continue to pray for those affected by that day and always be grateful for the compassion and selflessness so many showed in a time of tragedy.

God Bless,

Caroline Crowley

The Minnesota State Fair

Last weekend I got to ride on the royalty float at the “Great Minnesota get Together!” I absolutely love the state fair. So, being in the state fair parade was something I had been looking forward to. I was reunited with my Minnesota Teen Queen, and my Minnesota Mrs., now Mrs. International, Sarah Bazey. We sat at the very front of the float. It was really hot out that day but we were having too much fun waving at all the cute little kids in the massive crowds to notice the heat.

We were accompanied by visiting Ambassador royalty and a few other pageant beauty queens. We couldn’t help but giggle at the little girls who had their hair done up my “Fair-Do!”  After lots of backcombing, some colored hair spray-paint, and a bunch of glitter, these kids end up looking like little troll dolls. The only thing missing is the belly button jewel! It is so cute though; I secretly wish I could get my hair done!

At the end of the parade we were greeted with Sweet Martha’s cookies and much needed ice water. I stayed and enjoyed the good food, festivities, and great people watching for the rest of the evening. I tried fried alligator, lamb, red velvet funnel cake, fried candy bar, fresh strawberries with whipped crème, and I of course could not leave without a few cheese curds. There are so many interesting attractions at the fair. I saw an impressive BMX Skate show, a trampoline acrobatics show, a dog show,  and many more.

 My favorite was the “Luminarium”. It was an inflatable sculpture that was modeled after architecture found in Muslim and Hindu temples. It took the artist 25 years to create. It was like stepping into a maze. The walls were rubbers like a thick balloon. There was southing tranquil music and lights beaming out of intricate designs on the ceilings and dome shaped rooms. They encouraged you to take off your shoes, lay down and take in the atmosphere designed to make you feel like you stepped into a different world. It sure was a big change from the crowded, hot, noisy mobs of people outside enjoying the fair. I left feeling like I had just woken up form a nap. I was energized. It was an incredible and massive piece of artwork.

I ended the night by checking out the Dairy building. A friend of mine was getting her head carved In butter! So cool! I wonder what she ill do with it…? Then I hit the amusement park rides and games. I look forward to the 2013 fair and all the delicious treats and oddities it will bring!


Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Minnesota State Fair Parade

The “Great Minnesota Get-Together” was true to form, with hundreds of thousands entering the gates each day during the 12 day run! The fair’s history dates back to 1855, and it is the second largest state fair in the country. Krista, Gabby and I were invited to ride on the visiting royalty float during the parade on Sunday, September 2nd, which we gladly accepted!

It was a gorgeous day; however, the end of the state fair in Minnesota represents the end of summer. For anyone familiar with our part of the world, this is bitter sweet…as autumn brings for many welcomed cooler weather, football, and changing leaves…but also, the close to summer vacation, shortened daylight, and bitter cold is soon to follow.


For the three of us, we soaked in the sunshine, enjoyed the crowd, and had a wonderful time together as usual! MMXII forever!

All my love,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

City of Brooklyn Park

I was so honored when asked to come speak to my hometown, Brooklyn Park, during the city council meeting. Before my presentation, the city council and many of our community residences discussed the benefits of park systems in the community, more specifically, the benefit of art in community and public artwork in the parks. I was very interested in this and of course voiced my opinion, strongly in favor of implementing more creativity and large-scale artwork in the community.

I think it is so necessary for each town or community to have a piece of artwork that represents their town and that draws in many visitors. Think about the Millennium Bean in Chicago. Everyday, thousands of people come to see "the bean". It represents innovation, strength, community, and growth. I love that! It is so unique and has become a tourist attraction because of its popularity. It bring a greater purpose to the park. Without it, I think the park would loose its power and popularity.

I will be working with the Youth Council to implement a public display of artwork honoring adults and volunteers in the community to who read or donate books to children. I am hoping this is just the first of many new art projects in the Brooklyn Park community.

When it was my turn to speak, I was presented with this lovely proclamation of recognition and congratulations. Which states:

Whereas, on March 11th 2012, Krista Wanous was recognized by the Miss Minnesota International Pageant for successfully competing in four areas of competition - interview, evening gown, fun-fashion, and fitness-wear.
Whereas, the Miss International Pageant System has been developed to promote today's young women and their accomplishments, being the premiere pageant for young women to open doors to explore world cultures and have opportunity to share beliefs and make a difference; and
Whereas, Krista excelled in the interview portion of the pageant, speaking about her platform of healing lives through creative expression. Her passion for the healing arts is strong, as it helps countless numbers of children each year deal with emotional pain through drawing, painting, sculpture; and
Whereas, Krista chose her platform based on personal experience, she herself used the healing arts to get through difficult emotions; and
Whereas, the Brooklyn Park resident and former 2000 Brooklyn Park Ambassador also represents her hometown effectively and professionally, being able to successfully compete in many image-oriented categories such as evening gown and fitness wear competition; and
Whereas, there is only one Miss Minnesota International and Krista Wanous was the one and only winner.
Now, Therefore, I, Jeffery Joneal Lunde, Mayor of the city of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, do hereby recognize and congratulate Krista Wanous for this outstanding accomplishment and extend to and wish her the best in the upcoming national Miss International competition in Chicago.
Each member of city council came down from their seats to shake my hand and give their warmest wishes of encouragement and congratulations. To say the least, they were pretty excited when they saw me in my new gear as Miss International 2012! I will blog about updates as more progress towards greater public artwork displays and projects happens.

XoXo - All My Love,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Note to International Contestants

It is hard to believe that it is once again time to start preparing for the 2013 International state preliminary pageants! For those of you that have already been crowned, CONGRATULATIONS! We are so honored to have you as part of our family.

If you are considering competing in the International system: I cannot praise this system highly enough! I had the most amazing experience both in Chicago and as a state queen. Although only one young lady will walk away with the crown next year, every single contestant will have grown stronger in their beliefs and as a person. I have made friends that I know will last me a lifetime! Competing in the International system is one of the best decisions I have ever made and was so well-worth it!

If you are preparing to compete in your local preliminary pageant: BREATHE! I know from experience how nervous and excited you must be! Remember that preparation is the key to success. God has a plan for your life, and no crown will ever justify the beauty He sees in you! Speak from your heart, always be yourself, and make LOTS of memories!

If you have already been crowned as a state, country, or regional title holder: Congratulations! You are in for the ride of a lifetime! I cannot stress enough the importance of sponsors. It is very easy to become overwhelmed with finances. I promise that once you tell people about your platform and all that you are doing to better the lives of others, they will jump at the opportunity to help you succeed.

Remember, WE ARE A FAMILY. I, along with my sister queens and the entire staff, are here to help you in any way that you can. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to message me on Facebook, Twitter (@caroline_c13), or e-mail me at Oh, and by the way, WELCOME TO THE CLASS OF 2013.

All my love,

Caroline Crowley

Friday, September 7, 2012

AHA Twins Baseball Game

Early this year I had the pleasure of meeting Team Jamie during the Twin Cities Heart Walk. The American Heart Association introduced me to their team because Team Jamie has a very special story behind their motivation to walk and fundraise. After Dan Gunderson lost his 7 year old daughter to heart failure, he made a commitment to help more children like is daughter Jamie. He has been fundraising for the American Heart Association for the past 6 years since Jamie’s passing to make sure more research can be done to prevent young lives from encountering heart disease. I was asked to walk with Team Jamie because Jamie was obsessed with princesses. So much so, that they even had a princess themed funeral and she was buried in a tiara. I was so honored to hear their story and get to support them during the Heart Walk.

Well, it turns out Team Jamie was the number one fundraising team in the Twin Cities. WOW! I was so proud to have been a part of their journey. They were recently honored at the Minnesota Twins Baseball game. I got to lead the team, with my dear friend Sarah Bazey, onto the field do be recognized as the #1 fundraising team! Other dedicated fundraisers joined us and each team received their awards. I am so happy to advocate for the American Heart Association. Especially, when I hear stories like Jamie’s.

This little cutie's name was Gabby!...My second favorite Gabby! :) 

  Krista Wanous

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Journey, Pat Benatar, and Loverboy Concert!

It would be nearly impossible to graduate from high school or college in the eighties and not know the music of Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy. Joe and I had a fantastic time at the outdoor concert with all three on Saturday night, September 1st! 

Loverboy was one of my husband’s absolute favorites to listen to when he was in the Air Force. Pat Benatar interacted with the audience along with her husband of more than 30 years, Spyder, which was fun. They met in New York in 1979, and within 28 days had moved to Los Angeles and produced their first hit album.

If you haven’t seen the lead singer of Journey perform, he was discovered on YouTube and is simply amazing. His name is Arnel Pineda; he is from Manila and was once homeless. Not only does he have a voice that rivals Steve Perry, but he has a high energy style on stage that keeps the audience engaged.

All I can say is, “long live the 80’s!”

All my love,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

To celebrate Labor Day weekend, my family and I spent the weekend in Cape San Blas, Florida. We went kayaking and fishing, built a sand city, caught lots of jellyfish, and of course, cheered on the Alabama Crimson Tide for their first game of the season!! After two busy weeks at school, we were all so thankful to be able to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather.

My dad and brothers were on “jellyfish patrol”. 

Fun in the SUN!

What a beautiful weekend!
Caroline Crowley

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Emceeing the Maple Grove Fashion Show

I was the emcee at the 2012 Back to School Fashion Show. As much as I love volunteering, it is fun when I get to switch up my normal routine of public speaking or fundraising and do something a little more glamorous. The night before the show we had a big rehearsal. First, the senior citizens strutted their stuff down the runway in the latest fall trends and fashions. The Fountains at Arbor Lakes Mall sponsored all the clothing and accessories.

I had a ball with the seniors! They were so excited to be on the runway and wanted to make sure they did everything just right. I took some time to introduce myself and show them a few of my moves. Not that I am anything like a runway model but hey, I’ve got a mean pivot turn! After rehearsing with 40 seniors, it was the younger crowds chance. We had young women from elementary, junior high, and high school all working the runway in the cutest back to school fall trends. There were lots of cute flats paired with leggings or colored denim and always accessorized to the max!

The girls did such a great job at rehearsal and the final show. I was so proud of them! I was very shy at their age and would never attempt to be in a fashion show with all those big spotlights on me! But these brave young women weren’t scared at all! I had a great time behind the podium describing all the outfits and watching the girls work the crowd. We raffled off a few prizes donated by the local community businesses and ended the night by handing out flowers to each of the participants and taking photos outside. What a fabulous and fun filled night!

Krista Wanous