Friday, November 30, 2012

YMCA Event

The mission of the Young Men’s Christian Association (aka YMCA) inclusive of; Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility is easy to support! Therefore, it was my pleasure to spend an evening greeting and taking photos with the Lino Lakes YMCA during their Wine Tasting and Silent Auction event earlier this month.

A friend of mine, Sheila Waldoch, was one of the organizers for the evening, and when she asked me to participate I did not hesitate. After all, the International crown symbolizes to me the very thing Sheila was trying to accomplish…giving of herself to a good cause, her community, and an organization in which she believes.

Sheila with family and friends

 I hope you enjoy the photos of the attendees, a couple vendors, the YMCA staff who were kind enough to take a quick break and pose with me, and finally Sheila with her family and friends. If you would like to learn more about the benefits and history of a YMCA in your area take a look at:
YMCA Staff Katie & Raymond

With love and appreciation,
Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Heart Healthy Living

As you all know, the International system partners with the American Heart Association and their “Go Red! for Women” campaign. Over the weekend, I had the chance to meet with the chairwomen of the American Heart Association chapter in Mobile, Alabama. One of the things we discussed was the lack of knowledge teens have about making heart healthy choices. Heart disease in the number one killer of women, and the best way to prevent heart disease is to be proactive! Leading a heart-healthy life is very simple. Here are three easy ideas to begin!
  1. EXERCISE. I know what you are thinking…UGH! However, obesity and being overweight are a huge cause of heart problems. Cardio exercises can be fun and easy. My favorite way to exercise is with friends. Taking an afternoon run can be a great way to stay in shape, catch up with friends, and keep your heart strong, as well!
  2. TASTE BEFORE YOU SALT. Grabbing the salt and dousing your food before you even taste it is an easy habit to acquire. However, foods that are high in sodium are bad for your heart. You can reduce some of your sodium intake simply by only salting what is absolutely necessary.
  3. MANAGE YOU STRESS. As a senior in high school, I know how easy it is to be overwhelmed with college applications, school work, and extracurricular activities. However, stress on your mind means stress on your heart. Take the time to prioritize. Think about what really matters, and don’t sweat the small things. If needed, grab a mocha with the girls or curl up with your favorite book to clear your mind and keep your body in check! 
Heart Health & Hugs,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Minnesota Adapted Athletic State Tournament

Last weekend I attended the Adapted Athletic Soccer State Tournament in Stillwater Minnesota. Along with two of my favorite people, Gabby Taylor - Miss Teen Minnesota International 2012 and Becky Thoreson, a former Miss Minnesota International.  We were ready to cheer on all of the fantastic athletes. Even though all of the teams at this tournament deserve a great fan section, we had a secret favorite! The Park Center adapted soccer team is one of the best in the league. I got to know one of their best players, Auggie, a few weeks ago during an Adapted Sports end-of-the-season celebration. I think I was more excited to see him than he was to see me! Auggie has a great sense of humor and always lets me razz him a bit. It didn’t take long before all of Auggie’s teammates came to see what the girls in rhinestones were doing talking to their beloved Auggie.

I was told that Auggie held the team record for most goals scored this season. They weren’t kidding because as soon as their game started, Auggie scored a goal! The Park Center team took home second place in their tournament. Way to go PC! I have an extra special love for the team because I attended Park Center High.  Cheering from the stands reminded me of my days of high school sporting events. 
Auggie and the rest of the team were presented with special awards based on their individual accomplishments during the season. Auggie was awarded leading goals with over 100 goals scored this season, and a few players even made all conference!
The other teams were getting a little jealous of all the attention we were giving to the Park Center Team so we stepped away to sign autographs and take pictures. The Cougars hung out and helped cheer on the Park Center team with us while we took more pictures and signed autographs for each one of the team members.
Before leaving, we peeked out head into the gymnasium and SURPRISE! Our very good friend Manda had just won a big game and her whole team was going crazy. I didn’t think she could be any more excited, until she saw Gabby and I, and somehow she smiled even bigger as she ran towards us screaming and giving us both big bear hugs! Manda came and watched us compete at nationals with her mother, a former Mrs. Minnesota. We were so grateful that they made the long trip to come cheer us on. Manda is one of our biggest supporters and we were so thrilled to be able to congratulate her on her big win. So proud of you Manda, Auggie, the Park Center team, and the Thunder Bolts team!
Krista Wanous

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black & Gold Day

I spent my weekend in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at the University of Southern Mississippi. They hosted their annual “Black and Gold Day” for prospective students for the fall of 2013. We took a tour of the beautiful campus before we watched the Golden Eagles’ football game.

I enjoyed speaking with professors and current students and learning all of the Southern Miss traditions. I absolutely loved the campus and the city of Hattiesburg, and I cannot wait to be a Golden Eagle!

My future home…The University of Southern Mississippi
It was a little cold, but we had such a great time cheering on the Golden Eagles!

Caroline Crowley

Monday, November 26, 2012

Asian and Australian Tour Announcement

In the spirit of inclusion, this blog is a reprint of the press release announcing an international tour of Asia and Australia. If you are reading this blog, believe in the values and mission of the International title, have an interest in the goals stated in the release, or simply want to have an excuse to see the world and meet some phenomenal people, please know that you are invited!

Join Sarah on this journey of connecting people around the world

(Minneapolis, MN) – November 20– Mrs. International 2012, Sarah Bazey, announces the release of her itinerary for an international tour of Asia and Australia. The January 2013 tour will highlight Bazey’s three stated goals of; honoring the Mrs. International title, sharing a message of living a heart-healthy life, and connecting the burn survivor community worldwide.

The tour is scheduled to kick off in Los Angeles, California on December 31, 2012, and will include visits to Tokyo, Japan; Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China; Manila, Philippines; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Sydney, Australia; and Honolulu, Hawaii, before returning to Minneapolis, Minnesota, on January 19, 2013.

Bazey’s Harvard Business School classmates are especially recognized for their assistance with hosting and development for the tour, while the American Heart Association, World Heart Federation, and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors have also offered valuable support and encouragement.

For specific Asian and Australian tour itinerary details and event information, preliminary May 2013 European tour details, and information about how to participate in either tour, please visit

Tour Goals:
Upon being crowned, Bazey stated, “As Mrs. International 2012, it is my privilege to represent the title and all that it embodies; elegance, integrity, commitment to family, accomplishments of married women and a devotion to charitable causes. It is often said that a crown can open doors, but it is my hope that this very special crown will open borders.”

Beyond the crown, the true mission of the International Pageant System is to make a difference in the world, which is exemplified by its national alliance with the American Heart Association and its “Go Red for Women” campaign. Bazey will share the message of living a heart-healthy life throughout the United States and with World Heart Federation members abroad.

Bazey, who was severely burned in a helicopter crash in 1994, will also promote her platform of burn awareness and education on behalf of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. “It is my mission to connect the burn survivor community throughout the world – including the family and friends of burn survivors and the medical community – to help others as they journey through the pain and fear associated with these injuries,” she states.

Sarah Bazey:
    A Harvard Business School graduate and an accomplished business professional, Bazey is the owner and president of Minneapolis-based Simplex Construction Supplies, Inc. She proudly serves as vice president of the National Board of Trustees for the Phoenix Society, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering burn survivors through support programs, education and advocacy.

Since 1995, Bazey also has served as a volunteer to help burn patients at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.  In 2001, the Phoenix Society launched its Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) program and Bazey has continued to volunteer at the hospital through the SOAR program.  Additionally, she has been a keynote speaker for the Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress, which was held this September in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This year’s conference featured co-Board of Trustees member, J. R. Martinez, a burn survivor and veteran of the Iraqi War and winner of ABC Television’s 2011 season of Dancing with the Stars.

Mrs. International Pageant System:
The Mrs. International Pageant is the only platform-based system and is owned and operated by International Pageants, Inc., which also operates the Miss International and Miss Teen International competitions.  Mrs. International showcases married women from ages 21 through 56 and includes their husbands as an integral part of the event.  For more information visit

Warmest Regards,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turning the Table on Sherrie Gearheart!

It was a sheer pleasure for me to host the Founder and Editor of Tiara Magazine, Ms. Sherrie Gearheart, for dinner in Chicago on Saturday evening, November 17th! This dinner was first, an opportunity to say “thank you” in person for the honor of being named the magazine’s “Most Beautiful Titleholder of the Year.” And second, it was an opportunity for me to turn the table on the interviewer…and ask her to be the interviewee!

Sherrie was absolutely up for the challenge, and here is how the interview unfolded as I asked her about herself, Tiara Magazine, and her nonprofit called “Live Out Loud Charity”:

Sarah – When did you create Tiara Magazine?

Sherrie – I created Tiara magazine in 2008. We premiered our first issue in 2009. We are currently read in print and online in 144 countries.

Sarah – Why did you create Tiara Magazine?

Sherrie – I had been a pageant coach for a little over two years and felt there wasn’t something out there that I could pick up and find affordable, relevant, and valuable as a resource. Therefore, Tiara Magazine was created. I started Tiara Magazine to showcase real beauty queens from local contestants, to the Mrs., plus size, to all divisions that encompass pageantry.

Sarah – How did “Live Out Loud Charity” become a reality?

Sherrie – When I was 19, I lost a childhood friend to suicide. I couldn’t believe that we as human beings had become so cold that those suffering from depression feel that they have no one to turn to, so I knew it was my life’s mission to save lives through suicide prevention and intervention. I started Live Out Loud Charity in 2010 and we have reached millions of individuals worldwide through our partnerships and seminars.

Sarah – What is the most important message you would like to share about the “Live Out Loud Charity” Tiara Magazine 3rd Annual Fashion Show event?

Sherrie – This event is a celebration of life and hope. In our fashion show we have women of all heights, ages, ethnicities, and sizes. We will have top designers and 65 beauty queens from all over the world coming together for Live Out Loud Charity.

Sarah – How can people reading this blog participate?

Sherrie – They can be in the show, attend the show, participate as a vendor, or go on-line to make a donation at: or

Sarah – Any last comments you would like to share with our readers?

Sherrie – I encourage everyone to find a cause that they believe in so they can go forth and make a change in this world.

Thank you again to Sherrie Gearheart, for her willingness to participate in this interview, and my very best wishes to her and the Live Out Loud Charity event…may it be a stunning success!

All my love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

There is no better time of year than Thanksgiving Day to consider all the things for which we are grateful! For me, this year has been filled with so many challenges, some resulting in triumph and some in tribulation. Regardless the outcome, each and every experience has been a blessing…much like my life.

There were many titles I dreamed of achieving as a young girl, but never imagined one of my titles would be Burn Survivor. Regardless, it is a fact and after a very long journey of healing, I have finally learned that my scars help me to tell my story and they are truly the badges of honor that prove my strength, my determination, and my passion for life!

My family stood next to my hospital bed and watched my body go through unimaginable torture, but they never wavered. They showed up. They read cards of well wishes to me, they talked to me, they cried with me, they allowed me to crush their hands when the pain was more than I could take alone, and they loved me…with all their hearts…and I felt it. I will never adequately be able to thank my loved ones, but on this day…a day of Thanksgiving…I hope they know I love them back with all that have and all that I am. And, I thank God for every precious day!

With all my love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Thanksgiving, a time to reflect and remember all the things we have, the family we love, and the addition of a new chapter in our story. 2012 has brought extreme times of joy and equally extreme times of sorrow for me. This time of year is surprisingly not a happy time for me. When most people are catching up with family, loved ones, and frantically shopping for gifts, I am remembering loved ones I have lost. Every one of my grandparents passed away during the holidays. Last year at this time, I was mourning the recent loss of my Grandma, “Grammy Billie Jean”. She was my rock, my everything. After she battled a rare cancer found in her eye socket, having her eye removed, stroke, multiple heart surgeries, replacement of heart valve and pace maker, God finally called her home and her life was ended by heart failure. As my family slowly came to terms with losing such a wonderful woman, my Grandfather suddenly died of heart failure after a sudden heart attack at the age of 92. Even though I have so many people to miss, I also have so much to be grateful for. This time last year I was nervously preparing for Miss Minnesota International with absolutely no idea of what was in store for my future. I still cannot believe that this is what my blessed Lord had up his sleeve! This year has been life changing and I really do mean that. Getting involved with the International Pageant system has helped me develop my personal passion, my career goals, my personal development and networking skills, my confidence, my expectations for my own future and so many aspects of my life that I am probably unaware of because I have been on this rollercoaster just trying to hang on for the ride. I am so thankful for my past and what it has taught me about how to treat people, how to show love, and how to be an advocate for children in similar situations. I used to be angry and resentful for the abuse I felt as a child but now, I see it in a whole different light. I am so thankful and finally understand God’s plan for me. He always knew, even though I didn’t understand. I am finally grateful of my past because it has given me strength for the future I was always meant to have. Family, but also friends have supported me this year. Friends have been extremely important to me because honestly, I don’t have much family to reach out to. I can never say Thank You enough to my supporters this year. Each one of you has touched my heart in ways you may not even be aware of. Personal connections is one of the most important things for me, and being able to personally connect with people around the world this year is an unfathomable opportunity that I will take full advantage of. My mom and dad have been my biggest supporters and have been breaking their backs, bank accounts, and probably their sanity to make sure I can achieve every wildest dream I have ever imagined. Thank You!

In the words of Ciji Dodds, I hope I make you all very proud.

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanks giving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Corinthians 4:15

Happy Thanksgiving,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

I cannot believe that four months have already passed since I was crowned Miss Teen International 2012. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I cannot help but think of all of the things I have to be thankful for. This year has been filled with all things new! From new opportunities to a new baby sister, God has truly blessed my family!

As Miss Teen International, I have been blessed with so many new opportunities to grow as a person and a servant of God. Through the American Heart Association, I have learned the importance of heart health and teaching others about the simple ways to lead a longer life. I have been able to travel across the country promoting my platform and meeting new friends. Some days I still cannot believe that the girl who is constantly asked for an autograph is me!

In September, my family was blessed with a new baby! Addie Kate Crowley is now two months old. Her bright smile is a constant reminder of how precious life is. Initially, due to her premature birth, Addie had problems with her growth rate. However, with many prayers, she is now thriving! We see her precious personality more and more every day.

As a Senior, my year has been filled with major choices about my future. God led me to the University of Southern Mississippi, and I feel so fortunate to have found a place that I feel so welcome and at home.

The more I think about the "big move", the more I think of how much I will miss my family! Not only has God placed me in what I feel is the most loving family on Earth, He also gave me a new family. I have had such an amazing time getting to know Mel and Mary Richardson and my two new sisters, Sarah and Krista. Words cannot explain how much I love my International family and all that they stand for.

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love and laughter!

All my love,

Caroline Crowley
Miss Teen International 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Arts Minnesota – Art Heals Breakfast!

I was a table host at the 2012 Art Heals Breakfast for Free Arts Minnesota. A group of my biggest supporters and loved ones joined me very early in the morning to get an exclusive look at Free Arts MN programs, statistical outcomes, personal testimonials, and even a live poetry reading by a few of our junior high youth.
Pictured above is my mom and dad, my long time fairy godmother Cheri Kennedy, mock interview judge and back- up-mother Marcia Anderson, Carolina Reyes former Miss Minnesota International, current Mrs. Saint Paul International Andrea Bennett-Xiong and husband Tou Bennett-Xiong, and Nicole Berg my new pageant friend. I was so blessed to have a table full of people who have made such a difference in my life over the past year. I was excited for them to lean about the Free Arts MN programs from someone other than myself, and I am sure they were too! I can talk about the benefits of art for days, but it is a whole different message when it comes from the youth who have experienced our mentoring first hand.
Here is one of the young men who shared how Free Arts made him feel in a spoken word, poetic rap form. He didn’t stop smiling for one second while he was on stage.
The next youth speaker had quite a story to tell. Her father sexually abused her for many years of her life with no outlet or help of any kind.
Here are Tia’s words….
"...I think that Free Arts is an amazing program. It has helped me and changed my life, and I have witnessed it do the same for my peers. It is a great way for me to connect with my peers when we all work on a project together. Some of them struggle with projects, others dive right in, but almost everyone creates something every time. I don’t know what my day treatment or my life would look like without my involvement in Free Arts.
There are many reasons why Free Arts is great. One reason is that I know there are other kids like me who do not have the resources or support they need to create art. There are also kids who have trouble expressing themselves, and Free Arts teaches them to do that. Finally, Free Arts is great because it is made almost entirely of volunteers. It is good to know that they choose to spend their time with us every week. It is good to know that someone thinks we are worth their time, and that they want to share their passion with us.
I know that this program has a deeply profound effect on all those involved. I like to think it is a necessary part of our community. I believe that art is an important part of life, and whether or not someone loves art, it is still important to experience it. Free Arts helps bring art to those who may not have had the opportunity to make it before.
I am forever grateful to Free Arts for reigniting my love of art. I think, and hope, that other children get to experience everything I have with Free Arts."
Watch this video for details about Tia and other youth talk about their experience with Free Arts MN.
I always get choked up hearing the kids speak about how their outlook on life has changed because of Free Arts MN. I am so proud to be able to represent an organization I believe in so much! This year was very successful and I can’t wait to see what Free Arts MN has in store for next year! Thank you to my friends and family who attending this event with me. Each one of you is a blessing and I appreciate all you do and your continued encouragement.


Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Children's Hospital

Thank you to the United Health Group, Project Smile, and Children’s Hospital for asking me to be their celebrity guest on November 6th during an afternoon of festivities, food, and fun…all for these amazing children and their families.

Prior to the children arriving, the volunteer training by Project Smile was very well done. It was an opportunity to learn about a program started by a college student in 1998, which in and of itself is really cool. It never ceases to amaze me how one person can make such a difference in this world! Please take a few minutes to learn about Project Smile:

United Health Group and Project Smile Volunteers

Also, United Health Group, which is a significant supporter of Project Smile and the American Heart Association, deserves a very big thank you for bringing me into the event. I was not only able visit with the kids and their families, but I was able to share the spotlight with Flat Stanley. Many of the attendees were well acquainted with Flat Stanley, who was visiting me from New Jersey via California and were willing to pose for a picture with my well traveled guest.

Volunteers and guest star Flat Stanley

As many of us know, it is often difficult to smile when you are a patient in a hospital…which is why people caring enough to bring the fun to you and do all that they can to give you a break from the challenges is really a gift.

With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Children's Hospital

On Thursday, Beef-O-Brady’s in Dothan helped raise funds for Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama by donating fifteen percent of the night’s sales to the hospital. Children’s Hospital is dedicated completely to serving the children of Alabama and the surrounding area. It is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the country. Children’s Hospital is a non-profit organization that relies on fundraisers to continue to be one of the only hospitals that does not turn any child away. So many people came to support Children’s of Alabama. We hope to hold more fundraisers in restaurants throughout the state soon!

Meet my beautiful new friend, Louisa!
Rosemary and Soles helped support Children’s Hospital of Alabama just by eating dinner with us!

I even got asked to sign a few of my beautiful Clay Spann autograph cards during the fundraiser.
Mrs. Angie Sherrill, the representative from Children’s Hospital of Alabama, does such an amazing job of organizing fundraisers to serve the families that visit the hospital.
Caroline Crowley

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mary and Mel in Minneapolis Minnesota!

I was so excited when I got called to so an appearance at our local Dairy Queen with our champion Special Olympics team AND my International directors, Mary and Mel Richardson were going to be there! I just love the Richardson’s so much. Even though we have not had long to get to know each other and there is quite a far distance between us, every time I get to spend time with them is such a pleasure. They are the warmest, most down to earth, loving, supportive people. I would quickly trade in my own parents to be a part of their family, just kidding mom!! Hehe.
The Special Olympics is a really big deal in Minnesota and we have one of the most developed programs in the country. Pictured above is me between two of our fabulous players, Auggie and Darren. To the left of me is Auggie who is a phenomenal soccer player as well as many other sports. He talked to me for a long time about his dreams of becoming a rap artist or owning a music label. We found similar interests in music and we discovered we also went to the same high school. To right of me is Darren. His Basketball team has gone to compete at the national level for the Special Olympics. So cool! He was so passionate about his sports and it means so much to me that he has an opportunity to do what he loves because of the well-organized Special Olympics here in Minnesota.
Here we are, celebrating the end of flag football season over ice cream treats and sundaes!
I had a little time to catch up with Mary and Mel before they were rushed away for another appointment. Those two just brighten my day and I was so thankful to be able to see their smiling face even for just a few minuets. My good friend and a former Miss Minnesota is the magic behind this lovely evening. She is very involved with the Special Olympics and the American Heart Association. She always helps me set up great appearances with wonderful people. She first got me involved with the Special Olympics when I was Miss Minnesota and I immediately fell in love.
All of our athletes are fun, outgoing, positive, and supportive people. One told me, “I hope you win Miss America forever,” haha... I think he meant Miss International. He then took my crown, put it on his head, and said, or maybe I will win Miss America forever.” He smirked and shook his head, “No, I can’t that thing is too heavy. It hurt my head,” and gave it back to me carefully.
I had another admirer; I kept seeing her peek over the back of her booth eyeballing my rhinestones. She was so cute. She finally got the courage to take a picture with me, but only after I made her a deal, if she took a picture with me she could wear the crown. She’s a smart girl and of course didn’t hesitate to step under its overpowering size. I had to hold it on her head of else it would have ended up around her neck!
Overall, it was a really relaxing fun night with some of my favorite people. Thank you Becky for organizing this night and thank you Mary and Mel for finding the time to see me in your busy schedule. Love you with all my heart and am forever grateful to be your Miss International 2012.

Krista Wanous

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

AccessAbility Ball

“You’re a shining star, no matter who you are…” by Earth, Wind & Fire, was the theme of the Fourth Annual Magical Evening Ball for the charitable organization called AccessAbility. It was my privilege to be their guest speaker in June as Mrs. Minnesota International, and they were kind enough to ask me as Mrs. International to speak at their very special event on November 2nd.

I am not certain who impresses me more; the Consumers who are assisted with finding employment and who would otherwise face a variety of obstacles, or the Volunteers and Staff who give so freely and lovingly of themselves. Joe and I sincerely had a wonderful time with everyone. We posed for pictures, I signed head shots, danced and conversed with some pretty special individuals.

Two such individuals I would like to point out are Joan Marso, AccessAbility Development Officer and Winslow, AccessAbility Consumer and Office Mail Carrier. Joan has graciously stayed connected with me, and Winslow never stops smiling and can fly down the hallways in their 40,000 square foot facility delivering mail and messages like no one else!

Enjoy the photos and please check out this fabulous organization at:

Mr. & Mrs. International
Accessability Staff & Volunteers
Joan & Me
About to get kissed!
Winslow & Me
Disco Time
Too Sweet
On the dance floor
Little Cutie
With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Danielle Enberg – Celebrating 20 years of Being Cancer FREE!

Last Sunday I shared a beautiful day with a beautiful young woman, Danielle Enberg. I first met Danielle when I was Miss Saint Cloud, competing for Miss Minnesota International in March of 2012. Her story stopped me in my tracks. This brave girl has battled and advocated for childhood cancer and childhood cancer research almost her whole life.
She was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor 12 days before her first birthday. When most signs of this type of tumor are obvious like abdominal pain and blood in urine, Danielle had none of these symptoms. What she did have was simple common ear infection. After a few weeks, doctors noticed her enlarged liver and she was immediately rushed to Mercy hospital. Wilms Tumor is a very rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer most often found in children under the age of five.

After many medical interventions, extensive surgeries, and treatments Danielle, myself and one of our Minnesota pageant sisters, Abigale Bodine, celebrated this very special day with her, being cancer FREE for the past 20 years. How fabulous is that? Danielle is one of the strongest and most inspirational young women I have ever met. I am so proud of her. She is truly a blessed soul. God has certainly turned her pain into purpose and now she can help encourage other young children battling cancer like she once did. She works vigorously to inform and educate as well as raise funds for childhood cancer research.

I was so honored when she asked me to present her with her 2013 crown and banner. After spending the afternoon with Danielle’s friends and family and watching adorable videos of all her dance recitals through the years, I left knowing that she is truly what this pageant system is all about, giving women a place to showcase their incredible accomplishments and spotlight their personal passion and mission. She will compete at Miss Minnesota International 2013. Follow along to watch her journey and keep up with her latest accomplishments at

Thank you for letting me a part of your special day Danielle.
XOXO and all my love,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day

As the daughter of a WWII Veteran, believe it or not, the war in many ways shaped my life. My late father, Leonard Wojtowicz, enlisted as a very young man on his 17th birthday in November of 1942. The war commenced on September 1, 1939 and ended on September 2, 1945, which meant he decided to fight for his country in the heat of battle by joining the Navy and sailing to Europe.

Several years earlier, my paternal grandfather was killed by a drunk driver as he walked to work for the railroad. He was an immigrant from Poland, who spoke little if any English, and was a devote Catholic, thereby explaining my father being one of twelve children. As the oldest boy at home when my grandfather was killed, my father dropped out of Parochial School in the eighth grade to bring home money for my grandmother to be able to feed the younger children. Mature beyond his years, standing up for his beliefs, and fighting for his country was not a surprise to any of his family or friends.

As a member of the “Silent Generation,” my father only spoke of the good times he experienced as he sailed around the world, but what he did not speak about were the photos he had taken of Navy ships off the bow of his own ship being torpedoed and sunk with all the sailors onboard in the English Channel. He did not speak about the German soldiers he photographed lined up on the dock in France, then walking up the plank onto the Navy ship, and later photographed on deck as prisoners of war.

My father was a communications specialist, and it was only a few days before he died of a heart attack at the age of 69 that he shared with my brother, who also served in the Navy, details about the events he held so close..and the fact that he heard the sounds in his mind every day. Because of all that my father endured, he treasured life. He loved his family with his whole being. And, he never hesitated thank God for the life he shared with those that he loved.

I am the product of a mother and father who remembered the affects of the Great Depression, who grew up too fast because of WWII, and then married and found themselves separated again by the Korean War, where my father lived in on an island interpreting code. Eventually, they raised six children of their own, and I am the youngest. I am convinced that my father chose to live his life with honor, integrity, and faith because of the horrors he experienced. He was an amazing man that people instinctively entrusted with their happiest moments and deepest sorrows. I am honored to be his daughter and miss him with all my heart!

For those of you who have not lost your father, don’t ever hesitate to say “I love you.” Those are the last three words I said to my father when he left my home almost 18 years ago, for which I am eternally grateful. And, don’t ever hesitate to say “Thank you” to a veteran, as they are the reason we live in the greatest country in the world!

With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Special Citizens' Day

I recently attended Special Citizens’ Day at the 2012 National Peanut Festival. We had such a blast! Special Citizens’ Day is always such a joy to attend because people in Dothan and the surrounding communities have a chance to become involved in helping children and adults with special needs. The NPF committee spends countless hours preparing for the day to ensure that everyone in attendance is able to enjoy every aspect of the fair.

We began our day at 9 a.m. when school buses and adult care center buses began to flood the fair grounds. Volunteers ranging from high school students to senior citizens were each paired with a child or adult with special needs to spend time with during the day. We were given special stickers so that all rides at the fairgrounds were free of charge. My buddy, A’Kasia, loved all of the “big girl rides”. We rode the “Dizzy Dragons” at least five times. Most of the children that attended had never been to the fair, so they spent the entire day in awe of the rides and lights. There is no better feeling than seeing such genuine joy on a child’s face!

After we enjoyed the rides, we all gathered for lunch. Different organizations sponsored lunch for the special citizens. They even got cotton candy and stuffed animals so that they could enjoy the complete fair experience! Singer and songwriter, Shane Owens, performed during lunch. We all enjoyed music and dancing before it was time to go back to school. This is one event that I hope to participate in as long as possible!

My sweet buddy, A’Kasia, made my day! She always has a smile on her faces and brightens the day of anyone she meets.
My friend, Hayden, and her buddy, Mariah, stole my phone and had a little fun with their silly pictures!

We definitely had the best girl group at Special Citizens’ Day! We all had such a fun day and cannot wait until next year!

Caroline Crowley

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sartell Senior Connection

This Thursday I was invited to speak at the Sartell Senior Connection weekly Coffee and Conversation meeting. The mission of the Sartell Senior Connection is to enhance the quality of life for senior citizens by planning and providing programs based on social, creative, educational and physical needs. They are an excited and curious bunch of seniors who are interested in learning more about their community and the members who are making a difference in Minnesota. They were very warm and welcoming. After telling them all about the Miss International pageant system, my platform and my plans for the year, they had many questions for me!
I really enjoyed speaking to this group because they were so interested in learning every detail about my title. We had a great discussion and ended the morning with many thanks and best wishes. I hope to connect with the Sartell Senior Connection Group more often. They are opening a brand new facility for the Seniors of Sartell to conduct meetings, enjoy crafts, games, and host fundraisers. I am excited to see the completed new location and re-connect with my new friends in the future.

Krista Wanous

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Workout Playlist

November is Arts + Health Month!

As my fellow International sisters know, the American Heart Association tells us that the best way to keep your heart and body healthy is exercise! In honor of Arts+Health month, I am combining my favorite way to stay fit, weight lifting, and my favorite art form, music. I don’t know about you guys but I just cannot work out without my IPod. I love music that has a great beat and gets me energized. Here is Miss International 2012’s, work out playlist. Enjoy

David Guetta ft Sia – Titanium
Madona – Girl Gone Wild
Ellie Goulding – Lights (Dubstep Remix)
Machine Gun Kelly ft Arron Lafette– Fantasy (Remix)
Katy Perry -Firework
Graffiti 6 – Annie You Save Me (Remix)
Lady Gaga - Fashion
Planet Funk– Lemonade (Benny Benassi Remix)
Rihanna – Only Girl In the World
ATB and Paul Van Dyke, DJ Special K - Trance
Katy Perry – Who Am I Living For?
Nicki Minaj- Moment 4 Life
Kelis - Brave
Mike Posner – Evil Woman
Pretty Lights - Finally Moving (Remix)
Lady Gaga – Retro, Dance, Freak
Selena Gomez – Who Says
Rihanna – Who’s That Chick
Beyonce- Woman Like Me
KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
Rihanna – Diamonds
LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It
Michael Jackson – I’m Bad


Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

Red Out

Ashford High School hosted a “Red Out” game recently. It was a huge success! I am so proud of our student body for raising money and awareness for the American Heart Association’s “Rock the Beat” campaign. Our goal was to raise $3,000 dollars. That night, after all of the money from our various fundraisers was counted, we raised over $6,300!

More importantly, we were able to raise awareness in our community about the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle. I hope that you all take part in the “Rock the Beat” campaign and take this opportunity to teach others about the benefits of a heart-healthy lifestyle, as well.

As promised, our administrators and teachers died their hair red for the pep rally and game that Friday!

Caroline Crowley