Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of 2012

I can’t believe it is already the beginning of a new year! It is hard to believe my reign as Miss Teen International 2012 is nearly half way over. However, that also means that the Miss Teen International 2013 competition is quickly approaching!

One thing I learned from competing is that you can never be “too prepared” and it is never too early to begin preparing. If you listen to the radio or read popular magazines, you will notice their “Top Hits of 2012”. So, to help you prepare for competition or even appearances, here are some of my pageant favorites from the past year.

1.Autograph Cards
You will need autograph cards for competition week in Chicago. However, even as a state title holder, autograph cards are a great piece of memorabilia to hand out to your many fans. I even wrote thank you notes on them to those that supported me on my way to nationals. When you wear your crown, people notice you! Trust me…everyone wants a queen’s autograph!

2.Clay Spann Lip Glass
This clear gloss is one of my all-time favorites! It offers a long lasting shine that can be worn over your favorite Clay Spann lipstick or alone for every day wear.
www.clayspann.com

3.Crown & Roses Logo Tracksuit by Titlewear
At the beginning of my reign, I was given the velour tracksuit with the Miss International logo on the back of the jacket in rhinestones. It is great for traveling…comfy and cute!!
www.titlewear.com

4.My “glam bag” given to me by Miss Teen International 2011, Jurnee Carr
After the coronation ball, Jurnee’s gift to me was a lime green and pink tote with rhinestone encrusted “Miss Teen International 2012” on the front.  It is the perfect size for an extra pair of comfortable shoes, my autograph cards, and my make-up bag for touch ups between appearances. A cute and sensible tote is a MUST for nationals and appearances. During the week of finals, a shoe bag for rehearsals will be absolutely imperative!

5.Holly Hardwick Crown Case
Mrs. International 2012, Sarah Bazey, recently introduced me to the Holly Hardwick line of crown carriers. Her line of stylish crown cases makes it easy to protect your crown in style!
http://store.hollyhardwick.com

6.Protein/Energy Bars
I have always loved to snack. Protein bars are a great on-the-go source of energy, even if you are watching your figure!

7.My “Pageant on Wheels”
It may have a crazy name, but TRUST me, if you ask any contestant from the 2012 pageant, they will testify that it is a LIFESAVER. My mom bedazzled a huge tackle box (with wheels) and “Pageant on Wheels” was created. It holds my hair and make-up supplies, a sewing kit, cosmetic tape, safety pins, Static Guard, scissors, and most likely any other pageant necessity you can imagine. Like I said, you can NEVER be “too prepared”.

8.Social Media
Social media isn’t exactly anything new or surprising. However, if you haven’t already, utilize tools such as Facebook and Twitter to start making friends! Knowing other contestants will help ease your nerves before orientation because you will already be comfortable around one another. If you ever have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at any of the following:

E-Mail:    Missteeninternational2012@gmail.com
Facebook:  Caroline Crowley
Twitter:  @caroline_c13

Happy 2013!

Best wishes,

Caroline Crowley

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wojtowicz Family Christmas

Most of you know me as Sarah Bazey, however, I spent much of my life as Sarah Wojtowicz. Believe it or not, both my maiden name and married name are of Polish descent…and yes, I have heard a few Polish jokes in my lifetime!

This blog is simply an opportunity to share some of the many fun photographs that were captured with members of my family as we celebrated a yummy Christmas brunch together at the wonderful Lake Elmo Inn, in the charming little town of Lake Elmo, located just East of the Twin Cities.

Thank you to Santa Claus for sharing gifts with my great-nephews and nieces, the fabulous staff that made certain we were well cared for and well fed, and my family for which I am truly thankful and blessed! Please know that this is only a portion of my family members, we missed those who were not able to join us, and there were too many pictures to post them all:

With Mom

With Lake Elmo Inn Staff
 
With Lake Elmo Inn Staff
 
With Sister Claudine and her husband Mark
 
With Brother Nick and his wife Wendy
 
With Brother Lon and his wife Pat
 
With Brother Len and his wife Sally
 
With Santa, great-nephews and great-nieces
 
With Ethan, Elliot, Nathan, Isabella, and Aalyiah

With Aaron, Jordan, and Jake
With Wyatt, Joshua, and Nathan

All my love,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

“A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theater

If you have never seen the Guthrie Theater’s interpretation of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, you really need to add this event to your bucket list! Of course I may be just a little prejudice because I love this venue, which was designed by the famous French architect Jean Nouvel, and it happens to be located just steps from my front door.

Therefore, when I thought about the perfect gift for my 2012 pageant sisters, I decided this would be such a fun experience to share with Krista, Caroline, Gabby and our mothers. So, the plan was hatched…and came to fruition on a perfect Sunday afternoon in December. We were also joined by Becky and her mother for lunch on Level Five and photos on level nine after the play.

Becky, Alice, Denise, Caroline, Gabby, Robyn, Betty and me

I am so very grateful for each of the amazing women that joined me for this special holiday treat, and also want to thank Sue Kotila, Vistor Service Director with the Guthrie for welcoming us with open arms. And finally, a very special thank you to Austen Fisher who was one of the cast members and joined us for a few photos after the production.

Gabby, Austen, me and Caroline

For more information, please visit the Guthrie Theater website and a link to information about the design of this remarkable structure:  http://www.guthrietheater.org/ and http://www.arcspace.com/21921

Warm Wishes,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kent Yohe

There really is nothing like sharing a conversation with someone who has a story to share…and I love a good story…especially when it has a happy ending! Mr. Kent Yohe, husband of Mrs. North Dakota International 1993 and the director of the North Dakota International Pageants, was kind enough to give Becky Thoreson and me a tour of his Chiropractic office located in Fargo, and share a bite to eat at a local favorite lunch spot.
Kent & Me
 
Kent & Becky

Interestingly enough, Kent’s story relates to our pageant system and our affiliation with the American Heart Association. Let me start by making a bold statement, “Kent looks like the epitome of health; trim, fit, is well educated as a chiropractor with many years of experience, and works out regularly.” Yet, one day after a workout, he still wasn’t feeling quite right and decided to go for a bike ride. When he made it into the office, he happened to mention to his daughter Allison (Miss North Dakota International 2005 and co-director alongside her Mother Kathy) some of the symptoms he was feeling.

It was because of Allison’s exposure to the “Go Red” message that she insisted her father go to the doctor. Of course not any doctor, in Kent’s case it would be his own son Mark, that he would turn to and learn that in fact he was experiencing a heart attack. Allison and her brother may be the reason I was able to share this afternoon with a very nice man and to hear his story.

It goes to show that we can never underestimate the power of a message…and kudos to the Yohe family for making the right decisions at a critical moment in their lives. Thank you for sharing!

With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

HGH Birthday

For those of you that have closely followed my blog, you may remember Hannah Grace Harrison, the inspiration for one of my favorite charities, Hannah’s Gifts of Hope. Hannah Grace passed away from childhood cancer at a young age. To celebrate what would have been her 7th birthday, a large group of Hannah’s Gifts of Hope volunteers threw a huge birthday bash on the oncology floor of Children’s Hospital of Alabama in her honor. The oncology floor is in the new Children’s Hospital building. Every inch of the colorful hospital was covered in Christmas decorations!

During the birthday party, we made Christmas crafts and ate cupcakes with the patients. The biggest surprise of all came in the form of a mini toy store! Hannah Grace’s parents brought gifts for every child and sibling on the oncology floor. We covered the lobby floor with every kind of toy imaginable in hopes of brightening the day of the patients and their family. Thanks to our wonderful supporters, every child was able to choose three of their favorite toys. So many toys were donated that we were able to leave hundreds in the activity room for future patients to enjoy during their treatments.

Unfortunately, due to patient confidentiality rules, we were unable to take photos inside the oncology ward. However, I assure you that every child we met had the time of their life! I met some of the strongest, most amazing children during my visit to Children’s Hospital.

My mom and I were preparing to leave when a lady asked if I would mind going to the Cardiac Floor and meeting her granddaughter, Victoria. Victoria is 12 years old. She was experiencing fatigue and dizziness and began passing out frequently at school. Extensive tests revealed that her heart was functioning at about 10%. She is currently waiting to receive a heart transplant. Please keep Victoria and her family in your prayers!

All my love,

Caroline Crowley

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ND International Pageant

When I stood up from my judge’s chair and walked on stage at the North Dakota International Pageant on December 1, 2012, I shared with the contestants, their family members and friends, the other judges, emcees, and production crew a message that I love to share with anyone who will listen. I told them that the ladies on stage behind me have already won, because they have already challenged themselves, found a cause to which they are committed, and taken a risk that not just anyone would take.

It was my privilege to share with the audience the feeling of honor that goes with carrying the Mrs. International crown on my head. As I travel the world and meet people from all walks of life, I tell them about the International system and what makes it so special, I share the message of living a heart healthy life whenever the opportunity is afforded, and cannot even put into words the feeling that is experienced when I speak about my burn injuries and the way in which I now view my scars after so many years of covering them up.

Most importantly, I shared with them that I carry this crown in honor and representation of each of the ladies on the stage, every member of the audience who assisted these lovely competitors to achieve their goals, and all of the individuals in auditoriums just like this one who have made the same commitments around the world.

I want to thank Kathy and Allison for asking me to be a judge at what was a fabulous production. It was a blast judging with such an experienced panel of judges; Krista, Maddy, Megan, and Andrew.

Judges and Winners

As for the outgoing Queens, you obviously had an amazing year together, and I am confident North Dakota could not be more proud of the way you represented your state. A special mention to my “Rock Star Roommate” in Chicago, Ashley…who announced that she and Adam are expecting in her farewell speech!

To the new titleholders, you each have a wonderful opportunity before you…make every moment count!

Becky, Krista, me, Maddy, and Megan 

Krista and me

Krista, Olivia, me and Ashley

Krista, Taylor, Grace, Jen and me

And last, but not least, it was so thrilling to meet the beautiful and gracious Carolyn Mosher, Mrs. International 1996, who represented North Dakota and all of us so very well! This may sound funny, but I was actually so excited when I was told she was in the room…a real Mrs. International…I had to giggle at myself for forgetting the crown was on my head!


With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


From our hearts to your home

We wish you a very

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

&

We hope your 2013

Will be filled with precious memories!

All our love,

video

Caroline Crowley
Miss Teen International 2012

video

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

video

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

WDAY 6 News Interview

An interview conducted by Todd Kurtz, with WDAY 6 News the Fargo, North Dakota, the local ABC affiliate aired on December 9, 2012. Todd was kind enough to take time to sit down with me at the request of Kent Yohe, and he put together a piece that made my relatives in the area very popular at work the next day!



Sincere thank you to both Kent and Todd for making this interview happen! If you would like to see it here is the link: http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/72342/


Warm Wishes,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Yogurt Lab

After learning all about the amazing United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham facility, I had the opportunity to participate in their most recent fundraiser. Yogurt Lab of Birmingham donated a percentage of their sales for the night to UCP. The fundraiser was the perfect way for Birmingham families to enjoy yummy yogurt, learn more about UCP, and donate to a great cause!


I enjoyed delicious my delicious Yogurt Lab desert---chocolate yogurt with marshmallows!


Jackson loved his yogurt! His dad was my “tour guide” for the day, as well.


Matt volunteers at most of the UCP fundraisers. He is able to educate others about Cerebral Palsy better than anyone else can, because he has Cerebral Palsy. Matt is also currently a successful law student.
Thank you, Yogurt Lab of Birmingham, for donating to such an amazing facility and helping change the lives of children and adults throughout the Greater Birminham area!

Caroline Crowley

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Since hearing the devastating news of the events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary, my heart has been grieving along with the parents and families who lost their loved ones so unexpectedly. I am sure many of you have also struggled with hearing heart-breaking stories of survivors or heroes that emerged that tragic day. Their very personal stories make the tragedy so difficult to reconcile: the little girl who wanted to wear her new Christmas dress to school, the hero teacher, the little boy who wanted to be a cowboy but will never be opened the gift of boots from under the Christmas tree, the principal, the lone survivor - a little girl who played dead by covering herself in blood and laid down next to her peers... it goes on and on.

No parent or child should ever have to feel vulnerable and scared about a place where children should be the safest - a place where they go everyday. I found myself wondering, how could this have happened? How could God let this happen? But, my mom reminds me; we are not to question His doing. Instead, we must focus on how to help these children understand, and overcome the trauma that has become their reality.

I get a renewed sense of happiness and joyfulness when I hear about how the nation is reaching out and supporting the families involved in Sandy Hook. A Sandy Hook Art Relief Fund has been put into place and already raised over $3,000 and still growing!

www.indiegogo.com/SandyHookElementarySchool

This fund will be collecting donations through March. Please make a donation to this fund so children can start expressing their feelings in a safe place, surrounded by loving, supportive and most importantly, SAFE adults. More importantly, art provides children with mental stability and helps them gain understanding and peace with the trauma they faced. Because the shooter's motives were driven by an unhealthy mind, it is important that the children involved do not suffer the same type of “obsessive violent behavior” because of what they witnessed first hand.

The shooter was descried as being “too fond of firearms, in love with them…” “Addicted to violent shoot ‘em up video games,” and had a history of violent behavior. Now, I am not saying all video games are bad, but parents, as you wrap up your Christmas gifts this year, keep the events of Sandy Hook in mind. Should we really be teaching our children that gun, blood, and killing is nothing more than a fun game? Video games are not all to blame for this event but just think twice... that’s my advice. Children’s minds are molded very young and very quickly. We need to teach them respect, compassion and love for their neighbor. No more violence, please.


“Lord bless these children and their families. May your presence surround them as they grieve. Let the parents rest their minds on the image of their little ones sitting around the feet of our Lord in heaven, celebrating a very Merry Christmas, and the birth of our savior. Fill their hearts with happy memories of the ones they lost, remembering the joy their angels brought to them while they were here, visiting earth.”

God Bless you all, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas surrounded by the ones you love and cherish. Don’t take this year for granted.
 
All my Love,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012

Medina Country Club Holiday Fashion Show

What a treat it was to co-emcee the Medina Country Club Holiday Fashion Show with looks from chic casual to party favorites from the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes! Ms. Becky Thoreson and I had a wonderful working together at the podium as we introduced the models and described their fantastic ensembles.


My favorite look was a long winter white sweater with a fringed collar and cuff over chocolate brown leggings with a fabulous boot. The model wore her hair up and had a splash of color around her neck in a textured scarf. Another favorite of mine was worn by the only adult male model of the day, who happened to be a crowd favorite, and he wore a classic look with deep gray slacks, navy and black mixed.

Events like this not only get you in the mood for the holidays, but they make me want to go shopping! I hope anyone visiting the Maple Grove area in Minnesota will consider the wonderful selection of stores at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. For more information: http://www.shoppesatarborlakes.com/

With appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Go Red for Women 10th Anniversary Celebration!

Congratulations to the American Heart Association on your 10th Anniversary of “Go Red for Women” campaign. On the evening of November 28th I was asked to attend a celebration for volunteers, staff, and supporters of the Go Red message.

We enjoyed a nice assortment of healthy food, drinks, and speakers ranging from leaders, a heart attack survivor, and a Cardiologist named Dr. Katie Moriaty. The newest statistic shared with the attendees was the number 54, which is the percent of women who are aware that heart disease is the #1 killer of women!

Joined by our speaker Katie and Gretchen with Regions Hospital

Attendees were also asked to tape a message of their reason for being passionate about Go Red, and to take the opportunity to congratulate the campaign. I was recorded before most of the guests arrived and shared the fact that I lost my dad to a heart attack, my mother is a stroke survivor, and my father-in-law is currently struggling with congestive heart failure. Heart disease truly touches so many of us… and Becky Thoreson also gave a moving message about how it has touched her life.

Sharing my message

Becky sharing her message

The red movement has come a long way in 10 years, but we have so much more to do! February 1, 2013 is GO RED DAY! So please, mark your calendar and be certain to do two things…wear red and spread the message!

With sincere appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

St. Andrews Rocks the Holidays!

For anyone reading this blog who has lost a parent or found yourself dealing with the challenges of an aging parent, you will most likely relate to this message. For those of you who are either too young, or for whatever reason have not had either experience this may not have the same meaning to you.

That said, I have mentioned a few times in previous blogs the sudden loss of my father to a heart attack just a few months after my accident, which is still painful for me after nearly 18 years. Now, the loss I feel pales in comparison to the hole in my mother’s heart that was created when her husband of 47 years left her side. My parents not only married in 1948 and raised six children together, but they grew up just a few blocks apart and my mother’s brother was my father’s best friend. It is safe to say that my father was the “rock” in their relationship and quite frankly my mother’s heart has been broken since February 1, 1995.

Following the death of my father, my mother went from living with my amazing sister Claudine to living with Joe and me over the next nearly 10 years. Joe and I made major life decisions based on the needs of my mother and though we do not have children, we understand the meaning and importance of family.

Just a few years ago, it was my sister who pointed out to me that the arrangement was maybe not the best situation, and we should as a family consider options that would allow our mother the social interaction and care on a daily basis that I was not able to provide when working full-time with travel commitments conflicting with her needs. Ultimately, she agreed to a change and she now lives in a wonderful place called St. Andrews.

When my mom asked me to join her for their holiday party and to bring my crown, I couldn’t refuse! My mother gave all that she had to her children, and I have spent a lifetime hoping to make her smile. Here is a photo of my mom, Betty Lou Wojtowicz and the best sister in the world, Claudine Goodrich! Also, with my brother Nick and his lovely wife Wendy. 

Betty Lou, me, and Claudine

Wendy, me, and Nick

With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A New Princess!

During my travels, I was able to visit one of my family’s dearest friends and her new precious baby girl, Ava Caroline. Ava Caroline was born with Down’s Syndrome. She has no chambers in her heart. The doctors at Children’s Hospital sent Ava Caroline home so that she can grow and gain more strength before they perform surgery to create chambers in her heart.

Ava Caroline is absolutely beautiful! God blessed her with a wonderful, loving, and supportive family that I am confident will be by her side through every experience she encounters. I cannot wait to watch this little princess learn and grow!

The crown may be a little too big now…but Ava Caroline is already the queen of her house!

Caroline Crowley

Regions Hospital Holiday Party

I told the audience that I felt like I was “home”…and when I enter the doors to Regions Hospital in some ways that is exactly how I feel. You see, for burn patients we experience a loss of many things; skin, decorum, privacy, and control. We are forced to trust the burn team with every aspect of our lives from food and water, bodily functions, our schedule, who we can and cannot see, they manage our pain to the best of their ability and they torture us to heal us…


This may sound a bit morbid and depressing, but when you occupy a bed in a burn center this is your reality and you no longer care about the normal stuff; when can I get to the grocery store, did I sign that contract on my desk at the office, did I take the laundry out of the dryer, will my spouse be up for a movie tonight…the only things that run through your mind are; how can I survive this pain, when is my next surgery, do I have to have the heparin shot in my belly again (every 8 hours for 50 days), can I calm my heart as it is beating at 185 while I am trying to rest, will they pull more staples out of me in the tub today…these thoughts consume you 24 hours a day because there is no morning, noon, or night to a critical patient.

Because of this experience, you become dependent on the individuals who sustain you and control your life. A burn center becomes your whole world; where you are safe, secure, no one stares, and you know you owe your life to the people around you. Leaving a burn center and your burn team is scary and often a very uncomfortable time in the recovery process.

When Mikki Rothbauer, Social Worker for our burn center asked me to speak at the annual Holiday Party in the atrium of the hospital, I did not hesitate to accept. These are my people, my family if you will, and it was a special evening to be able to share with them my new role as Mrs. International 2012 and remind us all that we are survivors and blessed to be alive!

Mikki, Lily & Me

Thank you to Mikki for the invitation, the Minnesota Professional Firefighters Association and Regions Hospital Burn Center for hosting the wonderful holiday party! Also, my appreciation goes to the children who smiled for the camera with me…and especially to my SOAR buddy Hamida shown below.

With Stephanie and her Mother

Morgan, Abby, and me
 
Hamida and me

Teria and me

With love and appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fuji TV’s Amazing Stories

“Konnichiwa” (Hello) to those of you reading this blog! Watashi wa Sarah Desu (I am Sarah) and I am  excited to share with you the news that my story will be featured on a show called Amazing Stories which is a prime-time show airing in Japan on December 20, 2012 at 8:00pm. Ironically, I find it to be quite amazing that the Tokyo based Fuji TV producers found my story so compelling that they sent their New York crew to interview and film Joe and me in our home on the afternoon of December 9th.

When they contacted Allison my Minnesota director, the International headquarters, and my assistant Becky, we were not quite certain what this inquiry really meant, however, they were very gracious and thorough in their correspondence. We reached out to my trusted classmate in Tokyo and the Phoenix Society Japan board member, who both assured me this is a very popular show throughout Japan and they were very familiar with its content.

Once we agreed to the interview, the list of requirements for information and documentation was exhaustive, but certainly understandable. It was only four days before Miho and Tsunekazu “Todd” were in our home after the initial contact. Miho was sweet and thoughtful in her role as the interviewer and Todd made sure he got the shots he needed with his camera and lights.

We will share the link to the show with all of you, however, you should be forewarned you will not understand a single word (unless you speak fluent Japanese), and the show will be aired with a voice over…oh, and in the episode I watched, you will see a small frame in the upper corner of the screen showing the reaction of shock and awe in the faces of the Japanese audience. The music is dramatic and overall the show will be heavy on the message of overcoming adversity.

Until we see the show, I thought I would share a few sneak peeks of the taping with you:

 
 
 
 
 
Special “Arigato Gozaimasu”(Thank You) to Miho for assisting my with my Japanese before we arrive in Tokyo on January 4, 2013!

With sincere appreciation,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

American Heart Association - Heart and Stroke Gala

 



The Heart & Stroke Gala and Pulse After Party for Young Professionals is the American Heart Association's 18th annual black-tie gala benefiting its mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

The evening celebrates: the work the mission; donors and volunteers; and — most importantly — the lives saved and improved because of everyone’s effort. From 2008-2012 the American Heart Association has funded 91 new studies at four Minnesota research institutions at a cost of $12.7 million.  Local research includes the University  of Minnesota, Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


Held in the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, the gala was a high-class event. I met up with a few of my fellow pageant sisters at volunteer orientation, we enjoyed a light dinner together and then began greeting guests as they arrived. My number one gal pal Gabby Taylor Miss Teen Minnesota 2012 and I helped direct guests to check-in and BidPal registration and then encouraged them to walk the red carpet and get their photo taken. The gala had a silent “electronic” auction with many different types of prizes as well as a live auction with 6 incredible packages to bid on from luxurious vacations to exclusive wines.


During the ceremony, honored guests, survivors and doctors were acknowledged and given awards followed by a presentation about a little girl with a heart condition who is directly affected by the amount of funds generated through the American Heart Association. It was a beautiful, emotional and well thought out ceremony. The night was wrapped up with an open call to give and donate funds to help men and women of all ages prevent, educate, and advocate for heart health.


Gabby and I had a blast playing with the little girls dressed up in their holiday ruffles and bows.


The American Heart Association is supported by so many wonderful people... Pictured above is one of my judges from Minnesota International 2012, Nick Zerwas. I should say, my favorite judge! I am thrilled for his recent success on becoming Representative Zerwas, and a Board Member for the American Heart Association!

Below, is my Minnesota Hair Guru, James Peterson! He is a dove. He keeps me laughing when I am stressing out about pageants. Thank you for always giving me perfect crown hair Jimmy!


Before the night was over we happened to run into a few Vikings players as they came into the Hilton before their big game verses daaaa Bears this Sunday… Skol Viks!! Here we are with Antoine Winfield #26 CB! And Kevin Williams #93 DT!

 
 

Such a lovely night filled with lovelier people! I feel so blessed to be able to make memories like this surrounded by people I love. Hugs and Kisses, and remember to live heart healthy!

XOXO,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012