Send-Off Parties

A few days before I left for Jacksonville last year, I had a send-off party. This was a time for me to be around my loved ones before leaving for the Miss International Pageant. Although I have seen many different types of send-off parties, I decided to make mine a more intimate setting so I would have time to thank those who supported me along the journey. I had mine in the party room at Maggiano’s. There was wonderful food, drinks, and music. The party was hosted by “Team Texas” and they made sure all my Houston-area family, friends, co-workers and sponsors were in attendance. The part I loved most was when I was able to publicly thank everyone individually for what they had contributed to my success. It was a night I will never forget, and the perfect way to begin what would be a life-changing week for me.

If you are thinking of doing a send-off party, you do not have to do it the way mine was set up. I have seen parties that are arranged as a way to gain some financial sponsorship. Pageants are not an inexpensive activity, so if you are still needing some extra funds, think about doing a fundraiser send-off. Everyone pays a certain amount to attend. Their cost includes food and the opportunity to support you to your journey to the crown! You can also do a send-off party at the organization or platform you are representing. This is a great way to continue highlighting what you are passionate about, while also being able to be encouraged and uplifted before you leave for Florida.

Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure that you thank everyone that has helped you get to where you are today. It was very important for me to recognize those who had supported me before I left for the pageant, so that they knew that win or lose, I was very thankful for everything they had done for me. If you are not able to have a party, I recommend reaching out to your family, friends, and sponsors to show them your appreciation!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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