I noticed my aunt who was in from Missouri watching my cousins still taking the time to drive my cousin Faith back and forth from the pageant to help me with side work.
I noticed our neighbor across the street who has become like family there before cheer, after cheer, and any time he could be to help me with props, crowning, and more
My husband who showed up on Sunday knowing I was 100% wiped out exhausted after 8 hours of sleep in 72 hours and took care of everything. He closed out bills, swept everything on carts, and made sure I had everything I needed to go home. He also walked me to and from every room and bathroom to make sure I was okay.
My daughter who got just as little of sleep as I did who emcee'd for the first time on her own Friday night and who worked her tail off helping me. My daughter who begs every year when I want to give up, "Mom please keep doing this".
The amazing little girls who hugged my neck and said "Thank you Ms. Jenn I had the best time ever!" (made me teary)
The moms who said "I really appreciate all the little things you did to make the weekend special for my daughter!"
My daughter's best friends parents who printed for me and worked back stage long exhausting hours
The hotel who goes above and beyond for us. Whom I told "the royalty party will be Alice in Wonderland this year" and they presented this.........
I noticed my nurse at home taking care of Jude and allowing me to run back and forth from the hotel to Jude to give him kisses without complaint.
Marilyn who set there in registration running everything she could to make it smooth and seamless for contestants.
My lifetime queen and her mom driving over an hour everyday just to help out.
I noticed my friend Dane offering to do our Queen of Hearts hair/makeup without charge just to make her day better.
After driving for 12 hours I noticed the amazing stage our photographer set up based on my requests. I was so impressed.
How about our beautiful Kaylee who sang amazingly to open our grand finale show
and the incredible Julissa who ushered in our royalty with her fabulous dance.
I work to try to teach the girls about the importance and the impact of customer service. We had a People's Choice award this year. Everyone could donate $1 per vote and all the proceeds went to benefit Kidds Kids in the honor of Kidd Kraddicks memory. I gave the task to Julissa (above) and another royalty Ashley. I explained just how important this task was and they immediately set a goal to raise $550! They actually far exceeded their goal and we mailed off a check to Kidds Kids yesterday for $772!!! These girls are truly amazing. I am SO impressed. The little girl that won the title is shown below. Isn't she darling?
At the pageant we give another two very distinguished awards. The first is the Emily's Smile Box scholarship award. Girls submit their community service work that they do throughout the pageant. Here is one of the finalists with Emily.
The winner was Abby Belcher. She started a foundation that focuses on stopping bullying. She barely got to crowning in time because she was in DC lobbying congress to start laws for anti-bullying..........a lot to do for someone so young.
Our next award is called the Queen of Hearts. This is given to someone who despite facing a tragedy or a difficult situation provides inspiration and hope to others through a positive attitude. This year we picked Mikaela Hudson. Her brother has RTS which is an affliction that affects only 600 people in the world. Mikaela is always there holding her brothers hand and helping him every step of the way.
Our next Queen of Hearts was Margaret. Who despite being in a massive car wreck still keeps a great attitude and even still attends her competitive cheer gym. I am going to post her picture and then her video we showed and I encourage you to watch it.
The entire group of girls that competed this weekend were beautiful and special! I wanted each one of them to remember that. The best compliment I have received by far is from someone that said "Jenn your slogan should be .... So much more than a pageant". I think I will go with that. Thank you to my friends, family, and all the contestants for making this such a fun and positive weekend. I hope someday you can look back and have learned some valuable lesson and remember the fun memories.
If I didn't list you on this blog just know that I NOTICED everyone and everything. No work and no help when unnoticed. See you next August ;)
Photo's courtesy of Labelle Fille
Kidds Kids: www.kiddskids.com