Thursday, October 30, 2008

Miss Lonesome Pine Contestants

Rachel Miller

Victoria Jordan
Nancy Kamal

Misti Caviness

Megan Boggs

Megan Boyd

Amanda French
Alisha Evans

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Miss VA USA and Teen USA crowned

Last night in Bristol, two young women were given the opportunity to represent Virginia in a national pageant. Congrats, ladies!

Miss Virginia And Miss Virginia Teen USA 2009 Crowned At VIC

Bristol Herald Courier, Earl Neikirk

Miss Virginia Teen USA 2009, left, Maggie Lawson and Miss Virginia USA 2009, right, Maegan Phillips, were crowned Saturday, October, 25, 2008 in Bristol, Va. at Virginia Intermont College.

By The Continuous News Desk

Published: October 26, 2008

Miss Virginia Teen USA 2009, left, Maggie Lawson and Miss Virginia USA 2009, right, Maegan Phillips, were crowned Saturday, October, 25, 2008 in Bristol, Va. at Virginia Intermont College. Lawson is 17 and from Bristol, Va. Phillips is 21 and from Quantico, Va. The winners continue on and Miss Virginia will compete in the Miss USA pageant.

Check out Monday’s Bristol Herald Courier for more info and photos.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Last weekend, I received an incredible blessing! My school schedule has kept me from being able to update until now, but I am finally ready to blog!

This last weekend I competed in my first Miss America preliminary of the season-Miss Hill City/Star City. I knew going into the pageant that I would truly be happy to win either title; I’ve lived for 4.5 years in Lynchburg and consider it my second home but also currently live 30 minutes from Roanoke, too! I was really excited heading into the weekend.

I want to personally thank Sarah Fitzpatrick for her help leading up to the pageant. My evening gown needed a few last minute alterations that I couldn’t afford and didn’t trust to a new seamstress; Sarah performed them herself. She also loaned me her earrings during the night of the pageants when I left every pair in my hotel room. Thank you so much for your help, support, and continued friendship! As the “Lynchburg” people, I also appreciate your attempts to help me through the more confusing roads of Lynchburg that I STILL get lost on!

I was really blessed to have numerous people in the audience supporting me. My mom had planned to come but my brother became incredibly sick a few days before the pageant. Even though I heard him in the background on the phone encouraging my mom to come, I am glad she decided to stay home and take care of him and his bronchitis. Doug, your time as escort will sure come again

Thanks to Carolyn and Mandi Dolan for being such wonderful people and being a great cheering section! I also had good friends Shannon Oliver and Katie Uze in the audience, who stayed with me during the weekend. The three of us are a true emblem of the Miss Virginia “sisterhood” and I appreciate both of them coming a long way to support me!

This was the first pageant I’ve competed in that I felt 100% confident with myself and my clothing. I walked out of my interview almost laughing with myself because I knew I had been so true to myself, even admitting the dorky qualities about myself that make me Laura. I really felt like the judges got to know me and why I wanted the job, and I was really impressed with the judges- they were well versed in how to run an interview! The questions were great, there were no awkward pauses, and the topics covered were a wide range.

The girls competing in this pageant were GREAT. It is so much fun getting to know new people backstage. Five minutes before the crowning, Amanda Jones and I were talking about where we should compete next. I suggested that we should both drive to Miss Apple Blossom Festival, and so when Amanda was crowned as Miss Star City, I was just as excited for her as when I won! It’s always a pleasure seeing Farahn, Heather Baker, Emily Hall and family (whose younger sister Olivia is the new Hill City preteen!), but it was also nice to meet new faces.

I consider it an incredible blessing to have won. The judges asked me in my interview what one word best described me and I chose “persistent.” I have never given up, despite the odds. Miss Hill City was my 13th pageant ( 11 locals and Miss Virginia!) but for the second time this year 13 wasn’t such an unlucky number. I was contestant #13 at Miss Virginia, so I’ve decided to embrace the “unlucky 13”!

I’ve talked to many people about the power of this organization to help young women grow, and I feel that it has done just that for me. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I won a pageant. I’m so used to driving and competing in a pageant and coming home, so all this week I left that “Hill City” banner sitting out where I could see it to remind myself! What an incredible opportunity for me. Like the other opportunities in my life, I’m going to take it and run with it. I’ve been given the chance to pursue my educational dreams at Tech and my personal dreams this year, and that is a wonderful experience.

I’ve been busy since getting back jumping back into teaching and volunteering yesterday at Virginia Tech’s Chocolate Festival, but I’ll have more updates soon! For the next few days I will return to “Student Laura”, but I’ll be back!

Thanks to Katie Uze and Hester Fletcher for taking photos, some have been posted on my personal website.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Miss Hampton University

It took some work with Google, but I finally discovered who won Miss Hampton University last night!

The winner is Shannon Cooper, and according to the blog I found, she's a senior communicative sciences and disorders major. She's originally from Miami, where she interned at the Speech, Language, and Hearing Center this summer.
She performed a dance solo to Christina Aguilera's "Walk Away".

Her platform is
I Hold the Key to Communication: Speaking Out about Hearing Loss, Who It Affects and How It Can Be Avoided

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Miss Clayland to be Crowned

Tomorrow Karissa Martin, reigning Miss Ohio, will crown a new Miss Clayland. The Miss Clayland program is known for giving out great scholarships; the article below mentions that the winner will get $4,500.

The contestants are Erica Gelhaus (2nd runner up to Karissa at Miss Ohio this year), Alicia Huyghe, Monica Johnson, Starkeisha Coleman, and Danielle Henry.

Best of luck, ladies!

Next weekend will be a "double crown" weekend as in Virginia there will be a new Miss Hill City and Miss Star City and in Ohio a Miss Portsmouth and Miss Scioto Valley.

Miss Clayland

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Election Update

I know I'm a big political nerd, but this is the most fascinating election we've seen in a long time. Let's take a look at some polling information to see how the candidates are doing.

The "old battleground states" OH, VA, MI: These three are current projected to go to Obama.

Ohio: McCain had the lead, peaking on September 11, until September 30, when he and Obama became deadlocked. Obama's gap has since widened, today giving him 48.9 % and the lead.

Michigan: Obama had been leading all throughout August, so it's not a surprise that this is the state McCain chose to vacate. Today, Obama sits at 49.1.% of the vote.

VA: Virginia's has been all over the place. After September 26, though, Obama has surged into the lead. Today, he sits at 49.9%

The "new battleground states"
North Carolina: Virginia's southern neighbor, McCain has had a dramatic lead in the state (sometimes an 11% lead!) but the candidates are nearly deadlocked right now.

Missouri: The same is true of Missouri. McCain had a vast lead in Missouri and was projected to win here, but it's too close to call as of today.

Want to know what the current polls are predicting? You can check out the site where I got my information and follow it up on your own. Yahoo has provided an up to date electoral map with polling numbers and state by state information.

Check it out here.

I need your help!

As many of you know, I'm preparing to compete in the Miss Hill City/Star City pageant on October 18, 2008. Thanks to some generous donors, I've raised most of my CMN money for this pageant. I'm still $35 away from my goal! Would you consider donating $5 or $10 to help me get to Miss Hill City/Star City, and ideally one step closer to Miss Virginia?

I'd really appreciate any help you can give.


Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm done!

I'm mailing off my absentee ballot today (even though I've lived in Virginia the last 4.5 years, VT didn't consider me a VA resident because I hadn't been a renter, and hey, Ohio needs my vote anyways!) and today is also the deadline for VA and DC voters to register. I don't need to remind you how important it is to vote in this election; many would argue that this is "the most important election of our time". So exercise your civic responsibility! Read up on the candidates, and not just those running for president! My Ohio ballot was two pages front and back full of races and issues, so be an informed voter whether you're voting absentee or heading to the polls!

You can follow up on the latest election news at the website below, which shares polls from around the country. Keep in mind, though, that during primary season many news outlets called wins for Obama using exit polls and they didn't reflect the real outcome: sometimes polls aren't indicative of reality. They can be a helpful guide, but if close recent elections are anything to go by, we'll have to wait until late Election Night to really know what happened!

P.S. I know McCain had to pull out of somewhere due to finances, but Michigan? There are few places hurting in the country worse than the Ohio/Michigan area, and I think such an abrupt leave sends the message that he doesn't care about voters there. I guess we'll see how that one pans out, but I predict that MI will go for Obama in light of the recent economic problems on Wall Street and McCain's abandonment of a state in such desperate need of help.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Upcoming Pageants

We're getting into the 2008-2009 pageant season! The season kicks off with these upcoming pageants:

October 11th, 2008: Miss Hampton University
Closed Pageant

October 18, 2008: Miss Hill City/Star City
Open Stacked Pageant
Lynchburg, VA
Now Held at Dunbar Middle School

November 8, 2008: Miss Lonesome Pine
Open Pageant

November 8, 2008: Miss Hampton Roads
Open Pageant

November 8, 2008: Miss Apple Blossom Festival
Open Pageant

Check out the Miss Virginia website for details and come out to support the girls!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sharing a little talent

It's time for a little shameless promotion!
My fabulous Miss Virginia roommate and friend Shannon Oliver, Miss Virginia Beach, has been recording songs. It's not news to anyone that Shannon is incredibly talented (among her many other qualities!)

She has created a myspace to share her songs, and I wanted to provide a link here to people could literally hear what she is up to! Shannon is a great roommate to have at Miss Virginia for her endless entertainment and great personality.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lynchburg's Junior Miss

On Sunday, Miss Lynchburg, Sarah Fitzpatrick and I went to go watch the Greater Lynchburg's Junior Miss Program. I have another post coming later this pictures, but the Lynchburg News and Advance has an article covering the winners.

Three winners headed to state