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.


Sarah Lee said...

I am so incredibly thrilled for you! You rocked it and it paid off!

Lydia said...

I am so happy for you! I wish I could've been there, but I plan on making it to Miss VA this year to cheer you on! You're on your way to Miss America, get 'em baby!!! :)

Megan Wombacker said...

Congrats Laura! You are amazing-best of luck at Miss VA!!!!

Anonymous said...

I did not know you won another local :-( The sad face is not because you won, the sad face is because I did not know about it. You get a happy face for winning
:-) Its so exciting! I am so happy for you :-D I know you will do amazing at Miss Virginia!!!! Btw, how do you know Carolyn and Mandi Dolan?? Btw I listed you and Ashley both in the program book ok. Love, Brooke S.