Yesterday was a day full of appearances.. and surprises! I started off In Homer, NY for another appearance at the annual Winter Fest. I was planning on just making an appearance at their antique show, but about 5 minutes into the show, I was whisked away and asked to walk in a parade. I followed behind a young hockey team and twirled in my crown, sash & heels! The parade was short, but the spontaneity was so much fun!
After the parade, I drove off to Ithaca to pick up my sister queen and Miss Seneca Falls 2017, Neetu Chandak. She's a Junior at Cornell University and we rarely get to see each other, so I was really looking forward to spending the rest of the day together. We were going down to Corning, NY to help with the Miss Finger Lakes/Miss Upstate New York contestant interviews. The whole ride down, we talked about our lives, how we've got to where we are today, and what we'd like to do in the future. It was so refreshing to have such good company and spend quality time with a titleholder that is so passionate about the Miss America Organization.
Once we arrived in Corning, we helped escort the Outstanding Teen and Miss contestants back and forth between the hotel where the interviews were being held, and the venue where the onstage pageant would take place. A simple job, but it was a great few hours to spend time seeing and getting to know young women that I've both known, and just met. All the contestants looked so beautiful and confident before going into their interviews and I couldn't wait to see who would be joining the Miss New York Class of 2017! I also got to be reunited with some other Miss NY titleholders, Taisha St. Jean Miss Apple Festival, Emma Silen Miss Cosmopolitan, Allison DeLuca Miss Staten Island and possibly my favorite person of all time, Lorna Rose, a former Miss Finger Lakes and one of my closest friends/most valuable mentors.
Around 4pm, Neetu and I drove back up North for the Community Cabaret at the Center for the Arts in Homer, NY. This event was organized as a fundraiser for the Miss Pride of New York Organization and is one of their biggest events of the year. I was there to talk about my platform and perform my talent routine from Miss NY 2016 along with other Miss NY titleholders, teens and princesses. In the first act, I shared with the audience why my platform for Autism Acceptance is so important to me and what I do as a titleholder to spread the message about celebrating diversity. In the second act I performed my talent, which I was so excited about! I absolutely love performing for crowds and I always look forward to the butterflies I get right before walking on stage. This time, though my routine didn't go exactly as planned. There was one slick spot on the left side of the stage and every time I went to that side, I slipped. I was so embarrassed but after I looked back at it, I couldn't help but laugh at myself!! The way I slipped when I went to go into a leap (also when the music says leap), was just hilarious. There's a video on my personal Instagram account (@Orange_girl23) if you need a good laugh!
Regardless of the mishap, I had a wonderful time being on stage to share about my platform and represent why the Miss America Organization is such a great avenue for young women to reach their fullest potential. The full day of traveling and appearances was undoubtedly an exciting one and I can't wait more days like this to come!
Throughout the whole cabaret, I was constantly updating my newsfeed on social media to anxiously see who won the Miss Finger Lakes/Miss Upstate New York Pageant. Finally, it was announced that Baylee Simpson (former Miss Fulton County, Miss Buffalo and 1st Runner Up to Miss New York) won Miss Upstate New York and Cassie Paradise (former Miss Southern Tier and Miss Richmond County) won Miss Finger Lakes! (These two are also best friends, how awesome?!) Congratulations to Cassie and Baylee and Welcome to the Miss New York Class of 2017!