Hello everyone! Happy holidays!
Recently, my life has consisted of college, work, volunteering, and platform work. But as of last Monday, I officially completed my undergraduate degree, meaning I finally have some free time to update you all on what I have been doing the past few months. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the read :)
Speaking at Saint Joseph’s & Tie-Blanket Donation Drive— I am so proud of this project. As I have mentioned, I was a camp counselor at Camp Odayin last summer. One night, almost a hundred tie-blankets were brought out and each of the campers got to choose one. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to organize a tie-blanket drive myself and help bring that much joy to children who have been through a lot. I went to Saint Joseph of the Lakes parish with my idea, and they helped me make it happen (shout out to Steve & Kelly)! I wrote a message that was put in the bulletin for a month, spoke in front of hundreds of people one night during faith formation, prepared all the fleece at my house with some help (shout out to my mom!), and then tied the blankets with 70 faith formation kids. Some of the donated fleece was too small to make kid-sized blankets, so I decided to cut the fleece into mini blankets and donate them to the Animal Humane Society. I could not have been more pleased with the results, and I have a good feeling that all the hard work and kindness of those involved brought a smile to many children of Gillette and Children’s Hospital!!
Princess Party—For this event, Blaine City Hall was transformed into a princess castle complete with pink balloons, treats, games, balloon animals, a dance floor, and of course the main attraction of Elsa, Belle, and Cinderella. I was in charge of escorting little princesses to the stage to get their pictures taken with the Disney princesses, and it was the cutest thing to watch all their faces light up. For events, I am usually the only one wearing a crown, but at this event, almost all of the 225 princesses were wearing one!
Girls on the Run—Earlier in the year, I signed up to be a Girls on the Run coach for the fall season at a Blaine elementary school. Girls on the Run is an after-school program that aims to empower 3rd-5th grade girls, helps them learn life skills, and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Each week, I would help lead activities and run laps with the girls. At the end of the season in November, we (along with the girls and coaches from all the other schools around the Twin Cities) ran a 5K together to celebrate the season at Lake Harriet. It was freezing that morning, but it was definitely a fun (and healthy) way to end the season!
My Birthday—Well, I’m feeling 22! I started off my birthday morning by getting my free Caribou (obviously) and then I dropped off the blanket donations at Gillette and Children’s hospitals! After, I went shopping at MOA, so all in all, a pretty great day. Thanks again for all the birthday posts, messages, and texts! Much love.
Miss Waseca/South Central—Katherine and I attended the Miss Waseca/South Central pageant a few weeks ago. What a show and hilarious emcees! Congrats to the new members of the Miss Minnesota Class of 2017!
Speaking at Aurora Charter School—As I have mentioned before, I spent every Tuesday morning this semester volunteering in first grade at Aurora. On my final day in the classroom, instead of showing up as Maestra Allie, I surprised the kids and showed up as Miss Chain of Lakes! I gave a presentation in Spanish about my platform and the importance of kindness. I also had them do a kindness project and write a thank-you to someone. To end, the class surprised ME and presented me with THE SWEETEST gift. Each student drew me a picture and wrote me a note, and Maestra made the pages into a book! Working with kids is so rewarding.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing—Princess Lauryn and I had so much fun ringing for the Salvation Army. While it was a little chilly (okay, it was cold), we braved the weather for a good cause. People were so generous, and we even received a $50 bill in our kettle!
Photoshoot—Saying I had a great time is an understatement. Special thanks to Paula Preston Photography and Jungle Red Salon for their sponsorship. I felt so amazing and CANNOT WAIT to show everyone my official Miss Minnesota head shot!!! But for now, it must remain a secret:)
Toys for Tots Involvement—For this holiday season, I wanted to utilize my platform and show that kindness really does cause a chain reaction. I signed up my dad’s business to be a Toys for Tots drop-off site and have collection bin, and I also decided to put a donation bin in the front entryway of our house. When family came over for the holidays, I requested that they each bring a toy to donate, and let’s just say they did! The boxes were filled. However, I didn’t want to stop there, so I signed up to volunteer at the warehouse after I dropped off the donations. That was an awesome experience. I met the wonderful Marines in charge of the Toys for Tots Twin Cities donations and helped sort hundreds and hundreds of toys to be brought to kids in need. My brother and mom came along, and it was a really great way to spend time together and benefit the greater community during this holiday season.
Graduation—Well, that’s a wrap! I am officially a graduate of the University of Minnesota with my Bachelor of Science, Spanish minor, and Applied Business Certificate. Wow, I am so proud and grateful to have had the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university. Sadly, my college does not host a big graduation ceremony, so I have to wait until May to walk and wear a cap and gown, but it will definitely be worth the wait!
That is all for now. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that 2017 is your best year yet!