Wow! It was my first week on the job, and I have already driven almost 900 miles! I am off and running on my year of service as Miss Minnesota!
On Thursday, I made my first official appearance at the Special Olympics in St. Paul. Miss Frazee Emily Kallis and I were special guests in the autograph tent, along with some Lino Lakes royalty, an Olympic skier, and the Vikings cheerleaders. I was also invited to perform some musical selections at the event. I was so happy that this was my first appearance as Miss Minnesota; Special Olympics is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart because of how connected it is to my platform work. It is such a wonderful organization, providing opportunities for people with disabilities to experience success. Thank you to Alyssa Siech, our Special Olympics contact, for including the Miss Minnesota Organization in this event!
On Friday, I headed up to Perham, MN for their annual Turtlefest parade. I was invited to the stage to introduce myself and take photos before the parade. The kids I met were ADORABLE! A woman asked me to hold her newborn baby in one of the photos. I was calm then, but now every time I look at the photo, my heart starts racing a bit! I keep thinking, "Oh my goodness! Don't drop her!" I also met a man who is 102 years old! He needs to share his secret to living a long and healthy life! Following the big event, the parade committee treated me to a delicious dinner at Mulligan's and a wonderful hotel room at Crossings Inns & Suites. Thank you for treating me so well during my time in Perham!
The next day, I headed up to Brainerd for the Miss Brainerd Lakes and Miss Baxter pageants. Congratulations to the new additions to our sisterhood, Miss Brainerd Lakes Rebecca Yeh and Miss Baxter Haley Van Steenwyk. Also congratulations to Mary Peterson on an incredible year of service! It was great to reunite with the ladies I competed with last week at Miss Minnesota. We had a blast catching up at Applebee's following that night's pageant! We gorged ourselves on chicken wings and spinach artichoke dip! Also, thank you so much to Miss Twin Cities Lauren Johnson and her family for giving me a place to stay that night!
Finally, on Sunday, I headed up to Middle River way way up by the Canadian border to support the ladies vying for the title of Miss Marshall County. Congratulations to Katie Peterson, the new Miss Marshall County! You will represent your community well! Also congratulations to Moriah Nelson on a successful year of service!
Thank you to both the Brainerd Lakes/Baxter and Marshall County local committees for including me in your programs! I had such a great time. It has been wonderful spending my first week as Miss Minnesota exploring our great state!