Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beauty for a Cause

Since the age of 7, the word Cancer has always stood so close to my heart. "Although the disease can dwindle a life away it can never erase a memory or a spirit to defeat." This author unknown quote is apart of my reasoning on how one day WE will over come cancer. Looking through the pictures above it is clear that I helped with a local pageant but what you do not see is the amazing young woman this pageant was for. Ashley is a 17 year old from Smyrna, who was tragically diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. Thinking back on your life, I am sure one of the most important moments you remember is "ruling" the school as a senior in high school, there was nothing Ashley was looking forward more than that. A straight A student, with softball scouts looking at her at almost every game her junior year, never saw the curve ball that was coming her way. Missing out on most of her senior year thanks to chemotherapy and other treatments to slow the cancer down was not the focus of this young woman, it was to get better, encourage others, and find a cure.

Ashley enjoyed pageants so much and was actually a contestant last year in the Miss Music City Outstanding Teen pageant, that is why there was no question what type a fundraiser we would have for this young lady. At this pageant each girl from age 2 to 19 was able to enter the pageant knowing that there fee was going to such a good cause. Silent auction items lined the stage so that even more donations could come in to such a deserving young lady. As the pageant came to a close Ashley and her mom were brave enough to speak about the year they faced head on. I was so impressed how honest and true they were about each detail the disease took on her and their family, not many people can tell the details they did and having such a positive outlook.

It is such a blessing to see young women taking a stand and helping other young ladies better their life, their courage and their spirit and that is exactly what this day ment to all of us. Ashley's mother said it best, "when there wasn't a door to be opened, we built one and painted it what color we wanted it to be." I have no doubt one day we will find a cure for cancer, but until then I will build as many pink, purple, and yellow doors as I can; one for each person I have lost in my life.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Moped To Memphis

I feel so blessed to have grown up around such a wonderful man as Mr. Frank Falls: a teacher, mentor, friend and role model for all who are near. In 2009 Mr. Falls, an economic teacher at Clover High School started a program called Moped to Memphis, this program focuses on raising money at Clover High for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. In March of every year, Mr. Falls brings the money that his students as well as the Clover community has so generously raised all the way to Memphis on a moped from Clover, South Carolina. Traveling over 600 miles Mr. Falls has made it a personal goal to raise 1 million dollars in his life time, and although that sounds like a lot of money, if there is anyone that can do it he can. I was so happy to get the call from him earlier in the year to ask me to join him along with his "moped" team in Memphis, I was so excited. This year Clover was able to collect $25,000 to donate, making their goal for next year at $30,000.

St. Jude has always had a special place in my heart considering that was where my friend Noelle had all of her treatment when she was going through her cancer treatment. It was an amazing thing to see how much each Doctor, Nurse, and care giver cared for every patient there at the hospital. Touring the hospital, I had so much fun seeing each child smile and point and the shiny crown that I am so blessed to wear. It still amazes me what an impact this "hat" that all 36 of us are able to put on and reach out to those who need it. Every smile, laugh, hug, or picture I get to share with a child, parent or caregiver is a moment I will remember for a lifetime. There are not many times in a persons life when you can say, "I know a difference was made," and it was not because of anything I said or did but just because I was there.

My hope is that YOU find a way to "be there" and make the difference that you want to see in the world. With just one smile you can change one persons day and even there life. Everything we receive in life or don't receive is a blessing, take each one as a sign for your future!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

84 Days from now

How crazy does is sound that in 84 days we will know who the new Miss Tennessee is? This year has been a wild and crazy journey but one that is so worth the ride! The amazing experience that I have had to not only represent Music City but Relay For Life and Children's Miracle Network has been a true blessing! As I watched Nicole Jordan enter the room at the Miss Tennessee workshop, I knew that her year as Miss TN was nothing less than remarkable, not because the crown that she wore on her head, but the place that each child and adult that met her along her journey had for her in their heart. When someone truly touches someone its not the outfit, hair, make up or environment they remember its the connection that they feel when they walk away from them that sticks out. Leaving the Miss TN Workshop I felt that this "family" had that connection and that I was truly touched and made better by the words that Nicole spoke. In life we hear so many negative comments about our world, our youth, and how everything is going down hill. When are we going to wise up and see that there are people making a difference? No matter what happens 84 days from now, it is my goal to make a difference in every life that I come in contact with! I want to thank so many people for helping me come this far, because with out steps in life we could go no where!

As you look at the pictures from workshop know that any of the contestants that are competing for the title of Miss TN would represent our state well, not because they are beautiful but because they all have a genuine passion for making a difference in the short amount of time we are given here on this Earth!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

IHOP + CMN = One Tasty Combo

A Birthday Celebration combined with pancakes, raising money for Children's Miracle Network and being with beautiful ladies is the best way to describe my night tonight! As some of you may know today, March 1st is my birthday and I had the privilege of celebrating my special day with one of CMN's most important fundraising days and that is IHOP's National Pancake Day! The Nashville IHOP was packed from start to finish and filled with many people who were not only ready to eat pancakes but to donate to the wonderful cause as well. I was blessed to have four Belmont University students who also happen to be Miss TN contestants come and celebrate the wonderful day with me and help me thank all of the wonderful supporters that came out tonight for this amazing event. My talented Outstanding Teen was also there to encourage customers to donate to CMN! I can not wait to see how much money we were all able to raise tonight. Thank you again to the Nashville IHOP we as Miss America contestants can not thank you enough for all that you do for Children's Miracle Network and our community. I can honestly say from experience that Children's Miracle Network is making miracles happen one life at a time. Walking through the halls of any CMN hospital you are sure to find the love and care that you would want to be given in a time of need. If you were not able to go to an IHOP and would like to donate to CMN please visit my website and DONATE! My goal is to raise $1,000 by June and I know with your help I can make my dreams come true while making miracles happen for many kids.

Click this link to access my CMN fundraising page:

If you would like to see more photo's from tonight's event please visit Miss Music City's Facebook Page!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Will you be my Valentine Del Webb?

What better way to spend Valentine's weekend than at one of the places I treasure the most from my year so far as Miss Music City, and that is Del Webb Lake Providence. Every time I come back to this place, the residents are so excited to talk and to hear me sing. With this being Valentines weekend, I made sure that LOVE songs were on my list to sing! I had such an amazing time again, and can't wait to go back and visit all my "Del Webbians" as I call them, again!

Monday, January 17, 2011

On both sides of the table!

Look who I found at the pageant, my favorite TN Princess Macy Moyer
Talking to Miss America Teen on the Red Carpet!
Us Judges in the "Green Room" and it is actually Green!
Mrs. TN and I on the first night of competition!

WOW! That is the best word that could describe this weekend for me, if you do not know this weekend I was asked to judge the Miss America Teen Pageant and what a honor that is in its self! Although I have had the opportunity to judge many pageants this one especially was so difficult! The quality of the young ladies from every state were just simply amazing. It was so difficult to find the right girl for the job of Miss Jr Teen America and Miss America Teen that the judges ourself were in question of who was going to win! I am so happy to announce that our new Miss Jr Teen America and Miss America Teen are already on the job and ready to promote their platforms which both happen to be bullying as well as the Miss America Teen Program. I feel blessed and honored to have met all of the young ladies this past weekend and host them here in Nashville, TN!

It is great to have so many beautiful, talented, and caring young woman in my city and of course as Miss Music City I was so excited to show everyone around! If you would like to know more about this wonderful program or watch the competition LIVE from last night please follow the link and it will take you right to it, you may also see me on the Red Carpet!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Music City Bowl

Over the Holidays it was great to be in Music City for the wonderful Music City Bowl! This year the University of North Carolina and University of Tennessee were chosen to face one another at LP Field right downtown Nashville! I am so glad that the Music City Bowl invited me, Miss Music City to be involved with some of the activities! My first appearance was at The Bluebird Cafe where I was able to meet all of the coaches wives from both UNC and UT. All of us ladies enjoyed a wonderful lunch provided by The Bluebird as well as special entertainment from three of Nashville's finest songwriters!

As all of you know you can't have a great football game without a wonderful marching band and well we didn't just have one at the Battle of the Bands we had two! The crowd traveled downtown Nashville for some awesome music and fun plus some time in the rain. The country group Little Texas kicked off the show and guess who got to introduce them, yep you are right your very own Miss Music City! UNC and UT fans crowded around the stage and clearly took advantage of this wonderful opportunity to cheer on their football team, attend a great concert and listen to their favorite college marching band all right in the streets of downtown Music City! UNC and UT battled back and forth to see which band the crowd loved more and although the winner was not announced I think TN took home the win as far as the band goes. I had an awesome time hanging out with the fans and meeting all sorts of people, and I even was on Nashville's very own Channel 2!

It is such an honor to represent such an amazing community that no matter what stands behind one another! Thank you to all who attended the Music City Bowl, its hard to think that only 6 months ago where we all stood on that stage was completely under water! I can not wait to see what all 2011 brings to me good or bad each are opportunities that I am willing and able to take to become the best woman I can be.

Wishing you and your family the BEST year ever in 2011!

Much Love,

Victoria VanDyke