Relay for Life is something that I have been participating in for eight years as a survivor and team captain! This year, I had the privilege of sharing my personal story of having pediatric cancer and how the #GoldTogether program is making strides towards a cure. At our tent, we sold 70s themed merchandise (our tent theme), PDQ, lemonade, glow sticks, and raffle baskets. During the ten-hour event, we honored our Hero Child, Rachel Bilbray, who survived the same type of cancer that I had... she's like a little sister to me!
My friend Heather, sister Hailey, and I performed a few dances and shared our messages of HOPE.
One of my absolute favorite parts of Relay for Life is the Luminaria Ceremony. In this part of Relay, the track is lined with bags that include names of those who are fighting cancer, have survived cancer, or lost their battle. Everyone in attendance walks the lap together in order to remember why we continue to fight to find a cure! It's inspiring for me to see the community unite over this common ground that we all share.
I cannot wait to continue Relaying for years to come!
Today I joined Miss Florida 2018 Taylor Tyson and Miss Orlando 2019 Lindsay Bettis at Orange Park High School to watch them present Real Talk. Real Talk is a comprehensive educational program in partnership with Advanced Recovery Systems. The presentation shares the dangers of drugs and alcohol, specifically how it can result in substance abuse and addiction. It highlights the science and realities of this issue as well as welcomes real conversations. It empowers high school and college students to make informed decisions and avoid the unintended consequences that come from substance abuse. To learn more about Real Talk or to book a presentation at your school visit MissFloridaRealTalk.com
Advanced Recovery Systems is a physician-run company that is committed to providing cost-effective, quality treatment to adults and adolescents struggling with addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders, and mental health. To gain more information about their nationwide treatment centers, please visit therecoveryvillage.com
I had a wonderful day of learning and being involved in this presentation.
It is such an important message that everyone needs to hear!
This past weekend I was surrounded by the most dynamic, talented, and incredible young women in the state of Florida! All of the Miss Florida and Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen candidates attended orientation, so it was wonderful to meet everyone.
Friday my Mom and I checked into the hotel. Afterwards, we went out and explored Lakeland (it's gorgeous). On Saturday morning I turned in all of my official paperwork and shopped at some of the incredible Miss Florida Organization sponsors pop-up stores (Regalia Magnificent Apparel and Ann Marie's Boutique). In the afternoon, we took a 2019 class picture with all of the candidates and attended a meeting. Saturday night, everyone went to a Lakeland Flying Tigers baseball game organized by Visit Central Florida and the Miss Florida Organization. Before the, game we met with attendees and signed autograph cards. Then, we watched Jessie our reigning Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen and Taylor our reigning Miss Florida throw the first pitch! It was a great night of getting to know all of the girls and watch a game of baseball!
Sunday the outstanding teens began the day with spending time with Jessie, who had incredible advice and encouragement! In the afternoon, a general meeting took place where we discussed pageant week and what the job of Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen entails. One of the highlights of the meeting was hearing from Forever Miss Florida 2006 Allison Kreiger Walsh. Sunday was extra special, because it marked ten years since being diagnosed with childhood cancer. It's incredible to look back and see how God has been constantly faithful in every aspect of my journey. Little five and a half year old Hannah would have never imagined being at orientation for Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen ten years later. Overall it was an amazing weekend!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the Miss Florida Board, sponsors, Jessie and Taylor, and all of the Forevers for everything that you do. I feel extremely inspired and grateful for this opportunity.
I am so excited to be back in Lakeland soon with all of my sweet sisters!