Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Queen's Corner

Today I was back in New Jersey for The Queen's Corner Pageant Networking Event and Expo. This was a fundraiser for the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Pageant. I wanted to attend not only to support the pageant but to show support for my friend Keelie Sheridan, Miss Brooklyn 2009. It was a wonderful event organized by the founder of The Queen's Corner and Executive Director of the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Pageant Amaris Acosta.

With Keelie at The Queen's Corner

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Knife Fever

So, remember back in December when I had blogged about my show Twas the Knife Before Christmas with Kill-Her Entertainment and mentioned the show Saturday Knife Fever? Well, now I can finally tell you about the show! This past weekend the company took the show on the road to Sayreville, New Jersey where we performed for a church group having a party at one of the local catering halls. We were excited to perform for a new audience, since the majority of our fan base is from Staten Island. Someone from this group saw the show on Staten Island back in October and requested us to come to Sayreville. Kill-Her Entertainment is used to touring throughout the tri-state area. However, this was my first experience touring with the company. It is always interesting when you perform in a new venue. You really don't know what to expect (like transforming a storage area into the cast dressing room, or instead of having a regular dance call we were forced to adlib the dances during a pre-preshow because five tables have been seated WAY too early). That's what I love about live theatre. You have set blocking, dialogue, choreography....however, you have to be ready for anything and be able to go along with the flow. The show is inspired by the John Travolta classic, Saturday Night Fever. The story takes place at the disco club Odyssey in the 1970s.

The cast of Saturday Knife Fever

My favorite part of the show is the dance contest because I get the opportunity to showcase my choreography (I am the company's choreographer) as well as my dancing skills as Stephanie Marsala. Just like the movie, the Odyssey hosts a dance contest featuring Tony and Stephanie vs. Hector and Rosita. We also incorporate the Night Fever line dance from the movie to open Act II. It is the perfect time for the audience to interact with the cast. We invite them to the dance floor to learn the dance. The night was successful ending with a standing ovasion. I think Kill-Her Entertainment has a new fan base in Sayreville!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

IHOP's National Pancake Day

Before I made my appearance with the Staten Island Rotary, I woke up very early (5AM to be exact) and headed to IHOP for National Pancake Day, which was an all day event from 7AM-10PM. This was the fifth year IHOP has been sponsoring this widely popular event. National Pancake Day is the fundraiser benefiting the Children's Miracle Network, The Miss America Organization's National Platform. Caressa Cameron, our reigning Miss America, has been announced as the spokesperson for this year's National Pancake Day in addition to already being the Goodwill Ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network. Basically what happens is people come to IHOP to enjoy a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. In return, guests are asked to donate what they would have paid for the free pancakes, or more, to the Children’s Miracle Network hospital in their community. Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised more than $3.25 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. Usually, IHOP's National Pancake Day typically takes place on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, which signifies the start of Lent), this year the company decided to host its free pancake event on Tuesday, February 23, in order to extend the fundraising efforts by one week to maximize donations for Children's Miracle Network. This year, IHOP hopes to raise $1.75 million, which would make the cumulative fundraising efforts $5 million to commemorate the five years IHOP has hosted this event.

This was the second year I participated in National Pancake Day. Last year, I attended the event as Miss Staten Island helping IHOP raise $1.3 million for the Children's Miracle Network. I was excited to be able to participate once again at my local IHOP but this time as Miss Richmond County. I invited Kara Jae Kowalski, Miss New York's Outstanding Teen 2009, to accompany me that morning. We greeted guests, signed autographs, and told them how they could donate to the Children's Miracle Network. As we were enjoying our free stack of pancakes, Greg T from the Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show walked into IHOP while on the air! He mentioned the event on Z100 and even gave Kara and I a shout out! We invited him to our table for some pancakes as we talked to him about the event and our platforms. He even donated $65 to the organization! It was truly a successful event on Staten Island. We had a wonderful time promoting the Miss America National Platform. For more information on National Pancake Day, visit

Donating to Children's Miracle Network
Greeting Greg T from Z100

Thumbs up!
Chatting and having breakfast with Greg T

Wearing the red IHOP apron

With some IHOP waitresses

Last year with Master Kim, owner of IHOP on Staten Island

Interview with NY1

Staten Island Advance photo

Providing Hope for Haiti

It is hard to believe that it has been over a month since the earthquake hit Haiti. Just seeing the images on the news is a constant reminder of how this country is suffering. Despite all the relief efforts, it is prevalent that the country is still in complete devastation. I first heard of the earthquake at work through a co-worker. My workplace consists of a melting pot of employees. We have people from all over the world working at the facility, including those from Haiti. My heart broke when I found out that several co-workers had family members in Haiti and had no idea of their whereabouts. Some eventually found out they had lost a brother, a father, cousins, aunts, and uncles. One co-worker, in particular, has her whole family living in Haiti including her husband who runs an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince. Impacted by these distraught men and women who waited patiently to hear anything from their loved ones, I felt that I had to do something to help the relief efforts.
For the past six weeks, I have been collecting donations from co-workers to aid the earthquake victims. Through my involvement with the Rotary Clubs as Miss Staten Island and now as Miss Richmond County, I knew they would be doing something as well for the relief efforts for Haiti. I contacted the Staten Island Rotary Club and found out that they were collecting donations that will be distributed to the Rotary Clubs in Haiti, which are endeavoring to help those in need. The Rotary Clubs in Haiti are paying for plane fuel so special flights can bring needed goods, medical supplies, and medical specialists to the island country. The Rotarians will be unloading and distributing the supplies that are being donated. This is expected to be a long-term assistance effort.

In aid of the earthquake victims in Haiti, the Staten Island Rotary Foundation has announced it will match up to $2,500 in donations received by the organization. I have been able to raise $625 in donations for the Rotary Clubs in Haiti. The Staten Island Rotary Club matched the donation, bringing the total to $1,250. This was the first donation the club has received thus far. It was rewarding to be able to organize my own relief effort and make a difference for a country in desperate need for hope.

Oh, and in case you were wondering...Yoli, my co-worker, found out several days later that her whole family was alive and that the orphanage was still intact with all the children surviving.

At the Staten Island Rotary Club

Speaking to the Rotary

Presenting the check to John Amodio, Vice President of TD Bank on Staten Island and Rotarian

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Save Haiti's Children

Tonight I attended the Save Haiti's Children's Benefit Concert at All Saints Episcopal Church. I saw the event advertised in the Staten Island Advance and thought this would be a great way to show my support for the people in Haiti who have been devastated by the aftermaths of the earthquake. With general admission being a tax-deductible donation, my family and I enjoyed a night full of love songs, Broadway and pop music, poetry, and readings by some of New York's extremely talented performers that included Maria DeSantis, Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2007, and Alexandra Mazzucchelli, Miss New York's Outstanding Teen 2008. All proceeds were distributed to God's Littlest Angels and Partner's in Health.

Alexandra Mazzucchelli

Maria DeSantis

God's Littlest Angels is a non-profit organization founded on Christmas Day 1994. Its mission is to save the lives of Haitian infants who are in need of intensive nursing care and nutritional support. There are two houses in Haiti: the main house for babies up to two years old and the toddler house for children up to age seven. For more information on how you can help this Haitian baby ministry please visit

Partners in Health was founded in 1987 to deliver health care to the village of Cange, Haiti. The mission of this non-profit organization is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care focusing on patient care, program administration, drug procurement, technical assistance, and fundraising. Besides Haiti, Partners in Health is active in Peru, Lesotho, Malawi, Russia, Rwanda, Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of the United States. To learn more about this organization please visit

After the concert with Maria and Alex

Thursday, February 4, 2010

National Wear Red Day

On February 5th, women all across the country will be wearing something red for National Wear Red Day. The American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign helps bring the awareness of heart disease, the number one killer in women.

Make sure you spread the awareness by wearing red all day!

I wore my red at work today...I hope you did too!