Sunday, April 25, 2010

Miss New York Workshop

Yesterday was an eventful day in Albany. Titleholders from all over the state conjugated for the 2010 Miss New York/Miss New York's Outstanding Teen Workshop. After meeting all the contestant for Miss New York, I can honestly say that the judges have a tough task on there hands. There are twenty beautiful, talented, and articulate young women vying for the title of Miss New York. It was wonderful seeing all the teen contestants as well.

The day began with handing in all our paperwork to the Miss New York Board and getting measured for the opening number dress (which is absolutely STUNNING!). All the Miss and Teen contestants performed their talents for Kent Parham (Choreographer/Artistic Director for the Miss New York Pageant) and Elizabeth Baldanza (Miss New York 2007). My talent is a contemporary dance to "Suite from Mulan" from Disney's Mulan. It is the same music I used in last year's pageant, however, I changed some of the choreography. The panel enjoyed my performance saying it was technical, effortless, and a pleasure to watch. I am appreciative of all their constructive criticism, which I will be able to implement effectively.

Paul Brown, Director of Operations, discussed the schedule for pageant week while Kent went over the wardrobe requirements for pageant week. Some exciting news was that Kenny Mack, Executive Producer of the organization, was announced as the new Executive Director for the Miss New York Organization.

The Miss contestants took part in an interview seminar with Kenny Mack and the reigning Miss New York, Alyse Zwick. We had the opportunity to see the interview of Chasity Hartman, Miss Georgia 2008 and first runner-up to Katie Stam at the Miss America Pageant. Once that was done we headed back to the stage where we did some walking and dancing with Kent. The conclusion of the day was a swimsuit seminar where we talked about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while preparing for the pageant (all while actually wearing a swimsuit!).

It was definitely an informative and productive day. I enjoyed getting to know all the contestants and cannot wait until June for the Miss New York Pageant!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone! I hope all of you took part in improving our environment in some way. Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in New York City. Denis Hayes, environmental activist, coordinated the first Earth Day event on April 22, 1970. Republican Mayor John Lindsay assisted Mr. Hayes into organizing the most successful premier for an Earth Day demonstration. Twenty million people came out to support this momentous event. He felt that this event had a big turn out due to a deep hungering to come together to improve the environment. "In 1969, nobody would have been able to give a coherent definition of the environment." At that time, breathing the New York air was equivalent to smoking two or two-and-a-half cigarettes a day. Forty years later, Earth Day in New York City remains to be a prevalent way to advocate the importance of protecting our planet.
As a local titleholder in the Miss America Organization, I noticed that the organization was also taking part in the celebration. Miss America has taken the initiative to promote the "green" movement through its Go Green platform, Keep America Beautiful. Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010, traveled to New York City to help launch the Keep America Beautiful's Green Starts Here Rally. Since I had the day off from work I decided to take the S.I. Ferry to Manhattan to take part in the festivities by supporting the Miss America Organization's going green movement. Earth Day New York hosted a public celebration in Time Square featuring environmental activists, business leaders, government officials, and entertainers. I had the chance to chat with Caressa Cameron about her Year of Service. She has such an outgoing personality. It was a pleasure talking with her. The event also highlighted the Great American Cleanup effort, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plaNYC (focusing on the efforts to improve the five key dimensions of the city's environment- land, water, air, energy, and transportation), and the Keep New York City Beautiful Organization.
Times Square

Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010

Caressa Cameron singing "America the Beautiful"

Matt McKenna, CEO/President of Keep America Beautiful

Gail Cunninghamm, Senior Vice President of Keep America Beautiful

Mandy Gonzalez, starring as Elphaba from Wicked

Broadway Cast of HAIR

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser

The Ronald McDonald House has held a special place in my heart ever since I joined Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. One of the positive aspects of being a sister to any sorority is the impact you enforce when you give back to your national philanthropy. In 1979, Alpha Delta Pi adopted the Ronald McDonald House as its national philanthropy. Since then, the sorority has contributed over $2 million nationally. For thirty-five years, the Ronald McDonald House has been improving the lives of families who has been faced with adversity. Known as "the house that love built", the Ronald McDonald House works to help the health and well being of children. It provides comfort, care, and acts as a home away from home for the families of seriously ill and injured children receiving medical treatment at nearby hospitals. More than 10 million families have utilized the Ronald McDonald houses, saving over $120 million in housing and meal expenses. There are a total of 240 houses in 25 countries.

My sorority sister, Martha Price, is the current Philanthropy Chairperson who invited me to emcee the sorority's second annual talent show supporting the Ronald McDonald House. Now here's an interesting fact about Martha...she is the reigning MISS BRISTOL! She will be competing in the Miss Connecticut Pageant in June. Actually, it is the SAME EXACT DAY as the Miss New York Pageant! She has chosen the Ronald McDonald House as her platform mainly for her active involvement with the organization. The talent show hosted a variety of performers including singers, musicians, and break dancing. I was ebullient to have this opportunity to give back to my sorority and the Ronald McDonald House. I remember when I was Philanthropy Chairperson how rewarding it was to have the opportunity to spearhead the fundraising efforts of my chapter to improve the lives of the children affiliated with the Ronald McDonald House. I am so proud of my sorority for the continued passion and dedication they have for this worthy charity.
Emceeing the Talent Show

Martha, Miss Bristol

The winners of the talent show

Gamma Pi Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi

Last year as Miss Staten Island, I visited the Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan. I was accompanied by some of my sorority sisters, who enjoyed playing video games, creating arts and craft projects, and dressing up with these inspirational kids. Here are some pictures from that appearance:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alzheimer's Foundation Endless Pastabilities

The Cromwell Center hosted the annual Endless Pastablilities event presented by the Alzheimer's Foundation of Staten Island. And let me tell you...the pasta was ENDLESS! Restaurants from all over Staten Island donated their best dishes to celebrate the organization's international food and wine festival.

Gladys Schweiger, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Foundation of Staten Island

My Dad and I even made the local paper! Here is the picture from the Staten Island Advance:
"Anna Lattanzio, left, gives a pasta dish from LiGreci Staaten to Lawrence Cantoni and Miss Richmond County 2010 Kimberly Cantoni. (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)"
Also happening today was the last local pageant in the Miss New York organization. Congratulations to Katie Martin, the new Miss Greater Rochester, and Chelsea Prophet, the new Miss Genesse Valley!