Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reduction in Smoking-Related Deaths

Happy Halloween! In the spirit of this festive day, I wanted to share a real treat for New Yorkers. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported on Thursday that there are fewer New Yorkers dying from smoking. Smoking-related deaths dropped by 17% over much of the last decade. Some 8,700 residents were killed by smoking-related illnesses in 2002, compared to about 7,200 last year.

Quitters can look forward to more immediate benefits, according to the National Cancer Institute. Levels of carbon monoxide in the blood, which restricts the travel of oxygen through the body, begin to fall within hours. Circulation picks up within weeks, and in that time quitters are coughing and wheezing less, and producing less phlegm. Heart rate and blood pressure start to decline to normal levels, as well.

Over the long term, stubbing out the cigarettes cuts heart disease risk and cancer. The younger you are when you quit, the lower your chances of dying from those diseases. Stopping by age thirty reduces your risk by 90%; stopping by age fifty lowers those chances by half compared to people who continue to smoke.

The damaging effects of smoking may be more permanent for people who pick up the habit in their teens because their bodies are smaller and therefore get more exposure to the toxic chemicals in cigarettes. This fact solidifies my platform's message on the importance for kids to never start smoking. However, five to ten years out from quitting, the risks for cancer or heart disease or stroke are pretty much the same as for a nonsmoker. So, it is definitely worth it to quit smoking.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Media Attention!

Remember when I participated in Miracle Jeans Day with Silver Lake Specialized Care Center? Well, WE MADE THE NEWSPAPER! We were featured in Sunday's Staten Island Advance. Here is the picture and the caption straight from the local paper:


Staffers at Silver Lake Specialized Care Center, Brighton Heights, participated in the second annual Miracle Jeans Day. Kimberly Cantoni, Miss Richmond County 2010, and staffers teamed with the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System Foundation to "go casual for kids by trading their business attire for jeans. Miracle Jeans Day was developed by the Children's Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals. Nearly $26,000 was raised for the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, which has partnered with CMN.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hauntingly Health Fair

As my year as Miss Richmond County draws to an end, so does my appearances throughout Staten Island. Today I made my last appearance as Miss Richmond County. I was invited to promote my platform as the Staten Island University Hospital North Kids Health Fair at the Irving R. Boody, Jr. Medical Arts Pavilion. Kids from the ages of 2-12 enjoyed a day of helpful tips in order to stay fit and health. Not only did I have the opportunity to talk to the kids about living smoke free lives, but I distributed over one hundred of my T.E.A.C.H. packets. Other activities for the kids were dental screenings, speech and hearing screenings, crafts table provided by the Staten Island Children's Museum and Staten Island University Hospital, fire safety, face painting, and even a magician. This appearance was a rewarding way for me to round out my year. I was able to start and end my reign promoting T.E.A.C.H., my national recognized platform that has been a positive impact to children throughout New York. Every time a child says to me that because of T.E.A.C.H. he/she will never start smoking, it is a constant reminder of why I am involved in the Miss America Organization. Being Miss Richmond County has given me a voice to project all of my issues of concern, to make a difference in my community, and to be a role model to everyone whose lives I have touched.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

Sweet Sixteens are always a special occasion that mark a milestone. The American Cancer Society Staten Island Region marked another milestone by celebrating its Sweet Sixteen for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. The annual walk took place at its usual destination, Clove Lakes Park. I was the Team Captain for Silver Lake Specialized Care Center, which raised $441 for the event. There were some familiar faces present at the walk that included Shelley Jain (Miss Staten Island's Outstanding Teen 2010), Christina Moore (Miss Brooklyn 2011), Martha Price (Miss Bristol 2010) and my beautiful Alpha Delta Pi sorority sisters. Many Staten Islanders come out to this walk year after year, rain or shine, to remember those women and men who have lost their battles with breast cancer and to honor the courageous ones who have survived. Luckily, it was a gorgeous day to come out to the park and walk to create a world full of more birthdays, more milestones, and more hope for a cure.

Team Silver Lake

Christina Moore, Miss Brooklyn 2011

Shelley Jain, Miss Staten Island's Outstanding Teen 2010

My Alpha Delta Pi Sisters

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Class of 2011 is Underway!

The Miss New York Class of 2011 is starting to flourish as local pageants are beginning to crown their new titleholders. Congratulations to all the girls and much success during your year of service. Here are the titleholders who so far make up the Class of 2011:

Miss Thousand Islands 2011: Morgan Bocciolatt
Miss Buffalo 2011: Desiree Wiley
Miss Forest Queen 2011: Allison Carlos
Miss Brooklyn 2011: Christina Moore
Miss Kings County 2011: Carmen Mendoza

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Parades and Picnics

Another busy weekend! My day started at the 20th annual Staten Island Columbus Day Parade in New Dorp. This is my third year participating in the parade as a titleholder. However, I have been dancing down New Dorp Lane with several dance studios for a number of years. This parade means a lot to me because it gives me the opportunity to celebrate my Italian-American heritage. Shelley Jain, Miss Staten Island's Outstanding Teen 2010, joined me down the parade route. The parade was sponsored by Borough President James P. Molinaro and co-sponsored by Councilman James Oddo.

Congressman Michael McMahon

SI Live Photo

This was the first year that the SIPE (Staten Island Pride Events) was represented at the parade. Which brings me to my next appearance...the Coming Out Picnic in New Brighton. The LGBT Community hosts their annual picnic at the Unitarian Church. Once the parade was over, I headed straight to the picnic to join in on the festivities. Claire Buffie, Miss New York 2010, was one of the guest speakers. Her platform, "Straight for Equality:Let's Talk", focuses on the equality amongst youth, teens and adults. Jennifer Scacco (Miss Staten Island 2010), Jeoffrey Watson (Mr. New York) and members of the Miss New York Organization as well as the Miss Staten Island Organization were among the attendees.