Thursday, November 18, 2010

The end of another chapter...

As the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end". On Saturday night, I passed on the title, the job responsibilities, and the crown of Miss Richmond County to my successor. Wow, what a surreal moment...

The Miss Staten Island Pageant took place at its usual home, New Dorp High School, on November 13th. This was a special event as the organization celebrated its 45th anniversary.The Miss Staten Island Pageant is one of the longest local pageants in the Miss New York Organization. It is such an honor to be a part of this milestone as a former Miss Staten Island. As a little girl, I looked up to all the Miss Staten Islands as my role models, my big sisters, my inspiration. I wanted to be just like them; to grow up to one day become Miss Staten Island. And it finally happened in 2009. That crowning moment was something I have been waiting for my entire life. The opportunity to represent my hometown was an exhilarating feeling and an unbelievably experience. You can imagine I had the same excitement as Miss Richmond County. To have a legacy as the first Miss Richmond County to compete in the Miss America Organization is an encomium I will never forget. I also feel honored to be a part of new traditions not only for the Miss Staten Island Pageant, but for the borough of Staten Island. This was the first year the pageant crowned FOUR winners: Miss Staten Island, Miss Richmond County, Miss Staten Island Outstanding Teen, and Miss Richmond County Outstanding Teen. It is a wonderful opportunity that now two native Staten Islanders can represent the borough. I was ebullient to do so, and I know that future generations will appreciate the legacy that began with me.

Borough President James Molinaro and Jerry Ruggiero, President of the Miss Staten Island Pageant

Crowning my successor: Amanda Alicea, Miss Richmond County 2011

Amanda Alicea, Miss Richmond County 2011; Maria DeSantis, Miss Staten Island 2011; Shreya Jain, Miss Staten Island's Outstanding Teen 2011; Victoria Dugay, Miss Richmond County's Outstanding Teen 2011

Olivia Devoti, Miss Richmond County's Outstanding Teen 2010
Shelley Jain, Miss Staten Island's Outstanding Teen 2010
Kimberly Cantoni, Miss Richmond County 2010
Jennifer Scacco, Miss Staten Island 2010

Miss Richmond County 2010 and 2011

Miss Staten Island 2009, 2010, and 2011

Claire Buffie, Miss New York 2010

Jeoffrey Watson, Mr. New York 2010

All the local and state titleholders present at the pageant

My blog would not be complete without a post about my platform. November is National Lung Cancer Awareness month. Most lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking; it's the cause of 87% of all cases and is the direct factor of 90% of lung cancer-related deaths. Around 8.6 million are affected by serious illnesses associated with smoking, including: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, heart disease, pneumonia, acute myeloid leukemia and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Smoking may also lead to other cancers, such as of the throat, bladder, esophagus, cervix, stomach, pancreas, and kidneys. There are crucial short and long term reasons as to why smokers should quit. However, the clincher of reasons to quit: it's as simple as to save your life.

Today marks the 35th annual Great American Smokeout sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Smokers are encouraged to make a plan to quit or quit smoking today. The Great American Smokeout challenges smokers to stop using tobacco and helps them become more aware of the tools they can use to quit for good. Tobacco use remains to be the world's most preventable cause of death. So let's start to end this epidemic by help smokers quit the habit, and educating non-smoker (especially our children) to never start smoking. Students from PS 29 on Staten Island submitted short stories and poetry to the Staten Island Advance about the Great American Smokeout. Here is a poem that struck my interest, proving that children do know what smoking is and the dangers it causes:
"If you never smoked, please don't start!
And if you have, you'll tear yourself apart.
Listen up, don't ever smoke,
Because what I'm saying isn't a joke.
When I pass a smoker, there are tears in my eyes.
I hope he has said his last good-byes.
If you've never smoked, please don't try it.
If you see it in the store, please don't but it.
If you think it's cool
You're a fool."

Before I wrap up my blog I wanted to share an exciting announcement that I'm happy to share with you all on my last blog post...drum roll please...THE MISS NEW YORK PAGEANT IS COMING TO STATEN ISLAND!!! Words cannot describe how happy I am that the Miss New York Organization has chosen Staten Island as the new home for Miss New York. Here is the press release in the Staten Island Advance. You can also check out all the amazing things Staten Island has to offer at SINY- Proud of It!
Well, the time has come to say good-bye as your Miss Richmond County. It has been an amazing journey, one that I am happy I had the opportunity to share with all of you.