Coming from an abusive childhood, I am proud to be in the position I am today this year I will celebrate my 50th birthday, and 30 years of marriage to my husband and best friend Billy. We have two daughters and one son who all have found success in their careers, parenting and relationships. We have four grandsons and one granddaughter who remind me every day how important it is to be a good role model. I began modeling at 40 hoping for the opportunity to be a visual force in the fight against child abuse, and still aspire to be more visually able to share my experiences and stories with others to give them hope and help them find the courage and strength to help change their destiny; and to write their own story. I believe it’s not who I am or where I come from that counts;
it’s what I do with it.
My three biggest accomplishments:
I consider breaking the cycle of abuse from my own childhood, to raise three children with love, values and a strong foundation;
Through all the changes and challenges of relationships that follow us from childhood I’m still married to my husband and best friend Billy for 30 years and counting.
And being the founder of “Let the Children be Heard” bringing awareness to the affects domestic violence has on our children into their adult life to be my 3 most accomplished achievements.
Titles: My favorite titles and am most proud of: daughter, sister, mom, wife and grammy. Titles I’ve used my life experiences to share with others in volunteering, fundraising, and to hear they are not alone are: 2006 & 2007 Mrs. Meeker Colorado America~ 2008 & 2009 Mrs. Northwest Colorado America ~ 2010 Mrs. Northwest Colorado International 2010 Mrs. Colorado International ~2012 Mrs. Northwest Colorado America.
One of my favorite jobs is promotional modeling, my first gig was working the NBA all-star game I met Carmelo and Shaq, the Denver auto show drew large crowds of people I loved the challenge of learning and passing on information, especially when a female blonde is asked by a doubting man.. Ha Ha now that’s fun! I was an audience model on Oprah’s live your best life tour; really?! I’m working with Oprah?
Every year globally over 275 million children are affected by domestic violence. I founded *“Let the children be heard” in 2009 to bring awareness, educate and provide resources on the devastating affects domestic violence has on children. Children who are exposed to violence in the home are more likely to suffer severe and lasting effects, difficulty learning, limited social skills, exhibit violent, risky and delinquent behavior we suffer from depression or severe anxiety. These lasting effects can be intergenerational lasting into our adult lives and affect our families, schools and community.
Along with many other effects of child abuse; their health is also compromised leaving them vulnerable to many diseases. Juvenile Diabetes & Diabetes foundation are both organizations I hold dear, I have watched as it has made my younger sister’s life painful, frustrating and one trial after another. She is such an inspiration to me as she fights every day to stay one step ahead. Go red for women has provided valuable information to women on the warning signs for heart disease I wish I had known the signs before I lost my youngest sister at just 34 years old to heart disease.
A mission trip to Tegucigalpa Honduras was and still is one of my most memorable fundraisers. Mrs. America 1989-1990 Jennifer Bullard organized a group of us to bring awareness to Hearts for Honduras. One of our key missions was to visit the orphanages to help gather strength to aide in changing the laws that would allow the children to be adopted out. Everyone was moved to tears when older children told their stories of tortures and abuses that they were subjected to in orphanages. In a very poverty stricken area we painted a church, and took time out to play in the heat and dust with the children; several days we prepared food to feed the children of an elementary school (which was most likely their only meal of the day). As we flew home, I couldn’t help but wonder if children in the USA were also experiencing the same conditions. They answer is yes………. Which makes my volunteer work so much more valuable in my life.
I most admire the caring qualities of Princess Diana and her ability to move people’s hearts. One of my favorite saying by her is “The biggest disease in the world today is the feeling of being unloved; people need love; without love people die.”
I value the experiences of fund raising events for organizations that rely on outside charity, donations and volunteering such as Ronald McDonald house, volunteers of America, Salvation army, MS, Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, Donate life, NCADV, CCADV I especially enjoyed going to jail to raise funds for MDA. I believe until you delve into the world of volunteering and charity you could never imagine the need for more.
My favorite movies include Princesses; have you ever really noticed that most if not all Princess stories start out in a challenging childhood? I watch these stories with my granddaughter in hopes that she learns compassion and charity and realize everyone has challenges to overcome.
With all the glamour and bling that pageantry has brought to my life and closets; the courage, sense of self, self-worth and value I found inside myself has to be the most precious to me. My first pageant was at 42 years old, I had no idea what I was in for but again the title would bring me the venue I needed to spread the word on Child abuse. At the end of the “big night” I had won Most photogenic (and a modeling contract), longest years married, and in a three way tie for top 15!! OK next year I’ll win; I could have never guessed just what I would win, with one major mistake after another I cut my hair the day of orientation, my gown didn’t fit, I tripped up the stairs, and didn’t have a clue in interview. OH yes I did! I cried as my husband son in law and grandson came on stage to (lie to me and tell me how I should have won and I would win next year). I told my husband I couldn’t do it anymore I was done; still hugging my waist my seven year old grandson looked up at me and said “Grammy are you quitting because you didn’t win?” Guess what? I knew in that instant I would be back next year, there was no
way I was letting that little boy think it was ok to quit because you didn’t get the results you wanted. Just a few short weeks later he had a project in class to make a poster of his hero; His grammies picture was glued in that spot, when I asked him why me, he simply said because you inspire me to be a better person. And yes I did compete 5 more years.