Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012 and help Mobilize the Earth™. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. Together we will stand united for a sustainable future and call upon individuals, organizations, and governments to do their part.
Attend a local Earth Day event and join one of our Earth Day campaigns as we collect A Billion Acts of Green® and elevate the importance of environmental issues around the world. 

Metro Friendship Foundation's Ice Breaker Social

The 4th Annual Ice breaker Social was a tremendous success-"Thank you" to my friends at MFF-can't wait until next year!
Metro Friendship Foundation provides scholarships for children and young adults affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. With money raised we send children to camp in the summer, social skills groups throughout the year, and other therapies necessary to help them succeed in interpersonal relationships.
Pictured with Metro Friendship Foundation Founder, Debra Schipper

MFF volunteers

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

National Volunteer Week

Let the celebration begin!  
Points Of Light Program recognizes the efforts of those who support their community through volunteer service.
Congratulations to you all!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

America's Dairyland-Wisconsin

It wouldn't be a Midwest road trip without enjoying the beauty of the Cheese state, Wisconsin!

We stopped at a cute little cheese shop which sells the most delicious meats and cheeses I've ever tasted, and were greeted by the most enormous cow I've ever seen!

Inspiration In Illinois


There were many "stand-outs" during the competition, but one young lady and her amazing "gift", left me in awe.

Miss Lauren Miles has the most amazing gift with horses!  She lives with Sensory Integration Disorder-a form of autism, which she noted in the beginning of her presentation.  I was not familiar with the specifics of the disorder, but was amazed as I watched her video presentation of her ability to stand on a horses back and ride, teach them tricks and guide these beautiful animals (weighing a thousand pounds), to follow her direction.
To be able to accomplish this with Sensory Integration Disorder is miraculous!

I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren and her family after the competition.  Her mom, Sandra Goeken-Miles, is Ms. Classic Elite USA 2011.

It was then I learned the specifics of sensory integration and came to the realization of the challenges she faces on a daily basis, and the pure "gift" she has embraced.

Lauren has a beautiful aura and exudes such an enjoyment of life. 
I left this experience so inspired and full of gratitude to have been able to encounter such a miraculous and beautiful young woman and her lovely family.
I. Love. Pageantry.
Sensory Integration Disorder 


Definition
Sensory integration disorder or dysfunction (SID) is a neurological disorder that results from the brain's inability to integrate certain information received from the body's five basic sensory systems. These sensory systems are responsible for detecting sights, sounds, smell, tastes, temperatures, pain, and the position and movements of the body. The brain then forms a combined picture of this information in order for the body to make sense of its surroundings and react to them appropriately.
 
Description
Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, smell, taste, and the pull of gravity. Distinguishing between these is the process of sensory integration (SI). While the process of SI occurs automatically and without effort for most, for some the process is inefficient. Extensive effort and attention are required in these individuals for SI to occur, without a guarantee of it being accomplished. When this happens, goals are not easily completed, resulting in sensory integration disorder (SID).

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Illinois Elite USA Pageant-talent competition judge

It has been a few years since I last judged a pageant, so when I was asked to judge the talent competition for IL. Elite USA, I was ecstatic!  As Ms. Midwest World International, I was excited to embark across my beloved Midwest for a wonderful experience, while proudly representing the Ms. World International organization!

I spent many years as a dancer, dance instructor, nationally ranked martial arts competitor, karate instructor, along with a bit of vocal performance experience as well.  All of these experiences have shaped me into who I am today; a woman with a true love of the Arts.

I enjoyed such beautiful and awe-inspiring talent, and was faced with a the challenging task of picking just one winner in each of the three different age categories.  The competition was fierce, all competitors were amazing, and very well prepared.

Congratulations to all contestants, it was a pleasure watching you reach for the stars! 
Kim Triani-Illinois Elite USA State Director, held a fabulous inaugural pageant weekend, which was wonderfully organized and obviously enjoyed by contestants and their families!
I am pictured with Nicki Hale,
National Director, Elite USA Pageants

Monday, April 2, 2012

American Heart Association- National Walking Day~April 4th

National Start Walking Day logo
These days, adults like you are spending more time at work than ever before. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we're becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease!
But take heart! It's a problem you can help fix by convincing your company to take part in the American Heart Association's National Walking Day.
On this day, employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It's a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give your coworkers a friendly push toward a healthier life

Take time today to enjoy a wonderful walk and encourage friends and family members to do the same!  Heart health should be our priority everyday, so lets's reward ourselves by walking our way to a strong and healthy heart!