Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pageant Visit #1: Miss City of Orange!

Last night, Jessica and I got to go to our first pageant, except we weren't in it this time (phew!). We had the enjoyment of actually watching a pageant without the stress of being in one :) After the Boys and Girls Club event, I picked up Jessica and we were off to Chapman University. When we arrived, we saw so many "sparkle heads", or more formally known as titleholders. Jessica and I are sort of outsiders in a way because we are the first titleholders of 2011, and the other girls were from last year, but it's okay because we now get to see the new girls that we'll be competing with at Miss CA!

It has been really special for me because I have been in the "Miss CA" family since 2007 and so I got to see a lot of old friends, some whom I competed with at the CA teen level! I was able to catch up with old-timers, Carley Ryckman, Laura Jean Berger, Jordan Krinke (Miss CA's Teen 2008), Gabby Marco, Heidi Hoganson Chandler (Miss City of Orange 2005), and Connie Lema. And of course, I had to get a picture with Arianna Afsar (Miss CA); we go way back! :) And by the way, Heidi, you are still the amazing violinist that I remember you as! You totally brought down the house! Us instrumentalists can still work it!

Jordan Krinke (Miss CA's Teen 2008, Miss Placentia 2009)

Carley Ryckman (Miss Santa Barbara 2010)

Laura Jean Berger (Miss Culver City 2010)

Gabby Marco (Miss Fullerton 2010)

Connie Lema; she has always supported me throughout the years!
love you Connie!

Arianna Afsar (Miss CA 2010)

The winner of the night was Katie Barnum and she is fantastic! Jessica and I totally called it! We were rooting for her! I can't believe that this was her first pageant; she totally kicked butt! It will be fun to compete with her at Miss CA!

Check out the results on the website: Miss City of Orange

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Boys and Girls Club Wine Tasting Event

Yesterday, I attended the annual benefit event for the Boys and Girls Club, held at the Kiwanisland. Since I was on Miss GG court last year, I attended this event as well and this always has a great turnout! Hundreds of people waited in line to taste their favorite wines and eat some delicious food, but most importantly, they were there to support and sponsor the Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove. Outback Steakhouse was the main provider of food, which I ate a lot of! Jay's Catering was there along with a few other appetizing caterers. There were many booths set up with silent auction items like original paintings, sports paraphernalia (some with famous autographs), restaurant gift cards, vacation plans, and even a talking Elvis head!

Aimee, and Bree joined me in selling the 50/50 raffle tickets and we sold $1440 dollars worth of tickets; that means that the winner of this drawing got a whopping $720! I was amazed to see how many people were so generous enough to support the Boys and Girls Club! Towards the end of the day, a live auction started! The auctioneer started off the auction by asking for people's selfless donations. The first donation asked for was $1,000, which would go to a child in the club and several people rose their auction numbers to do so. Another donation of $700+ was being taken and from what I remember, this $700 kept one child from the BGG club fed for one year. People left and right rose their number pads to donate $700. Again, I was amazed to see selfless giving come from so many people in our community, some of which were from out of state! The live auction had some amazing prizes! There was a giant plasma TV, a wine cooler, trips to Hawaii and New York, and some other prestigious prizes. The audience was going wild with their auction numbers! Through all of the excitement, it was awesome to know that all of the money was going to the Boys and Girls Club.

The auction area....such a great turnout!

Although this event was for a serious cause, it was a lot of fun too! I had the privilege to play the harp for the first hour as people walked in to Kiwanisland. I played the harp at this event last year and obviously the BGG club liked me enough for me to do it again! I set a peaceful atmosphere for those coming in frantically to register and I know people enjoyed my playing. :)

And I had a little surprise visitor! She is a frequent reporter for Channel 3 News and she was there to report this event! Chasta Nechvatal is my big sister, one of my best friends, and not to mention, she was Miss Anaheim 2007! I was Anaheim's Outstanding Teen that same year and we grew to be sisters. If you've missed out on knowing Chasta, I'll tell you all about her. She is SO beautiful, an amazing Tahitian dancer, has the sweetest spirit, and has achieved so much in her life so far! She is one of my idols and I love her so much! It was such a great moment, to see her as a reporter and for her to see me as a titleholder! She is thinking of competing again for a local title and I know she will kick butt! If she competes, I hope she wins so that we can be roomies at Miss CA in June! I'm so proud of her for being a Channel 3 News reporter, they're lucky to have her.

This is us now.....

and this was us then!

I continued to have a little fun throughout the day too! It has only been a little over a month since the GG pageant and I have already been to so many events! Like I have said before, attending events like this remind me how lucky I am to be in Garden Grove! This community is so close-knit and it is so great to see everyone come together to support such a great cause!

Bree, Me, and Aimee :)

Patty and I. She is the "sparkle head" chaperone. Love you, Patty!

I'm going to be a pro at this by the end of the year!

Bree, throw me that boomerang, mate! (said in an Australian accent of course!)

This was one of many silent auction prizes, I thought this was so cool! I wanted to get this for JJ at the Azteca Restaurant!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Burlington Coat Factory- Grand Opening!

It's official! The new Burlington Coat Factory in Garden Grove is finally open! I was able to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning and it was fun. I am happy there is another Burlington open nearby; it gives me more reason to shop! Mayor Bill Dalton, Councilman Broadwater, and other city workers were there at the ceremony and I was able to help cut the ribbon! After the ribbon was cut, the employees opened the doors and people fled in to shop. I walked in with Mayor Dalton and we were amazed to see the amount of NAME BRANDS there, and the prices are so LOW! I will definitely be going back soon to get some good deals!

click to read the official

-this used to be the old Mervyn's, but now it's something WAY better!

I got to meet the new Burlington crew!

The BIG moment! Cutting the ribbon with employees and city dignitaries!
(L to R): Councilman Broadwater, Adrien- General Manager, Thomas Kelly- Vice President of Burlington, Mayor Dalton, Me, and Connie Margolin- Chamber of Commerce

Just shopping with the mayor, you know, it's a regular thing we do! haha

ADVERTISEMENT: Leah's New Website

Hello Everyone!

I have launched my new website and I want to share it with you all! Although I am Miss Garden Grove, I am a harpist too! This website is for you to view and enjoy. I hope you remember me when you need a harpist for your special event, whether it be a wedding, reception, bridal shower, tea party, or any other elegant event! Refer me and my website to your family and friends and I will be glad to be of service to you!
Thanks for all of your support!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taste 4 Pacifica

Tonight was a first time event like this for Pacifica High School (my alma mater!). This event was made to raise money for the Athletic Department at Pacifica and I think they raised A LOT of money tonight! It was a great turn out! Their goal was to sell 500 tickets and by 8pm, 480 were sold and there were still two more hours to go!

Many different restaurants had booths set up, showing off some of their best food samples! Jessica and I were able to indulge in scrumptious samples from Oggi's Pizza, Kerostena Mediterranean Grill, Russo's, Golden Spoon, On the Rocks, and Juice it Up! And of course, there was a wine and beer bar to go with the tasty food. Neither Jessica or I are 21, so we had to wear "minor" bracelets, but it didn't matter because I won't be drinking alcohol ever in my lifetime anyway. haha. There was a silent auction as well! Many clubs and businesses associated with Pacifica High donated baskets and other prizes up for auction! The prizes ranged from homemade scarves to skateboards and hotel reservations! That auction table was one of the hot spots of the night!

Now, Jessica and I were not only there to smile and be pretty- although, we have mastered this skill- we sold raffle tickets and boy, did they sell fast! We raffled off some pretty awesome prizes: Pacifica Mariner merchandise, and restaurant gift cards! Each ticket was one dollar, but we were giving out a great deal of 10 tickets for $5. Along with that, Super Mex was giving out $5 coupons for every $5 worth of raffle tickets sold! So you would break even anyway! Everyone loved this deal and the tickets were disappearing fast! Jessica and sold tickets for about 2 hours, but it was lots of fun to mix and mingle with new people!

Since I am a Pacifica alumnus, I mingled with some old friends of mine tonight and I got to reunite with a few of my past teachers as well! I was so excited! They were all so proud to see me as Miss Garden Grove and that I was making Pacifica look good!

The Pacifica Merchandise booth!

Mrs. Ficarola, but to me, Miss Kibbey :) (she got married recently)
-English teacher, Senior year

Mr. Franzman!
-Geometry teacher, freshman year

Mr. Anderson!
-Civics teacher

Mrs. Bryan!
- P.E. teacher

Mrs. McGregor!
- P.E. teacher

...and finally, Mrs. Rae!
-Principal at PHS, and she was my principal at Barker Elementary!
-she has watched me grow since 5th grade

All of these people were such a big support to me in high school and are still supporting me today! They all have influenced me in many ways and I have a lot of fun memories with each of them. I miss them a lot!
This event has a great turn out and I hope Pacifica will do it again next year!

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Going Pink" at Farmers and Merchants Bank

What a day! Because the "Race for the Cure" is coming up in a week, the GG branch of Farmers and Merchants Bank hosted a beautiful event to raise funds for their cause against breast cancer. As you can see from the flyer below, GG citizens were invited along with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and myself. It was such an honor to be able to attend and witness the passion that so many people have against breast cancer.

Back: Trinka Rowsell, Bree Morse (1st Runner-up), Myself, Sandy Thomas, Aimee Le (3rd Runner-up), and Robyn Williams

The GG Farmers and Merchants Bank will be participating in the "Race for the Cure" on Sept. 26th their mission today was to raise funds for the fight against this horrible disease. As you can see in the video below, F&M Bank will be donating $125 for every new Pink Checking account opened! On average, a mammogram costs $125, so F&M wants to be able to pay for every uninsured woman to get checked early!

Here is the breast cancer awareness promo:

F&M Garden Grove Branch Manager Sandy Thomas shared the touching story of her childhood friend who is currently battling breast cancer. She explained that this friend is the major inspiration for the passion she has for this cause. Miss Loretta Sanchez and I were able to speak as well about the importance of getting regular check ups in order to increase the survival rate of this deadly cancer.

With Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

F&M partnered up with the YWCA branch in Garden Grove. They are so proud to advocate breast cancer awareness!

Bree, Aimee, and me :)

Why is breast cancer such an important disease to fight? Here are some unfortunate but important facts to know:
• 1 out of every 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
• Every 68 seconds someone dies from breast cancer.
• Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
• Without a cure in the next 25 years, an estimated 10 million will die from breast cancer.
• Breast cancer is a random and deadly disease. With respect to age, race, religion, socioeconomic status, breast cancer knows no boundaries.
But there is HOPE: If detected in the early stages, the survival rate is more than 98% -- that is why early detection is your best protection.
• Breast cancer survivors are the largest group of cancer survivors living in the United States!

Attending events like this remind me over and over how lucky I am to be a part of Garden Grove! I see so much passion involved in community service and compassion to others. I learned an important lesson in relation to the parable of the "Good Samaritan". Robyn shared a beautiful quote for all of us to remember:
"We shouldn't think of the kind of person if we would be if we helped someone; we should think of the kind of person we would be if we DIDN'T help someone."

Bree, Aimee, me, and Stacy

With the lovely and bubbly Sandy Thomas!

Sandy Thomas and family friends: Delilah, mom, and Trinka Rowsell

I met these two beautiful girls: Delilah and Samantha- she wore her crown just for me!

yummy sugar cookies!

WOMEN: WE ARE THE CURE! Take charge in your health and get tested early and regularly so that you can defeat breast cancer!

Miss Garden Grove and court with Wanda