Saturday, October 30, 2010

Children's Miracle Network at IHOP

In addition to the fundraiser on National Pancake Day in February, IHOP hosted another fundraiser this month to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. On Friday, they were giving out free scary face pancakes to kids! Also, 20% discounts were given out when people donated a dollar, or more.

I had the privilege to go to two IHOP locations in Garden Grove and Cypress. You're probably wondering what Miss GG and IHOP/Children's Miracle Network have to do with each other. The Children's Miracle Network is the main platform for the Miss America Organization and they have partnered up to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals throughout the United States. The local and state titleholders throughout the U.S. have been raising money for the Children's Miracle Network for several yearsl So, whenever a company/organization (like IHOP) partners with the Children's Miracle Network, the Miss America Org. comes in to help. As Miss GG, I was able to help pass out the spooky-faced pancakes to the kids and ask people for donations. I know other local titleholders participated with their local IHOPs as well.

My first stop to IHOP was in Garden Grove. Alex, the manager, was very excited to use my help. I got to pass out a few scary-faced pancakes to some kids there. Then, because there is no Miss Cypress, I was sent to help out at the Cypress location. Ruben, the manager, was very excited to see me as well! He had me walk around the restaurant with a cute donation box that he and his employees decorated. Everyone there was more than happy to donate to the Children's Miracle Network.

Alex and his hostess decorate a scary face pancake.

Alex, the manager, and I with the spooky pancake!

The pancake scared me, so I killed it....haha

Ruben, manager, and I at the Cypress IHOP

...asking for donations...

The cute donation box :)

Hopefully, I can return in February when IHOP partners with CMN and celebrate National Pancake Day!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

GG Public Works Open House!

Every time you drive down a smoothly paved road, flush your toilet, and see beautiful plants and trees on the streets, thank the Public Works Dept! If you didn't know already, the Public Works Department is responsible for the maintenance and construction of all facilities and equipment, including streets, sidewalks, parks, public buildings, street trees, flood control channels, and traffic signals. Additionally, the department is in charge of the City's water system and managing trash and recycling services. The Public Works Dept. does an amazing job at preserving GG's aesthetic value and functionality of the infrastructure! No wonder we celebrate their hard work every year!

At the front entrance!

Today was the day to celebrate another year of great work from this department and also to become educated about what Public Works is all about, with a lot of fun and food of course! It was a great turn out despite the morning drizzles and cloud-cover. By lunchtime, the sun came out and more people started to come for the fun! There was an opening ceremony with a presentation of the flag given by the Boy Scouts and the National Anthem, sung by me. :) Keith Jones, the director of the GG Public Works, presided over this ceremony while Mayor Dalton, Andrew Do, and Bruce Broadwater spoke about their gratitude for our "unsung heroes". Jessica was able to say a few words as well, and she rocked that podium! :) The ceremony concluded with a ribbon-cutting; although, it was more like a "caution-tape-cutting", which seemed appropriate being that this was a Public Works event. After the Mayor and other dignitaries cut the ribbon, the house was officially open!

see why I call it the "caution-tape" ribbon? :)

singing the national anthem...

Jessica saying her little speech...

Jessica and I with Mayor Bill Dalton

As each attendee entered the event, they received a bag full of goodies and a "passport" to the raffle for prizes! This "passport" had slots for stamps and once they were all full, you could be put through a raffle! The stamps were found at the presentation booths around the festival and each booth represented a service that the PW provided. Stacy, Jessica, and I were able to get a passport of our own and get all the stamps! There were so many amazing prizes including gift cards worth hundreds of dollars for Target, restaurants, movie theaters, and Ducks games. The grand prize was a 16GB iPad! I was not a lucky winner, but someone else was!

Jessica won this game! lots of fun!

On top of participating in all the games and food, Jessica and I volunteered at the tattoo booth for a while. NO, they weren't real tattoos...they were the fun waterproof ones and the kids loved them! Jessica and I had lots of fun talking with the kids and giving them their favorite tattoo. Along with getting a tattoo, there was a coloring contest! The kids were able to color different pictures (representing the PW vehicles and services, of course!) and then they dropped their art in the contest to see who colored them the best. It was fun to watch them get into it!

my only job as a tattoo artist...the only kind I will ever get or do :)

he was a my favorite kid of the cute!

she got the butterfly tattoo

Stacy was volunteering at the Soroptomist booth where they were selling home-baked goods and they sold a lot!

I could totally pass as a cop! haha

awwww.... so cute! Jessica read a story to one of the little girls.

I definitely learned a lot from this event and I will do what Mayor Dalton asked that all of us do, which was to thank and remember the Public Works guys when we notice how nice our city looks and functions! Be sure to come to this open house next year, it will educate you more and will make you more appreciative to all the men and women that work so hard to enhance our city.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Celebration of Life Singers Concert

Tonight, Jessica and I were priviledged to attend and help with this event. The Celebration of Life Singers were performing at the Crystal Cathedral and they sang some beautiful and inspirational music. The coordinator for this event was conveniently Jessica's grandma! She was so excited to show off her granddaughter, as any grandma should be! The thing that is so special and unique about this choir is that the members are all cancer survivors and their support partners. Their mission is to bring members of the community who have triumphed over cancer together, to participate in a creative, uplifting, and fulfilling experience through the healing power of music. The Celebration of Life Singers perform throughout Southern California and Garden Grove was lucky enough to have them perform in our own beloved Crystal Cathedral. Another singing group called The Sonorous Singers was there and they were amazing!

Jessica and I with her Grandma Dawn

Jessica's grandma, Dawn Densberger, brought Jessica and I up to the stage and gave us a sweet introduction.

The Singers of Life Choir....

....and the Sonorous Singers

All of the music performed was religious, which was very appropriate for this occasion. Obviously, I am not one who can attest to the struggles and experiences of trying to overcome cancer, but I can attest to the power of God. Bad things happen to good people and when they happen, we gain a stronger faith and testimony in our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ. I know God was present that night and that we all could feel His love. The very last song was the grand finale and the one where we could feel God's love to the most. Before the concert began, Jessica and I were in charge of giving everyone a program and a little glow stick. The glow sticks were to saved until the last song. During the final song, everyone who knew someone with cancer, or had cancer themselves (which was everyone there) lit their glow stick and held it up. It was a beautiful sight.

we brought our own canned goods!

In addition to this concert, there was a canned food drive and almost everyone brought something to donate. I really appreciated this concert because I truly believe in the healing power of music. I was inspired by this choir and it's so wonderful to see such a group as this unite together to sing God's praises.

Patti and Myles were our chaperones for the night. Or should we say, "bodyguards"?? :)
We love you both!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Golden Spoon Celebration!

It's official! Golden Spoon has been voted OC's Favorite Frozen Yogurt! Free 4 ounces of yogurt were being passed out to the public and a lot of people showed up! I was at the Cypress location and I got to see a lot of familiar faces!

I got a free cup of yogurt too and my favorite flavor there is Peanut Butter! Yum! Jeremy, the owner, told me his favorite flavor is Peanut Butter too! There was a huge line of people throughout the night; I don't blame them because I would wait in line for some free frozen yogurt! There were a lot of families there, including part of my own! My Aunt Jill showed up for a little while, and my boyfriend Keith came to take advantage of the free stuff too!

mmmmmMMMMmmmm! Peanut Butter flavor!

Jeremy, the owner of Cypress Golden Spoon

Keith, my body guard

Aunt Jill came for a visit too!

Me with the lovely salon ladies from next-door!

A lot of people wanted pictures and it was fun to take so many with the little kids! The salon ladies from next-door came over for a picture too. There were a couple of little boys waiting line and they were playing the "looking" game with me. They would look at me and then when I looked that them, they would freak out with laughter and run to the their mom. They were my entertainment of the evening!

This was definitely a different event because it outside of GG boundaries, but I am really glad I got to be there and greet the community as they got their free frozen yogurt!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn Fest at Acacia Adult Day Care

Today was the annual Autumn Fest, and this year it was held at the Acacia Adult Day Care. Many people from the community swarmed in to take part in this fun and festive event. This event is held every year in order to raise money to support the programs and services that Acacia offers to the participants and their family members. Polka musicians played away on their accordions and banjos while everyone enjoyed the beer and food, and the fun outdoor games. It was a successful day and there is no one else to thank but all of the volunteers who made it happen. Many people donated baskets of goodies for the silent auction and it was a big hit! In addition to the silent auction, Veronica, Valerie, Jessica, and I had the opportunity to sell Macy's coupons. They were only $5 and the donors would automatically be entered in the chance to win a $500 gift card to Macy's and get a 25% coupon as well! And, all of the money raised (each $5) was given straight to the Acacia Center, which was nice of Macy's to contribute.
I'm glad to see how the community supports such a wonderful organization like Acacia Center!

Veronica Williams (Miss 2nd runner-up), Me, Jessica, and Valerie Alcaraz (Teen 1st runner up)

Hangin' with the Polka players!

we like each other...

count your blessings!