Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grief, glory to God, and giving back in October

October has been a month of extreme up’s and down’s, both for the entire state of Arkansas and myself. I want to begin by sending my very thoughts and prayers out to the family of the beautiful and talented Anne Pressley. Anne was the amazingly gifted anchorwoman of Good Morning Arkansas, who was brutally attacked in her home and who lost the battle for her life last week. I cannot claim to have known Anne, or to have been a friend to her. I can tell you that I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her, and to have spent time with her just the week before this horrific event. I first net her at the Children’s Tumor Foundation event where Anne and I modeled together. We both had our make-up done by the “professionals” from a local beauty school…and laughed together in horror at their work when we saw ourselves the mirror. That night I got to know a bit of Anne’s powerful personality, one which dominated the entire room with its’ brilliance. The following week I got to see Anne again at the CARE for animal’s event, where Anne emceed the fashion show in which I modeled. Anne remembered my name, and we laughed about how much better each of us looked that evening when allowed to be in charge of our own appearances. I was in awe of her incredible confidence, something I often fake but could never truly have in the way Anne did. There really was something amazingly unique about Anne, and it was something that anyone who knew her for even a moment of her too brief life would have been well aware of. I cannot believe she was taken so early, and in such a horrific fashion. I pray, along with everyone who hears her story, that her killer will be caught and brought to justice. I pray for peace for her family as they grieve her loss.

October has been an incredibly busy month for me. We started our series of committee meetings with the Arkansas Advocacy Committee. I also had the opportunity to attend both state and national lobbyist training in Austin Texas, for the American Heart Association. It is my hope that as a result of my involvement as a lobbyist with the AHA this year that all future Mrs. International national titleholders will have the opportunity to serve as lobbyists.

On October the 13th I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the 2nd annual Paws on the Runway event at the Governors Mansion. CARE is the Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals. This wonderful organization removes adoptable pets from kill shelters, spays or neuters them, and has them in foster homes until loving adoptable homes can be found for them.

On the 23rd I traveled to Dallas, Texas to attend the Dallas Furniture Banks’ CHAIR-ity Friend-raiser. The furniture bank provides furniture for families who have lost everything to natural disaster or economic hardship. This year alone the DFB has impacted the lives of more then 5200 individuals.

I am thrilled to report that we had our first adoption occur as a result of the Greater Arkansas Heart Gallery! We launched the gallery only a month ago, and already one of these beautiful children has found a forever family! What an amazing blessing!

On a personal note, my father has only two chemo treatments left. We had a very hard spot a few weeks ago when his counts dropped to such a low that blood transfusions were required. We then had quite a scare with a blood clot in his lung, but he is doing wonderfully right now. He has lost some use of his hands, but all things considered he is doing very well.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!