Thursday, October 9, 2008

Updates and Appearances

Life is a whirlwind, but wonderful to be sure! We are getting back into the “season” with the AHA. We have our first lobbyist meeting on the 22nd of this month, and will follow up with another on November the 25th. I have been going through special training for the multi-state lobbyist program in Texas, and will fly back out Monday for a course on national lobbyist training. I am really hoping that these courses will increase my effectiveness with getting some of our 2009 initiatives passed. My main goal, as I have shared, is to see that tobacco tax increased. With that added money in our state pocketbook we will be able to fund the other initiatives that are so important in the state, and will set important precedent for the nation.
It has been an incredibly busy few weeks, and will continue at the same pace for a few more. Last week I was so honored to attend the Festival of Wines in Little Rock, and be allowed to volunteer my time there. The Festival brings together wine connoisseurs from all over the United States, and all the monies raised at the event go toward research projects for the American Heart Association. I am proud to say that the monies raised at this event stay at research hospitals in my home state of Arkansas, but the discoveries made with this money will benefit people across the country and around the globe.
I also had the honor of attending the launch of the Greater Arkansas Heart Gallery, at the Arkansas CASA Festival of Chairs. This Festival raises money and awareness of the work that CASA does on behalf of families who have entered child protective services. It was a wonderful event, attended by a huge number of citizens who are deeply immersed in this incredible cause. The Heart Gallery was displayed for the first time, and the response was overwhelming. If even one child finds a “forever family” through this program then all the hard work involved will have been worth it.
Thursday morning was a really fun event. I was asked to model for Jamileh Kamran, an internationally known designer whose home base is Little Rock. I was featured wearing her clothes in a fashion show on KARK channel four. It was a fun morning for all involved, and a great honor to be included.
Please continue your prayers for my father. The excellent news is that, due to his new drug regime we only have 5 rounds of chemo left. Bad news is that his hemoglobin is so low that he must have a blood transfusion tomorrow. Thank you so much for your continued love and support.
I have more appearances this week, and will be sure to remember my camera this week as I travel to Lobby School. Check back soon for more updates!