Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Miss Deaf America Pageant

There are a total of 22 contestants participating in this year's MDA competition. Contestants are divided into three groups: Mu, Delta, and Alpha. The competitions determine which contestants will compete for three consecutive afternoons on stage in the following categories: Platform Presentation, Artistic Expression and Presence & Poise.

Miss Deaf Alabama, Robyn Parker
Miss Deaf Colorado, Kathy Ronci
Miss Deaf Maryland, Michelle Lapides
Miss Deaf Missouri, JoAnn Benfield
Miss Deaf North Carolina, Carole Edwards
Miss Deaf Oregon, Ashley Beghtel
Miss Deaf Wisconsin, Wendy Arendt

Miss Deaf Arkansas, Brittney Caldwell
Miss Deaf California, Amanda Folendorf
Miss Deaf District of Columbia, Shanna Grossinger
Miss Deaf Georgia, Meleah Miller
Miss Deaf Illinois, Sarah Miller
Miss Deaf Minnesota, Katy Kelley
Miss Deaf Nebraska, Kristina Lorenzo
Miss Deaf New York, Alexandria Pucciarelli

Miss Deaf Florida, Kimberly Wright
Miss Deaf Iowa, Laura Stefl
Miss Deaf Kansas, Tanna Jo Kolb
Miss Deaf Michigan, Jillian Gruetzner
Miss Deaf New Jersey, Jessica Malone
Miss Deaf Texas, Katherine Murich
Miss Deaf Virginia, Christy Bowers

Six Semi-Finalists:
1. Miss Deaf New York, Alexandria Pucciarelli
2. Miss Deaf Missouri, JoAnn Benfield
3. Miss Deaf Nebraska, Kristina Lorenzo
4. Miss Deaf Maryland, Michelle Lapides
5. Miss Deaf Texas, Katherine Murich
6. Miss Deaf District of Columbia, Shanna Grossinger

Official Results:

Platform Presentation Winners:
Preliminary 1: Miss Deaf Texas, Katherine Murich
Preliminary 2: Miss Deaf Maryland, Michelle Lapides
Preliminary 3: Miss Deaf New York, Alexandria Pucciarelli

Artistic Expression Winners:
Preliminary 1: Miss Deaf Arkansas, Britteny Caldwell
Preliminary 2: Miss Deaf Michigian, Jillian Gruetzner
Preliminary 3: Miss Deaf Maryland, Michelle Lapides

Miss Congeniality Winner:
Miss Congeniality: Miss Deaf Wisconsin, Wendy Arendt

Second Runner-up: Miss Deaf Missouri, JoAnn Benfield
First Runner-up: Miss Deaf Texas, Katherine Murich
Miss Deaf America 2008-2010: Miss Deaf Maryland, Michelle Lapides

The NAD Conference itself was amazing with the time I got to go to events and see SOME exhibits. I met amazing girls and deaf people from all over! I will always cherish my experience in New Orleans for the Miss Deaf America Pageant! I wish Michelle the best of luck as she continues her reign through 2010!

There is so much I can say about the experience that it just isn't worth putting down in words! You have to experience it yourself! To those of you who want to try for Miss Deaf (STATE) I encourage you to do so! It's a rewarding experience and opens many doors for you!

God Bless and I'm so sorry for a long time since my last update :-( It's been a hectic summer and hectic beginning of school year! I'm hoping to complete my last year (I'm a senior at GWU now) smoothly! I will not be updating as often now but hopefully after the 100th anniversary party for NCAD I will inform you of how it went! If you want to go check out for more information!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Semester draws to a close...

So i have to ask ya'll to forgive me...the last part of the semester was a whirlwind for me. I am offically done with my junior year of college and now a SENIOR!!! i've been crazy busy the last few weeks of school and i would take the time to say what i have been up to but i'm sure that you don't want to hear about my school work!

I have been busy preparing for surgery upcoming. I go into the hospital on may 13 and surgery is may 14. I pray that I will be fully recovered to go to NAD conference and National Pageant. I am excited for that opportunity but we have to wait and see how my recovery goes with the upcoming surgery on my brain. If you haven't heard yet...I have a Colliod Cyst in the third ventricle region of my brain and will be having surgery to remove it. I am scared because this is my first major surgery and stay in the hospital. I will be at Duke Hospital for surgery.

So as my surgery approaches and as I'm trying to pack up and head home for the summer I wanted to say I'll try and update when I can about my status! God Bless and thanks for supporting me through my reign as Miss Deaf North Carolina! I'm truly blessed to hold this title:)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Miss Deaf America

Soooo i just got an email with my first offical information for the Miss Deaf America Pageant...I'm so excited!!!! I'll be in New Orleans from June 30-July 12th with the girls from other States:) I'm beyond estatic as I will have never gotten this opportunity if I hadn't won! Thanks again for those who are supporting me as I go to New Orleans to represent North Carolina Deaf:)

Monday, March 17, 2008

God's Amazing Creation!

So this past weekend I was given the opportunity to go backpacking/camping with my Outdoor Education Class. We went to Grayson Highlands State Park and hiked the trails near there. Friday night we took some wrong turns and ended up way off course. We set up the tents and camped out there. Woke up to AMAZING view of the sun coming over the mountains! BREATHTAKING!!! ahhh:) its cold but i'm all cozy in my layers of clothes! we gear up and hike all day. we hiked some of the AT (applachian trail) and it was tough but the view on the top was well worth it. it started raining on us around 2pm and we were still 1 1/2 away from where we were gonna set up our campsite. we finally arrived at 3:30 and set up tents in the rain...all of us were soaked to the bone and it was cold so we had to take off wet clothes and get in our sleeping bags to dry off and get warm. it continued to rain all night and we ate cold dinner instead of a warm one like we planned. the next morning we woke up to snow and sleet and was FREEEZING! clothes that were wet the day before were now FROZEN, the tents were FROZEN and everything was damp/wet/frozen! we packed up and drank hot chocolate at the same time and hit the trails back to the vans. we ofc missed our turn for the shortcut so we ended up hiking a lot more than just a few miles...but we finally arrived at the vans, changed into some warm clothes, and hit the road...we stopped at the welcome center and used the REAL bathrooms (not the wilderness!) and saw a map of where we hiked...figured out it was about 20-24 miles all together! WOW! it was an awesome experience to see God's creation with nothing but yourself and the wilderness:) We saw some wild ponies on the trail and they were very friendly. thankfully we didn't run into any other wild animals! :-) I was so happy to be back home and in my warm apt and have my bed waiting for me:-) I would definately do it again but maybe not when the forecast is supposed to rain!!! haha!


Adventures Galore!

Hey Everyone!!!

I know I promised Pictures soon...i promise they will be posted eventually...most likely while I'm at home for Easter Break. So as you all know I had an amazing adventure when I went on my missions trip...if you haven't heard then here it goes:-)

We left Charlotte earllllly saturday March 1st. We had good flights and good timing with everything. Arrived in San Salvador and met with the Missionaries, Stan and Lynn, who live there. They were very sweet. We went to their house, about 1 hr away from the airport and then we went shopping. At this point I was very tired from a long day of traveling so I was ready for bed even though we hadnt had dinner yet! We go back to the missionaries house and they provide us a El Salvadorian Sign Class which Rudy and Regina led (they are local deaf). let me tell you now...learning two languages at one time is REALLLY hard!!! i can't believe i actually did it!!! then we were introduced to El Salvadorian pizza (which is delicious) and soda. I found my new favorite soda called Kolashanpan (its a sweet orange soda). then more sign class! wow i was on overload already!!! lol.

March 2nd- we got up, had breakfast, devotional, then we went to a local church to meet up with some local deaf. we all split up into small groups to do different things. Some went to deaf sunday school, some went to sign class, and some went to the hearing church and had an interpreter interpret the service. I went to the church. It was good experience. The interpreters used some ASL with a mix of El Salvadorian signs...that threw me off! haha. I enjoyed it though! After church we went to the big mall and ate lunch there before heading back to the missionaries house to pack up and leave for La Union. It was a 3 hr drive to La Union and included many funny stories of drunk cow and illegal animal sales etc. WOW! haha. But let me tell you...El Salvador is BEAUTIFUL! the land is amazing:) We arrive at the hotel and have team meetings and check in...its a beautiful hotel and good area! we were overlooking the bay/pacific ocean! could see honduras from our window! I'm excited about teaching the children this upcoming week!

March 3-7th: (March 3) FIRST DAY OF TEACHING!!!! only one of my girls showed up...oh was a little difficult to keep her attention because she wanted to see what others were doing with us Americans! On the second day of teaching:both my girls showed up and had a blast learning their numbers, animals, family, writing skills, etc. Language was difficult to communicate but we made it through:) So to end out the week of teaching we ended with a pinata party and game day. wow that was amazing that the american games worked so well over the language gap!

during the week we only taught at the school for the deaf in the AM and then had the afternoons to do various things. Monday afternoon was a rest day, which we ALL needed to catch up with ourselves. Tuesday afternoon we went to local towns and visited with 2 older deaf boys. We performed the Noah's Ark skit and talked some with them. One was poor with lack of social skills. He's well known to get drunk and not care. We hope we made some kind of impact on him. One of his friends came around who was drunk and that was annoying...oh well! The other deaf boy was one who helped set up the school for the deaf but didn't continue his education there. He came to school the next day until the end of the week when we left. Its nice to know we reached out to someone! Wednesday afternoon we went to the town of Conchagua and searched for deaf people to get some experience with what Missionaries do. We didn't find any deaf but we did find some leads to where other deaf people could be. Thursday afternoon we shopped for the pinata party. That was interesting to go into the local markets! We stuffed the pinatas back at the hotel. They don't just put candies in but they put toys, money, and other surprises:) Friday afternoon to celebrate the end of the week we went to the beach and had an afternoon on the beach. it was my first time in the pacific water and it was AMAZING!!! so relaxing, just what i needed after a long week! haha!

March 8: We planned to go to the Isle of Meangurea (the biggest island) and visit with a deaf boy, named Moises, who lives there and works as a fisherman. He has never met any other deaf his age so we were the first group of older deaf he's met. It was so fun! The boat ride to the island was calm and pretty. I saw OPEN pacific waters:) Moises showed us his home and his village, his work area etc. we ate lunch at the hotel dock and performed Noah's Ark skit and The Prodigal Son skit for him. He enjoyed both of them! Soon it was time to say farewell! We loaded up the boat and started heading back...Understand...most boats/fisherman will come from mainland to the island and STAY overnight...the waters too rough in the afternoons...but since we Americans had to be back the same day they were willing to drive us back. We faced brutal waves...5-20 ft swells...soaked to the bone...the engine started faltering on us and we had to anchor down. we were still so far away from the port...a boat ride that was supposed to be 1 hour long took 3 hours...thats how bad it was...when we pulled up the anchor it now we have nothing to hold us down. Our Missionary Stan was seasick :-( poor thing... the captain got the engine working enough to get us to the bay area and in calmer waters. we got out on old steps and there was a port area behind us but btwn the port area and the steps where we were was a fence with barbed wire running on the top of it. so no way we can climb the fence...we start figuring out how to get back to the main road so Lynn, missionary's wife, could pick us up. some people inside the fence noticed we were here and they came to see whats up. they were filming us stranded on the other side of the fence and I never felt more like a fugitive at that then found 2 ladders and made a makeshift crossing for us to get over the fence. Lynn picked us up inside the port and i was never so happy...I started crying at the amazing graces God gives us everyday. He showed me then and there his awesome power!!! after that we were covered in salt from the pacific...its so dense you could shake the salt off my hair and have PLENTY for dinner! We cleaned up at the hotel and then headed back to San Salvador to catch our plane the next day.

March 9...last day... :-( only got about 5 hours of sleep the night before because my body knew i was going home to USA but was sad at the same time...ahhh i don't wanna leave! we packed up and headed out to Burger king to have breakfast. then we made a quick coffee stop at the local grocery store to get coffee for family at home. :-) then drove another hr to the airport to find that our flight was delayed 1 hour which really meant 2 hrs delay in the US due to the time change...we left El Salvador around 1:55pm and arrived in Atlanta at 7:30 but had to wait 30 min for a gate to unload. We then KNEW we would miss our connecting flight at 8:09 because we still had to go through customs and we went to get flights discussed about. we all (12 ppl) were put on standby for the last flight...none of us were able to get on due to 28 other ppl trying to get on that flight with standby...AHHHH. after awhile we figured out we'd be on the first flight out the next morning (march 10). So we spent the night in the Atlanta airport. I was the only one who didn't sleep. I read, walked around, talked with whoever was awake at the time, ate some ice cream...when more ppl woke up and it was about 5 we went to food court and ate breakfast. i am so exhausted at this point because i still ahven't slept. everyone else had at least a few hours of sleep to keep them going...i was a walking zombie...we all were able to get on the 7am flight with Standby PRAISE JESUS!!! we arrived in charlotte and I was never so happy to see the Charlotte skyline in my life! ahhh!!! got our stuff and loaded up the vans and headed home to GWU...we arrived back btwn 930-10ish in the AM and i emailed my professors explaining what happened and CRASHED. i slept from 10am-5:40pm then again 10:30-7:15am the next day. I was EXHAUSTED from only having 5 hours of sleep in a 52 hour timeframe...and it wasn't even a good 5 hours of sleep it was that just added on to the adventure!!!

Anyways, I'm glad we're back...SAFE AND SOUND:) and I really am amazed even more so at God's wonderful things he does for us:) ILY Jesus!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome Back to the USA!!!!!!!

Hey Everyone!!!

Sorry for such a late note! I'm offically back in the States after quite an adventure on my missions trip to El Salvador! It was a blessing I was able to go and experience God at work first-hand! Truly amazing:)

Will update later with pictures and more:) i love you all and thanks for prayers:)

Friday, February 29, 2008


I have enabled the comments feature to where you can add a comment as an "anonymous" user...just please put your name in the comment so I know who left it!

Thanks again for prayers for the missions trip to El Salvador! We leave at 4am from GWU to go to the airport. After Departure from the airport I will no longer have contact with you until I return!

God Bless:)