Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Onto the Next Chapter

I cannot believe the time has come for me to write this specific post, but as Semisonic once sang, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” This past weekend was the 2013 Ms. Wheelchair Kansas Pageant.

With the contestants and our escorts
Two contestants embarked on the journey to become Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013 on Friday afternoon as they went through orientation and volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Topeka. I joined in on Saturday as they began their leadership sessions where we had some great presenters speaking about the importance of communication, advocacy, and pride.

With one of the judges and my stage escort!
My favorite session has always been the fitness session! Last year we had a personal trainer come in and show us some good cardio and toning tips and tricks targeted for those in chairs. I was expecting something similar this year, but was completely blown away when Zumba was on the schedule. It was definitely a lot of fun and let’s just say I have added a new workout to my routine. Don’t worry though, you won’t be seeing any of these moves in a public gym or class…I’ll be shaking my groove thing in the comfort of my living room!

After a fun pizza party Saturday night with the girls, I woke up on Sunday with a bittersweet feeling in my stomach. It was pageant day and I would be passing on the crown in a few short hours. With the ceremony practice and pampering out of the way, it was 1pm and I reported down to the Emerald Ballroom and took my place.

Our Keynote Speaker, Jesa Lopez
The judges hard an extremely hard decision on their hands because both ladies presented great platform speeches and answered the questions with ease, but in the end, I am proud to announce that Mrs. Angel Shaver is the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas titleholder.

Angel and her family
This past year has been amazing for me and while I may have been a bit hesitant to begin this journey, I am more than glad I did. It has allowed me to grow not only as a person, but it has helped me become a better spokesperson, advocate, and role model.

After the Crowning
I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have done this past year as MWKS without numerous people. First and foremost, my family! I cannot even begin to thank them enough for their support and all that they have helped me with. Secondly, I must thank my employer, BTI, for all of their support throughout the year. Not only did they allow me to take off time to travel to all of my appearances, but they also financially supported my entire journey. I also must thank my friends for all of their encouraging words and helping me book numerous appearances. Lastly, I must thank my mom. Yes, I know, she technically is included with family, but I absolutely could have not done this without her.

I am truly blessed to have had such an opportunity to travel across the state sharing my story and I can only hope that it has inspired someone as much as this experience has inspired me.

Tony and I
Thank you all for the support and a huge congratulations to Angel Shaver. I have no doubt in my mind that she will be a great representative for not only the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas organization, but the state of Kansas as well.

A few more pictures!

Becky came all the way from Arkansas!
Meeting Curtis's sister
Look who stopped by, Senator Garrett Love!

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