Miss Iowa 2008 Olivia Myers

Monday, July 21, 2008

My weekend

Happy Monday, everyone!

I just returned to Davenport from a busy and enjoyable weekend of travels. On Friday I journeyed to Des Moines for an early radio interview, and I spent the remainder of the morning with my new friends at Tero, experts in interpersonal skills training and supporters of the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program. I look forward to returning to Tero soon, and I thank the trainers for kindly listening to me talk all morning—and for providing wonderful feedback. In the afternoon, I stopped by the Institute for Character Development, where I was able to pick up some supplies for upcoming appearances and fill in the staff on my Miss Iowa adventures. My thanks go to everyone at the Institute for so warmly welcoming me into the CHARACTER COUNTS! family. Next, I stopped by the State Historical Society of Iowa, where I had the pleasure of meeting with the Museum Education and Volunteer Coordinator, Sarah Macht, to discuss my platform and my goals for this year. I left the museum not only impressed with the Caucus Iowa exhibit (please check it out, if you get the chance!), but also with fresh and exciting ideas for teaching tolerance and developing kids’ character this year. I rounded out my Friday with a stop at the outlet mall in Williamsburg, where I managed to find a cute business dress—a successful finish to a successful day!

The rest of the weekend I spent making appearances in company of my mom. On Saturday, we drove to Missouri Valley, where I welcomed RAGBRAI participants to our state at the official RAGBRAI kickoff. What a pleasure it was to greet bicyclists from every US state and several other countries! I was so impressed with the hospitality of the Missouri Valley community that welcomed me and provided me with lovely accommodations at the Oak Tree Inn and Penny’s Diner. As always, I was proud to be an Iowan on Saturday night.

On Sunday, Mom and I traveled to Des Moines again, where I had the privilege of attending the Baby and Kids Expo. I enjoyed signing autographs and judging the Cutest Kid contest, though it was also a difficult task! I am pleased to say that the money raised through the contest will benefit Children’s Miracle Network.

Well, I hope your week is off to a great start. Talk to you soon--


Monday, July 14, 2008

To a good year!

Hello, hello, my friends and fans!

How exciting it is to be writing to you as Miss Iowa 2008. Though it doesn’t seem possible, it has been nearly a month since that night when my dream came true—my goodness!—and I can honestly say that not a day has passed without giving me another reason to be thankful for this job. From the moment that the curtain closed on the evening of the pageant, I have been touched by the kindness and support of so many individuals who have made this experience so wonderful for me already. I thank you all.

I would like to take a little bit of time to fill you in on what I’ve been up to. During my first week as Miss Iowa, I enjoyed interviews on the radio and on Paula Sands Live, while beginning to work on all of the paperwork for Miss America. I also moved into my new apartment in Davenport and picked up my lovely new vehicle from Kimberly Car City. The week came to an exciting conclusion with my first official speaking engagement in Des Moines, where I gave the keynote address and spoke on a panel at a Mother-Daughter Workshop sponsored by Iowa Health. How fitting it was for me to have my own mother and sister along. From Des Moines, we headed back to Davenport to meet Bill Lee (Executive Director and President of the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program) and to take off for the Miss Illinois Pageant in St. Charles. After so much driving, it was such a pleasure to be escorted down to the front row to watch the impressive contestants and enjoy the show. One of the highlights for me was talking onstage with Erika Harold, Miss America 2003, because she is someone I looked to as a role model during high school and continue to admire today. Congratulations to Katie Lorenz, Miss Illinois 2008—I look forward to meeting you soon! After the pageant, I was so glad to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle who live very close to St. Charles. What a nice way to wrap up our day!

Since that first week as Miss Iowa, I have continued to enjoy a busy schedule. What would I do without Gretchen, my business manager?! One event that I really enjoyed was a two-day course presented by the Institute for Character Development entitled “Making an Impact: A Framework for Character Development.” The course helped me cast vision for my service as Miss Iowa, and I was delighted to meet teachers and administrators who are involved with fantastic character education initiatives at their schools. I feel honored to be a part of what is happening across this state as a result of CHARACTER COUNTS! in Iowa and the many caring individuals dedicated to its cause.

Another special highlight from my experiences so far was returning to my hometown and making several appearances—as Miss Iowa instead of Miss Burlington this time! I was invited to be a special guest at the Fourth of July Celebration in West Burlington, where I emceed the youth talent show, judged the karaoke contest, and rode in the parade with my friends from Remax—fellow supporters of Children’s Miracle Network. The next day I returned to West Burlington for Flood Aid 2008, a very well-organized concert and fundraiser for victims of the flood. Along with collecting donations, signing autographs, and doing some radio interviews, I enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones. After the fundraiser, I headed to Myers Tree Farm for festivities and fireworks in Sperry—I will probably never make an appearance closer to home!

Following my weekend at home, I traveled to Brighton to visit campers at the Lake Darling Youth Campground. I had so much fun doing a mini dance workshop with the girls, which taught us about embracing our individuality and celebrating our differences. What a great group of girls—I hope everyone enjoyed the rest of camp!

Last night, I served as Master of Ceremonies and entertained at the Washington County Fair Queen Pageant. I enjoyed meeting the eleven lovely contestants and wish Natalie the best at the State Fair competition. Driving back to Davenport after the pageant last night, I had some time to reflect on the past several weeks, and I just kept thinking about how grateful I am for this job. As many of my readers may know, I have wanted to be Miss Iowa for almost as long as I can remember. Now that my dream has come true, I am so thankful that I never let it go. I haven’t had a lot of real-world work experience yet, but I venture to say that there aren’t many jobs out there quite like mine. Everyday I get to do and learn something new. I get to meet people from all over the state who are always interested in talking with me—and sometimes getting a picture and autograph, too! I have a wonderful team of people who are dedicated to ensuring that my experience as Miss Iowa and at Miss America are nothing less than all I ever imagined. And I get to travel this state as a spokesperson for the things I hold closest to my heart. Throw in laughter, dancing, and lots of shopping, and voila!—the Miss Iowa job description. Not bad, huh?

I cannot help but think that God has prepared me for this year for all of my life. Though I never knew whether I would receive this opportunity or not, He did. And so I am confident that I am ready for all that lies ahead. Oh, how excited I am!

Until next time—