Miss Iowa 2008 Olivia Myers

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Miss America's Outstanding Teen--What a Blast!

Hello! I just returned from an amazing week at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, Florida. First off, I would like to congratulate Iowa’s Outstanding Teen, Jessica Jennings, for representing our state remarkably well both on the stage and off. I am continually impressed with Jessica and was so proud to be from Iowa as I watched and cheered for her from the audience. I also had a great time getting to know Jessica a little bit better throughout the week. She’s not only talented, but also a lot of fun!

I was one of 48 contestants for Miss America 2009 in Orlando. What a pleasure it was to meet most of the other contestants and to get a glimpse into their lives as state representatives. Now that we are acquainted, I am even more excited for the approaching reality show filming and for Miss America in January—I will certainly be in good company!

In addition to the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant and preliminaries, the Miss America “Class of 2009” was treated to some very special activities and events throughout the week in Orlando. Two highlights, of course, were Disney World and Sea World. At the Magic Kingdom, we felt like true royalty as we were escorted from one attraction to the next, never having to wait in line! Perhaps my favorite event during the week was a Miss America fundraiser held at the beautiful estate of David and Jacqueline Siegel with Miss America 2008, Kirsten Haglund. Again, I felt like a royal guest, dressed up with the other contestants in lovely cocktail dresses and sampling delicacies from some of the area’s finest restaurants. Upon our arrival, I even caught a glimpse of the red carpet, as we made our grand entrances one-by-one, each posing for a photo at the end of the walkway. What a thrill it was when the Siegel’s surprised the Miss America Organization with a check for $50,000 at the end of the night.

A 1950s-themed Sock Hop was another highlight from the week. I joined the teen contestants and their fans for a night of entertainment, food, and dancing, of course! One morning, I also appeared on a local television show with Kirsten and the other contestants. My trip ended on a wonderful note at Sea World, where I was able to spend the day with Jessica, Bill and Nancy Lee, Becky Lee Hinton, and Rebecca Cutler and her beautiful daughter, Elizabeth. We explored the Arctic and many other exhibits, dined among sharks at the Underwater Grille, had a thrill on the roller coaster, attended a Hawaiian luau, and got splashed (and entirely soaked!) at the shamu show. Thank you so much to Bill and Nancy for treating me to such a fun and memorable trip!

Before heading to Florida, I was busy preparing to take the Miss America stage, and now my preparations will continue. I also made some very special appearances leading up to my trip, a few of which I would like to briefly share with you. On July 23 and 24, I was a guest at the Des Moines County Fair, where I emceed the queen contest and judged the talent show. I was also able to visit and dance with residents at Hope Haven in company of Li’l Miss Burlington, Megan Jennings; Junior Miss Burlington, Haley Darnold; and Miss Burlington’s Outstanding Teen, Mariah Carey. We had a wonderful time! My trip to Burlington Care Center with Haley still stands out as another favorite adventure so far this year.

I also enjoyed Miracle Treat Day, a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network, on August 7. On Miracle Treat Day, Dairy Queen donates all of its proceeds from blizzard sales to CMN, so I was honored to promote the day through radio advertisements, and I very much enjoyed my banana cream pie blizzard! On August 8, I visited children in a Ft. Madison community, where the kids decorated two t-shirts—one to keep for themselves and one to donate to Children’s Miracle Network. Thank you to the children for their beautiful gifts. On August 9, I attended the Annual National Trappers Association Convention in Mason City, where I donned my lovely fur coat, a gift from the Iowa Trappers Association. Thank you to the trappers! And my final appearance before my trip to Orlando was at the Iowa State Fair, where I met some of the people who make our state so great and was introduced at the Bill Riley Talent Show. Many, many memories I’ve made on the Bill Riley stage throughout my life. It was so special to be back as Miss Iowa, and I thank Bill Riley Jr. for continuing to offer young Iowans the opportunity to hone their skills and showcase their talents.

As you can see, I am truly enjoying each day “on the job.” There really is no other job quite like that of Miss Iowa—it is more like an adventure filled with surprises, countless opportunities to grow, and encounters with remarkable people. I will keep you posted as my adventure continues. Thank you for reading!

With love,