Miss Iowa 2008 Olivia Myers

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dear friends,

What a whirlwind of events the past month has been. I can’t believe it’s nearly November! It seems like just yesterday that I was boarding the plane for the Miss America reality show, yet I have already been home for two weeks. Though I can’t reveal any details of the show, I can assure you that I had a remarkable time and that the show will most certainly be entertaining and fun. I urge you all to watch on TLC in January. There are lots of surprises that you won’t want to miss; I can’t wait to tune in myself!

During the days that we were not filming, we kept busy with exciting activities in the LA area. Memorable events include: a visit to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a VIP tour of Warner Brothers Studio, appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the KTLA Morning Show, a visit to the Los Angeles Zoo, a shopping trip to South Coast Plaza Mall, a Los Angeles Angels baseball game, a Children’s Miracle Network promotion and breakfast at IHOP, and several sponsored dinners at some of the area’s best locations. Needless to say, we were treated well.

When I returned to Iowa, exhausted from a nonstop schedule, I brought with me a heightened sense of honor and gratitude to be a part of the Miss America Class of 2009. I had spent three weeks with 51 extraordinary young women, and I am blessed to be able to call them my friends. I wish them all the best as they continue on their journeys to Miss America. How incredibly exciting that one of us will soon take on that name!

My first week back in Iowa kept me on the move. First I attended the Miss Iowa Pageant’s annual Fall Workshop for board members serving at the local level. It was a pleasure to share my recent experiences with these dedicated volunteers and to catch up on state pageant news. The following day I made an appearance at the Parade of Homes in the Quad Cities. My next stop was at Tero in Des Moines for a two-day presentation skills workshop, and then I headed to Moline for Trinity Foundation’s Autumn in the QCA Celebrity Fashion Show. I hit the runway in some beautiful outfits from The Gentry Shop in Davenport. Finally, at the end of the week, I had my first rehearsal for my upcoming appearance in the QC Dancing with the Stars competition. I’m looking forward to showing off my new moves in December!

Yesterday I returned from a wonderful week in northwest Iowa, where I celebrated National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. On Sunday, October 19, I drove across the state to a small town called Sibley. I was greeted by a warm and welcoming family, the Klaassens, who hosted me for the next few nights. What followed was a busy six days that truly embody what this year is all about:

Monday: I began the day by greeting students as they arrived at the elementary school in Sibley. Throughout the day, I also had the opportunity to present two assemblies, address the Rotary Club, visit a pre-K classroom, and conduct different service projects with the students in every grade level. The service projects were some of the first in my Extreme Iowa Makeover, a project designed to improve Iowa communities while building the character of their youth. After school the Klaassens treated me to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant—a delicious way to wrap up the day!

Tuesday: In the morning I presented two assemblies to the students at Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School and headed to an outdoor recreational area for another service project with the student leadership team. For lunch I attended a meeting of the school counseling advisory board, where I was able to share my experiences with character education and to discuss my goals for the remainder of the year. I ended the day with a small group discussion and an assembly at the high school. Later that night, I had the privilege of attending dance class with the youngest member of my host family, Natalie. I had lots of fun dancing, answering questions, and signing autographs, of course!

Wednesday: I traveled to Primghar for two assemblies at South O’Brien Elementary, and then I continued to Milford to meet my next hosts, the Bouses. I had a great time going out for dinner with another wonderful family.

Thursday: I spent the day at Okoboji Elementary, teaching tap dance lessons and answering questions with each grade level. In the afternoon, I presented two assemblies—one at the elementary school and another at the middle school.

Friday: I had a fun-filled day at Spirit Lake Elementary and Middle Schools, where I presented two more assemblies and kept busy visiting each of the classrooms. After school I enjoyed High School Musical 3 with my host mom and sister!

Saturday: I attended the Iowa Character Awards Banquet in West Des Moines, where I was honored to speak to individuals whose lives reflect what it means to practice the highest standards of character. Congratulations to all of the deserving award recipients.

My most sincere thanks go to all who made this week so special for me. And now, here’s to another great week!

All my best,