Saturday, March 3, 2007

I’m a Pirate, That Cares!

Pirates of the Competition

Last Saturday I started my day bright and early judging a Forensics tournament hosted by my alma mater, BGSU. My longtime readers know that Forensics is the speech competition thing I did that’s normally very formal and prestigious with business suits and trophies. To mix it up, near the end of the competition season some schools stop taking themselves so seriously and host a “theme tournament.” Last year BG did the possibly offensive “Redneck Round-up.”
CLICK HERE for the Redneck blog entry and HERE for pictures.

This year, we hosted “Pirates of the Competition!” Aaarrr!

[Above, I'm with the Sarahs at the ballot table; below I'm in the tab room with Michelle, Amanda and Lew. CLICK HERE for the pre-tournament photo shoot, which I unfortunately could not attend.]

Sadly, I could only judge two rounds of competition because work beckoned. I changed out of my pirate garb, into the dress I wore for interview at Miss Ohio USA and sped up I-75 to Monroe Michigan.

The We Care Telethon

From Monroe County Community College FOX Toledo was broadcasting the St. Michael’s We Care Telethon. We Care provides financial assistance to Monroe County residents with severe medical situations. This was a circumstance in which I could not have been successful without my Forensics and pageant background; I knew little about We Care, was given no cue cards and was in the phone room with fifteen solid on-air minutes to fill at a time! Just like the popular PBS telethons, this one featured entertainment for fifteen minutes, then the phone room for fifteen minutes. FOX Toledo’s chief meteorologist, Mike Morrison, and I were on every-other fifteen minutes for five hours and let me tell you, when I was done I was SO exhausted!
CLICK HERE for more.

Monroe County’s Outstanding Teen, Jordan Miller, was on hand to help us with the tally board and when Mike and I were done, Melissa Cousino, Miss Monroe County and two members of the MMC board took over as phone room hosts.

The telethon was on two Michigan cable channels and the internet for its twelve hour duration and on FOX Toledo from 5 to 7 p.m. Melissa also performed her talent (a tap to “All The Jazz”) and chatted about Miss Michigan and her platform (The Make-a-Wish Foundation) during the FOX Toledo time, thus, reaching the maximum viewership. Cousino is a popular last name in the Toledo/southern Michigan area; but Melissa is not related to Ohio’s Miss Mansfield Emily Cousino, who is from the same area.

It was a pleasure meeting Melissa and Jordan, but I have to admit, I was so jealous! Opportunities and exposure like that are what I dreamed of when I was a titleholder! But, they’re just not as easy to come by as some people may expect. Most of the appearances I do as the Face of FOX Toledo are things a titleholder could/should do. Along the way I’m telling the organizations I work with about Miss Maumee Valley, Miss All-American City and Miss Northwestern Ohio so maybe they too could build a “Celebrity Pot” at the Toledo Home and Garden show next year or be a “Celebrity Artist” at the American Diabetes Association Art Gala… etc…

Now that I am no longer a titleholder, it is frustrating to see these things I wish I would have done when I was one… The point is, first, I hope all the current ladies who read this push themselves to find these opportunities and second, congratulations to Melissa and Jordan for representing themselves and the Miss America Organization with such grace!


  1. Abby,
    I am surprised that you did not mention one of Miss Monroe's directors that we have had the pleasure of getting to know a little. She is the very lovely Kaye Lani Rae Rafko-Wilson, Miss America 1988! She is just as wonderful as I thought she was when she won!
    BTW, I found someone at Tiff's orthodontist office that is able to watch you on Fox Toledo. When we go back, she is going to give me a "report" on how you're doing...LOL...just kidding about the "report"!
    Love and Hugs, ;)

  2. Hi Nancy,

    Kaye Lani wasn't there, but the organizers did mention that one of their most successful telethons was when she was hosting in the phone room.

    Also, one of the organizers is the mother of a former Miss Michigan, I wanted to include it, but forgot forgot her name... oops!

    As for FOX, we recently filmed a spoof of the Apple vs. PC commercial. Hopefully it turns out well.



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