Let's continue on from where I left off in my previous post and wrap up the month of April!
I am not one to typically agree to run a 5k race. However, when I was asked to run in "Matt's Race," honoring FDNY Lt. Gordon "Matt" Ambelas, I knew it was something I wanted to do. So, bright and early on a beautiful Sunday morning, I made my way to Clove Lakes. Since I have never considered myself a runner (in fact, I avoid it at all costs), my goal was never to finish with the best time, but to simply complete the race. I am proud to say that with a little encouragement from my FDNY boyfriend, I made it across the finish line!
This girl ran her first 5k (and didn't come in last)!
New Dorp Restaurant Crawl
After a morning run, we made our way to the 1st Annual New Dorp Lane Restaurant Crawl! For just $10, we were able to sample various cuisines from multiple restaurants and even found a few new places to visit again in the future. Thank you to The New Dorp Merchants Group, Councilman Steven Matteo, and The Richmond County Savings Foundation for putting this event together. It was a big hit and I'm hoping there will be another in the future!
Childhood Cancer PSA
April 22nd was an usually cold day, but that didn't stop me from spending the night in Times Square working with TheTruth365. We filmed reactions to a Childhood Cancer Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring Kylie Myers, who we lost only two months ago. The video carries an extremely powerful message and we had some strong reactions from viewers. I cannot wait until May 4th, when TheTruth365 will release the completed PSA. Check out the video shown in Times Square: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vyh_XqooTwc
"What's Happening With Kids On The Island?"
"What Happening With Kids On The Island?" is a local program on CTV. I was contacted by Helene Bucchieri, whom I had met several times before, and was asked to serve as the interviewer for the upcoming episode. Though I have to admit I was a bit nervous, I agreed.
First, I interviewed Leia Schwartz, the 10-year-old author of Dyslexic Renegade. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and took it as an opportunity to educate and empower her peers. What a strange feeling being on the other side of the questions, but it was definitely loads of fun! I had initially been under the impression that this was my only job, but Helene was so happy with my "performance" that she asked me to interview one more young lady! Just goes to show you, you' have to always be ready to go with flow. Thank you for trusting me with your show, Helene. I loved my first hosting experience and look forward to doing more work with you in the future.
NYC Chili Cookoff
I am most definitely a "foodie," so what is a better fit for me than judging a cookoff? I had previously served as a special guest judge for the NYC Chili Cookoff in 2014 and was asked to return this year as Miss Greater New York. I guess I did an okay job last year, huh?
The NYC Chili Cookoff is sanctioned by the International Chili Society, so this competition is no joke. Judges must sit through a pre-cookoff orientation (complete with a reading of the rules) and must take their jobs very seriously. After all, the cooks are counting on us! I judged both the salsa and red chili competitions, took a stroll through Historic Richmond Town with my family, ate delicious food and met two Jets coaches (Ron Heller & Marcel Shipp). All in all, it was a pretty wonderful day!
Give Hope Walk
To round out a fantastic month, I was finally able to attend the Give Hope Walk to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. April 26th was a beautiful day and the scenery was perfect for a morning stroll (If you've never been to Riverside Park, you must go!). I was invited to cut the starting ribbon alongside Dana Wershaw, a pediatric cancer survivor. It was an amazing honor for me, especially since I have been able to donate over $15,000 to this organization in the past year. Their gratitude was simply overwhelming.
I spent the day speaking with pediatric cancer families, gathering ideas for upcoming projects, and enjoying the gorgeous spring weather (finally). I even had the chance to chat with Lee Goldberg, the meteorologist for ABC7 and an avid supporter of PCF. The entire event reaffirmed my passion for my platform and inspired me to develop new initiatives. Our children are worth #MoreThan4. It's time the government took notice.
Now, it's time to say "Hello" to May...and to some new projects and fundraisers! It's going to be a busy month because I will be finalizing my preparations for Miss New York, as well, but I'm looking forward to it all. Let the fun begin!