Miss Boise's CMNH Passion

"There are countless reasons why I am proud to be a representative of the Miss Idaho Organization; from the caliber of girls I stand alongside, to the positive changes in our communities that we each work tirelessly to trigger. With that being said, few experiences in this program have touched my heart the way that the Children’s Miracle Network has. 

Despite the hours I spent in germy dance studios and tumbling gyms growing up, I was very fortunate to always have good health, and I never had to be one of the 62 children that are admitted to a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital every minute. My health has never benefited from CMN specifically, but my life surely has. 

My best friend Kim, whom I met in the Broadcast Journalism program our freshman year at BYU, has a one in 10 million neurological disorder that has paralyzed her from the neck down on two separate occasions. Each of these attacks landed her in Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake to rehabilitate and benefit from CMN firsthand. It was through her experiences, and her gratitude, that I developed my own love and appreciation for CMN. 

In turn, it helped me establish a deep passion for the partnership the Miss America Organization has with the Children’s Miracle Network. I have been lucky enough to meet a few of the miracle beneficiaries of our fundraising efforts during my years in this organization, and each experience is a bright spot in a long list of incredible opportunities, with each of their individual lights helping to make the reason I do this even more clear. 

I was able to attend two separate CMN events in just the past week and see thousands of dollars raised for this worthy cause. First was the Dance Marathon at Boise State University, where the students raised $66,217.80 by dancing for 17 hours straight, and second was the best day of the year, National Pancake Day at IHOP! If you would like to donate to CMN, you can find my personal donation page here."

- Miss Boise 2015, Dani Beckstrom

Kiwi Loco and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Did you know the Miss America Organization works hand in hand with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals? The Miss America Organization has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals throughout the United States. Contestants competing in Miss America-sponsored pageants are now expected to raise a minimum of $100 in donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Miss America Scholarship Fund. It’s not an entrance fee, but a new service requirement. In addition, each new Miss America becomes the goodwill ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, speaking on behalf of kids treated at children’s hospitals and raising awareness around the country. It’s just another way the Miss America Organization helps young women leave a legacy of service, scholarship, and support.

Our very own Miss Southeastern Idaho has put a new twist on raising her funds by working with a local business, Kiwi Loco. If you stop by Kiwi Loco and donate a dollar to Kayli's CMNH fund you can receive 20% off of your yogurt purchase. A steal of a deal and for a great cause. Come join Kayli and Kiwi Loco in Rexburg as they team up to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals!

Pancakes, Pageants, And Preparing for the Future

Last week was National Pancake Day! I had a blast going to IHOP in Idaho Falls to help greet all of the customers who came to get free pancakes and support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The proceeds from the Idaho Falls location go specifically to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake. It was fun to see people from all over Southeastern Idaho who came to support such a great cause. I even ran into a student from Teton Valley High School that I visited last October. Many high school students came on their lunch breaks – it made me feel so old that I didn’t recognize many of them from Idaho Falls High School! It feels like yesterday that I was in their shoes.

A group of girls from IF High after enjoying some free pancakes at IHOP.

A group of Shelley High students who were taking an "extended" lunch break. ;)

Just last night, I had the opportunity to speak to the girls competing for Bonneville County’s Distinguished Young Women next month. I was also able to help a few of them individually with their closing statements for their interviews, and I must say that I was blown away by the caliber of girls who are competing this year! WOW! It was a lot of fun to revisit the organization that jump-started and preceded my involvement with the Miss America Organization. The Idaho Falls area is so lucky to have such dedicated volunteers to run scholarship organizations like Distinguished Young Women and Miss Idaho Falls’ Outstanding Teen and Miss Idaho Falls.

Between a few speaking engagements at service clubs like Kiwanis International, elementary school visits, and teaching piano lessons, I have been trying to get my life organized to return to school. I finally have a housing agreement, the best roommate ever, and tuition paid!!!! It is such a sweet feeling to be able to use my scholarship money from Miss Idaho to further my education. I’ll be returning to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for 2nd block Winter Semester classes, which start February 28th. However, my credit load will be pretty light so that I can return to Idaho Falls and Boise on weekends to do appearances. One of my courses is online through BYU Independent Study, and it will be a blessing to work on that course at my own pace, on my own schedule since I will still be traveling a lot. BYU Independent Study was a fabulous sponsor to have for Miss America this year, and they were a lot of fun to work with.

This week I’ll be in Boise to volunteer at the St. Luke’s Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Department, and for a Valentine’s Day VIP Celebration at the Veteran’s Hospital. And I’m hoping to deliver some handbags along the way. Keep on the lookout for pictures coming soon!

Until next time,
Whitney Wood
Miss Idaho 2012

National Pancake Day

What do Crowns, pancakes, and fundraising have in common? National Pancake Day. It isn't just a day for free pancakes at IHOP. It is a day to help raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Miss Southeastern Idaho, Kayli Schwendiman spent time at her local IHOP raising funds and meeting everyone coming in. She was there to help raise funds but also to encourage other volunteers and let them know how much they were helping. 

Kayli said, "All of them were so excited when I told them that they were helping to raise money for kids who were sick and needed some help. All of them loved my crown and wanted pictures with it."

Beyond that, she was able to reconnect with a girl she had met at one of her previous appearances. "One of girls [with the cheer leading outfit on] was actually at a previous event I had done in August and she was so excited to be there with me. I ended up eating dinner with her and her mom and we had a great time eating, looking at her cheer leading pictures, and having her try on my crown."