Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mrs. International 2010

I had the experience of a lifetime!!! Mrs. International 2010 was soul-shaping and life-changing! I want to express my deepest gratitude to my dear husband Ryan; my amazing parents, Don and Rhonda Redeker; and our amazing friends Greg and Susen McCallum for being my on-site support crew all week!!! I couldn't have been the Mrs. Iowa I wanted to be without you!!
Huge gratitude to Mary Richardson and the entire International Pageant Family for making this more than I ever imagined! You truly know how to treat us like queens!! I feel blessed to be a part of your pageant family!
Congratulations to our new Mrs. International 2010, Shannon Devine! May you be blessed throughout your reign and forever more! YOU are a wonderful woman and I can't wait to witness all the amazing things you do for Go Red, The International Pageant Family and Adoption!
Much love to you all and I will post pictures very soon!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Light the Night Kick-Off Party

Light the Night in Eastern Iowa had it's Official Kick-Off Party on July 8th at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. What a great way to start our 2010 Light the Night in Eastern Iowa! We had several teams represented while enjoying pizza and other refreshments.
I had the opportunity to introduce Team Live ... Learn ... Survive and am honored to serve Eastern Iowa as Honorary Chair for the walk this year.
WE walk for a cure for blood cancers, for advocacy, and to improve the lives of those who have been touched by blood cancer ... let's show cancer just how serious WE are!

Pictured above with MiKayla VanWay. MiKayla is our honor patient this year. She is a leukemia survivor ... what a brave and adorable little lady.
Pictured above: I was able to share my family's story. This one was for you Grandma O, Uncle Red, Uncle Wilmer and Mom! Live ... Learn ... Survive!

Brent (MiKayla's Dad) shared their story when their lives changed forever after MiKayla's leukemia diagnosis.

Pictured above: MiKayla helps Jessica (Light the Night Eastern Iowa Campaign Coordinator) and Dillan (Jessica's Assistant) draw names for door prizes. "And the winner is ..... Ryan York!" Way to go Mr. Iowa ... you deserve a prize for all your hard work for LLS and Live ... Learn ... Survive!

Pictured above with Larry. Larry is a team captain for Light the Night and is a two time cancer survivor. You ROCK Larry!!! It was a pleasure to meet you and your lovely wife ... you are more inspiring than you will ever know.

What an honor to celebrate our kick-off at Kinnick Stadium ... GO HAWKS!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Live ... Learn ... Survive and Paws and a Cause reach Utah!

I'm so EXCITED to announce Live ... Learn ... Survive and Paws and a Cause have reached Utah! We have now had the opportunity to touch lives directly in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Utah and Colorado! Finding a cure for blood cancers is a nationwide calling ... together WE can make a difference!

These "pawsitively" perfect pooches in Utah (thanks Vonya!) are showing their support for blood cancer by donning their Paws and a Cause bandannas!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

MCCA Dinner

The Montgomery County Cancer Association (MCCA) held their largest fundraising dinner to date this year! On June 26th, 2010, over 400 people came together to celebrate survivor-ship, remember our loved ones with memorials, and raise funds for cancer research.
I was honored to share Live ... Learn ... Survive to MCCA! I had the opportunity to share our mission with many individuals and we were excited to be part of the silent auction too!
Spending this evening with my family, especially my mom, was beyond words. It was an evening that will be in a special place in my heart and mind forever! Celebrating the strength of those individuals whose lives have been forever changed by cancer was a soul-shaping experience.

The evening was marked by the Survivor Ceremony. Each cancer survivor present received a special shirt and rose during the evening. There are very few times in my life that I have been left speechless, but this was truly one of those rare moments. Watching my mom and Aunt Sandy receive their roses brought me to tears of sadness for their diagnosis, joy for their will to fight, and hope for cures for these horrible diseases.
Pictured above: My mother receives her survivor rose.

Mom and Aunt Sandy (aka Aunt Turkey) find strength in each other. Aunt Turkey is a survivor of breast cancer and mom continues her fight with leukemia.

A HUGE thanks to Aunt Shelley for her work with MCCA! She is pictured hear with Aunt Turkey and mom.
Live every day to it's fullest ... Learn to make a difference with passion ... Survive with grace and diligence!

2010 Montgomery County Fair

On June 23rd, 2010, I had the amazing opportunity to take a walk down memory lane. The Montgomery County Fair celebrated 25 years this year. I spent a large amount of my growing years at our county fair. I showed my first sheep, worked at the concession stand, and won my first pageant ever ... all at our fabulous fair! It's more than safe to say the fair has been a staple in my life and inspired me to many life adventures!
Congratulations to Bridget Stieren! She won the title Miss Montgomery County 2010! I'm so excited for her ... we had the same final question aaaannnndd we gave almost the same answer! Also our mothers were childhood friends ... how FUN!!

What better way to fight breast cancer than with this tough, pink camouflage truck!? The Montgomery County Breast Cancer Group is out to fight for a cure! The provide advocacy, education, and patient care assistance throughout Montgomery County. You GO FIGHT LIKE GIRLS!!!!

No fair is complete without a corn dog!

Once a queen .... always a queen! Several of our "retired royalty" returned to the fair on opening night. It's always so great to catch up with these wonderful ladies ... such inspirational women!

Queens reception prior to the 2010 Montgomery County Fair Queen Pageant. A HUGE thanks to Missy and Toby Dean for directing such a wonderful pageant and reception. You two have made more of an impact on so many of our lives ... we LOVE you forever!

We may be retired queens, BUT we still LOVE to pose for pictures!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Light the Night Corporate Luncheon

Light the Night hosted a Corporate Luncheon on June 8th at The Brown Deere Clubhouse. We came together to raise awareness for blood cancers and ask for support for our up-coming walk in October.
I met an amazing little lady at the luncheon. She is a one year survivor and her family is serving as our Honorary Patient Family for 2010. Thanks to The VanWay's for sharing your story!

Pictured below: Jessica Reiter-Flax (Light the Night Coordinator for Eastern Iowa), Feryl York (Honorary Chair for 2010 Light the Night) and Dylan Mooney (Light the Night Campaign Assistant)

Brent VanWay shares their family story as their brave daughter fights leukemia.

Pictured below: Jessica shares her family story and her passion for blood cancer research in honor of her mother Carol. Carol, like my mother, was diagnosed with CML. Carol courageously fought CML by participating in the clinical trial for Gleevec that is now keeping over 90 % of CML patients alive. What an amazing inspiration!

Are you ready to be a part of this AMAZING evening? Click the title above to learn how you can walk to save and improve the lives of those with blood cancers!

Mrs. IA/MN/WI America 2010

Mrs. IA/MN/WI 2010 was held in St. Paul, MN on June 5th, 2010. Ryan and I had an amazing evening cheering on all of the lovely contestants, but two special ladies had our hearts. Valarie Whitehead (Mrs. IA International 2009) was competing for the title of Mrs. IA America and stole the crown! What an honor to watch the wonderful woman who has been an inspiration to me as Mrs. IA International 2010 grace the stage with grace and elegance! Breanna Luderman was competing for the title of Mrs. MN America and won the judeges hearts just as she won mine one year ago! Breanna, I am so proud of you and feel blessed to call you my friend!
Pictured below: Ryan graciously posed for a picture with me at the "After-Party" ... Love ya Ry!!
Pictured below: Ron and Ryan celebrate their "titles" as Mr. Iowa America 2010 and Mr. Iowa International 2010. Val and I have great support don't we?!

Congratulations Valarie Whitehead, Mrs. Iowa America 2010! You look stunning!!

Congratulations to Breanna Luderman, Mrs. Minnesota America 2010! You couldn't be more beautiful inside and out!

Pictured below: My fellow pageant sister, Susie Overvold Mrs. MN International 2010. We are looking forward to Chicago ... it's right around the corner!

Pictured below: Ryan and Leslie Scheu are always there to "hold our goodies" ... thanks you two! What would Jessica and I do without you two?!

Pictured below: Ryan poses with Miss Teen MN International 2009, Jessica Scheu. We have really enjoyed getting to know you Jessica and wish you all the best!

Light the Night Meeting

On June 1st, Jessica (Light the Night Program Coordinator) and I met with Janice Baldes. Janice is the creator of Bagolitas ... so very cute handbags with lots of attitude!! Janice has graciously agreed to donate 15%-35% of the procedes for our Light the Night fundraising campaign! What an amazing woman! We are so proud to have her support for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!
Pictured below: Janice presented me with a new Bagolita ... I LOVE sporting this fun bag around town! Thanks so much Janice!

To learn more about Bagolitas, click on today's blog title to link with their blog.

Miss Linn County Mock Interviews

On May 23rd, I had a GREAT time meeting Miss Linn County and Miss Teen Linn County. Gretchen Bruesehoff and Anna Massengarb are preparing for Miss Iowa and Miss Iowa Teen America. Today a panel of "judges" provided mock interview sessions for these fabulous ladies. Then, they dazzled us with their amazing talents ... what beautiful voices these young ladies have!!
Best of luck as they compete for Miss Iowa and Miss Iowa Teen America June 11th and 12th!

Pictured above: Gretchen singing her beautiful talent number for Miss Iowa.
Pictured above: Anna provides us with a taste of her talent number as well! Such talent at such a young age!
Feel free to click on the title above to learn more about Miss Linn County!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

LLS Gala

We ended The Man, Woman and Celebrity of the Year Campaign with The Iowa LLS Gala. This phenomenal event was held at The Meadows in Altoona, IA on May 15th.
I'm honored and excited to announce I was awarded 1st Runner - up this year! Our winner for the celebrity category was Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson! We are so honored to have Shawn advocate for LLS!

I am so honored to have my family with me during the amazing event! Pictured above are the inspirations behind my advocacy and philanthropy work for LLS. L to R: Dad (Don Redeker), Mom (Rhonda Redeker) and Mr. Iowa (Ryan).
We await the announcement of winners on stage ... drum roll please!

The Meadows was FABULOUS! We had an evening of fun with our honorary families and honorary chair (ISU Head Football Coach Paul Rhodes). I do think I even gained some points with Ryan by getting him an autograph from Coach Rhodes!

We also had a wonderful dinner and silent / live auction with all the proceeds going to LLS!

Thanks to all of our friends and family for supporting LLS!
Pictured Above: Theresa and Matt Fettkether.
Pictured Below: The BEST Mom and Dad a girl could ever dream of!
A mother holds her hand for a little while, BUT holds her heart FOREVER!
Mom ... you are my inspiration and I love you more than words can ever express!

Pictured below with two sweet little ladies! Jason Wulff is also a 2010 Candidate for Man, Woman and Celebrity of the Year ... these are his wonderful girls!

Ryan, I love you with all my being! I love that you willingly wear your cancer ribbon tie! You have inspired me to be the woman I have always wanted to be. You stand beside me and support me more than I could ever have imagined you would ... you constantly make me so proud to be Mrs. York!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LLS at Iowa Cubs

It was LLS Day at The Iowa Cubs Game on May 8th, 2010! About 10 weeks ago, I accepted a nomination by LLS to participate in a philanthropic campaign. The Man, Woman and Celebrity of the Year Campaign has been such a blessing!! I have met GREAT people who share the same passion for blood cancer awareness as Ryan and I do. What an honor to be a part of throwing out the game pitch!
Pictured below with several of the candidates for Man, Woman and Celebrity of the Year from L to R: Jason Wulf, Rhonda Vrendenburg, Edye Beckerman, Shawn Johnson, Chasity Young, Corey Jansen, Ryan Kolder and Sharon Keeling our campaign manager.

What an opportunity to campaign for LLS with Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson!! Thanks for your support for LLS Shawn!

LLS hits the Iowa Cubs!

Ryan's "crowning" moment! Ryan was honored as 2009's Celebrity of the Year winner. We are so excited to have his support again this year as he campaigns for Man of the Year.

Pictured below with Rhonda (Woman of the Year candidate). It was such an honor to meet her! We instantly connected as her son (Steve) was diagnosed with CML. Like my mother, Steve is on the medication Gleevec to help control their leukemia.

Getting ready to throw out the first pitch!

Shawn takes her position ... what better person to throw out our first pitch than an Olympic Gold Gymnast?!

Pictured below: The Man, Woman and Celebrity of the Year candidates cheer on the Iowa Cubs onto the field!
THANKS Iowa Cubs ... for supporting LLS!!!

2010 Arthritis Walk

I had such a great time at The 2010 Arthritis Walk in Cedar Rapids, IA. I was honored to lead the group's warm-up before their walk. I LOVED being on the Kernels Field at Perfect Game Ball Park on May 8th!

Pictured below with Cathy and Alycia at The Physiotherapy Associates booth for pre-event and post-event stretching.

After a much needed warm-up (it was a very chilly and rainy Saturday morning), the walkers began their walk around the Kernels Field.

Pictured below with Gabe ... he braved the cold to walk to support a cure for arthritis.

I had the honor of meeting today's honorary walk chair (pictured below) ... she is such an inspiration! She suffers with osteoarthritis, but still finds a way to exercise regularly ... GREAT example for all of us!