Today the Acequia Elementary staff asked me to conduct a question and answer session about the Mrs. Idaho America pageant. I was able to explain the pageant and all of the benefits for married women in the state of Idaho.
For over a year now, I have been busy promoting my message of Healthy Families, Healthy Idaho through my blog. I have been humbled and honored to watch it's readership grow to substantial numbers and to see it spread across the country. I believe in leading by example and hope to inspire and encourage other families to become more active and healthy with their families within their own community. Promoting this message across my community has been a great adventure for my family. Getting more involved in Sun Valley and becoming a more active family has been the biggest perk for me and for my family.
Every year, Sun Valley Resort has incredible ice sculptures on their grounds. This year, in honor of their 75th Anniversary, they are better than ever. -- http://sunvalleyfamilies.blogspot.com/
On January 13, the Boise Capital City Lions club asked me to be their keynote speaker. Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. That's because they are the help where help is needed – in our own communities and around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy.
There are over 45,000 clubs and 1.35 million members make them the world's largest service club organization. I was truly honored to be able to be their speaker for the day since they are such an inspiration to me! I spoke of all the service work I've done in the community, how I've helped to do my part as a citizen and the experience of the pageant so far. It was a wonderful experience!
On January 14, I was asked to participate in raising awareness for Bruce Wingate and Protect Idaho Kids. They have the same belief that our children are our future, we NEED to protect them. Through community outreach, integrity, education and many events I've been able to do with them, we are working on getting that message out! Mrs. Eagle, Kristie Bear, got to join us this time and we spoke with many people about some fun and exciting events coming up for Protect Idaho Kids! We are improving and the campaign is continually aiming to increase awareness of child safety issues that most effect the youth in our community. I am proud to be apart of such a wonderful organization!
I was so happy to help the Protect Idaho Kids Organization today. They are working on making Idaho the safest State in the Nation for our children through a multi-media education and awareness campaigne. It was fun to have Mrs. Boise Lindsay Campbell there with me as well. The Mrs. Idaho America Pageant has been a great place for me to meet new people and make life long friends.
What a truly humbling experience this was to serve nearly 300 men, women and children a wonderful hot meal during the course of several hours that evening. James, the volunteer director gave us a tour of the kitchen . We stood in the large freezer and the pantry that stocked the canned goods that were donated from the community. He handed out the aprons, we washed our hands, pulled on our gloves and happily served in our assembly line. The hungry folks came in and patiently waited at their tables as they were served by the cheerful young boys anxious to serve them.
Several men are part of a incentive working program called New Life that encourages them in getting back on their feet and return to establishing themselves in the community once again after rehabilitation from drug and alcohol abuse. There were the stories of many and all were so grateful of having a safe and warm place where they could go for a meal and a place to lay their head. Indeed they were also so appreciative of us showing them we care by serving them.
It was I that walked away with a most grateful heart and warm feeling in doing some good on the first day of the New Year and hoping to carry that feeling throughout the year. I am so blessed!
On New Years Day 2011, both Mrs. Meridian, Beverly Hartle and Mrs. Boise, Lindsay Campbell took the plunge in the Great Polar Challenge that takes place each year at Lucky Peak Reservoir in benefitting the Make-A-Wish Idaho.
More than 200 people participated in the challenge this year raising over $30,000 which benefits up to 6 children suffering life-threatening illnesses. With the wind chill in the -15 range, many ran into the icy water just enough to plunge and run out, however there were some that brought boats and took to waterskiing. With ice forming on the shoreline and steam rising from the water, the countdown began and there was shreaks and shrills as we entered the lake and quickly exited barely able to move as the numbing quickly kicked in.
Facing a challenge such as this for just a brief moment in time was symbolic in the everyday trials these children are suffering with.
What a wonderful way to start the New Year by participating in an event to support these children in fulfilling their dreams. It was crazy, intense, exciting but rewarding in knowing we have helped put a smile on a child's face..even just for a little while.
On December 16, I was asked by Protect Idaho Kids to do a television spot featuring local events for families, children and fun stuff for the community during the Christmas time. I know you can't post that, but thought you'd enjoy, so it's attached. They introduced me as "Mrs. Boise herself" which was kind of fun and made me smile, but when I watched it, it has the title of "Mrs. Idaho" under my name... kind of is a BIG funny oops, but it's nothing I could have controlled.
On December 16, 2010, I was asked to join my daughters class for some holiday baking and also speak to the children about how to give back without having much money to spend (they are kids, so they don't have much). We spent the afternoon working on perfecting the dough, baking them, letting them cool and then the decorations were next! Talk about a fun, silly group of girls I got to hang out with. I was with 6 young girls for most of the day and we had such a blast with all the festivities! Next, I got to speak with the entire class about how to give back. We talked about how many different things we can do, even as children. Some of the children were very creative with suggestions they can use on their own to do some volunteerism in our very own community. I hope I was able to influence these young children to do good deeds and pay it forward each and everyday of their lives!
For the past 3 years, I have helped organized the YMCA's Giving Tree that helps benefit the Hunger Coalition. Every year, I am deeply moved by the compassion of Sun Valley residents. From reading over each child's wish list to seeing beautifully wrapped presents arrive daily, it is truly a humbling experience and one event that I look forward to coordinating each year. This year, with the communities support, 75 local children will have a brighter Christmas. Photo #1: After organizing the gifts for the families to pick up, I'm standing in front of some of the gifts. Photo #2: YMCA Youth and Family Coordinator Danna Cox and I worked closely on ensuring the success of this project. All 75 ornaments came off of this Christmas tree in the YMCA's front lobby. -- http://sunvalleyfamilies.blogspot.com/
Shirlene (Mrs. Jerome) and I are helping with the Festival of Trees going on here in the Magic Valley. It was a blast meeting all the women for the Girl's Night Out that we are putting together and planning for. We have a fashion show and many other fun events we get to help with and get our names out into the community with! It should be a wonderful event with all of the hard work that is going into it. I will keep you updated on what happens at the actual event!
Sun Valley was the America's first ski resort and this year, we are celebrating it's 75th Anniversary. Sun Valley Co. has planned many activities throughout the ski season to honor this special occasion. It is quite an honor for me to represent Sun Valley and my hometown during this monumental year.-- http://sunvalleyfamilies.blogspot.com/
I am so grateful for this time of the year.Hearts are open to share with those who have less.Shop with a cop started at 6:00 a.,m.75 police officers with lights flashing and sirens crying,We totally lit up the sleepy town of Rex burg.Then off to McDonald's for breakfast,then off to shop.My heart was full the way the "police officers" shared their time,and truly cared about these kids.Enclosed are some of the officers.Shelly and i had to check the list,finding out who had been"REALLY NICE".Others are random pictures of the men in "Blue".The very tall hairy guy,well that would be my husbands second cousin twice removed.HaHa.Anyway many doors have opened to allow meto share my time and energies.Wishing all of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS. Cookie Watts
The beginning of December I was asked to speak to a group of amazing young women. They had an award night spotlighting each girl on their accomplishments this last year in their youth program. I talked to them about how setting goals and following through can impact your life and change it for the better. I was honored that I was able to speak to them and had a great time! The ladies looked so beautiful on their big night! Thanks so much for letting me be there! Kaley Sparling Mrs. Ada County
"Blessed are the Peacemakers!" This race event took place at the Idaho Correctional facilities located in Kuna, Idaho. The proceeds from this event provides educational scholarships for survivors of Idaho Fallen Officers directly from the memorial fund. http://www.idahopeaceofficersmemorial.com/ The race was kicked off to a start by the prison sirens and a warcraft airplane flying overhead. It was almost an eary feeling, but exciting all at once to be present here as the runners took off on their course through the desert and back. The rain held off until the very end during the awards ceremony. It was my honor to personally give out awards to the winners of the 5k, 10k and the half marathon along with Retired Peace Officer and currently Representive Rich Wills from district 22. What a wonderful man and servant of our great state! Once again, it is a great feeling to see how supported events such as these are helping families of officers that have served honorably in our communities.
This was going to be a busy day in Meridian! The morning began with blustery snowflakes coming down on our Winterland parade! I could have easily kept the top down and stayed inside the warm, comfortable car with the heated seats warming my tush, but no..I braved the elements and sat atop the car with my umbrella and cruised Main St., Meridian following the wagon picking up droppings from the Clydesdale horse ahead of us. I wondered if my magnetic sign was large enough to properly state my title as "Mrs. Meridian" since I heard the cute bundled up children waving and yelling out, "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Idaho!" and once I surprisingly heard a child yell out, "Hi, Mrs. America!!". Oh..from the mouths of babes! It just warmed my heart..and that's about all it warmed in the 20 degree temps. Mom's helper Zach, trailed beside or mostly behind the car handing out candy to the parade onlookers and was determined to not miss a single child. He's a leader and a service member in the making! Thanks to the kind driver, Scott from Audi of Boise for loaning the car. http://www.volkswagenaudiboise.com/ rocks!!
Following the parade, we were off to defrost and feel our fingers and toes again in the Community Center where the Meridian Parks & Recreation department hosted an event for children to come and take pictures with Santa, drink some hot chocolate, decorate sugar cookies with every kind of sprinkle and gummies they could load on top, paint their faces and make glittered Christmas cards for their familes! HO! HO! HO! I'm so happy to be serving in the community of IDA...HO!! Finally, but certainly not least was the Mayor's Christmas tree lighting that evening. The city displayed on a big screen, the movie "The Grinch" before listening to 5th grade elementary school choirs from Chief Joseph Elementary and a jazz orchestra group from one of the local high schools. Once again, the snow fell reminding us of the season's arrival. Then, speaking of arrivals, Santa arrived by horse and carriage on Main St , followed by his and Mayor Tammy de Weerd count down to the lighting of the tree. The director of the parks and rec., Steve Siddoway held his breath and hoped for the best as the tree lighted and all was a success! There was a contest on who could guess how many lights lighted the tree and I was told that the continuous strand of lights were over a mile long! I think the vote is still out as I haven't heard the numbers come in yet. I am so honored to be a representative in my hometown of MERIDIAN and enjoying the spirit of this wonderful season of Christmas as we celebrate Christ's birth! That's what this is all about!