This past fall has flown by, and I now find myself cherishing my last few days as the current Miss Auburn University. I have been reflecting on what I have gained from my year of service and what I have been able to give back as a result. I have met some amazing people throughout this journey, but I'd first like to reflect on some of my last endeavors as Miss AU 2011.
The Miss AU Cookbook has been a huge success! There have been about 200 cookbooks sold, and the donation amount for the East Alabama Food Bank is sure to be substantial. I am overjoyed to conclude my year of service with a fundraising event for my personal platform, Food for Thought: Domestic Hunger Awareness, that will benefit citizens around the southeast Alabama area. My hope is that those who have purchased and will purchase the book will reach for it when preparing a meal, and they will reflect on those who are suffering from domestic hunger. It is easy to forget that there are people suffering from such a serious issue when one does not struggle with hunger themselves. And in return for their awareness and inspired activism, the funds raised from the Miss AU Cookbook will help the East Alabama Food Bank provide food for those who are in need. I am pictured below with the directors of the Beat Bama Food Drive, Aubie, and the president of the Committee of 19, the leading War on Hunger group at Auburn. All of these fellow students were extremely helpful in promoting the book!
In my efforts to spread the word about the cookbook, I led a cooking class on Auburn's campus where I prepared two wonderful recipes from the book: Chicken Chili and Texas Guacamole. Although I'm not nearly a professional cook, I enjoy cooking (especially for others), so leading this class was right up my alley! In addition to preparing some of the recipes, I also hosted a cookbook signing at the AU Bookstore. They were kind enough to purchase several books to sell in their store, and I felt like a celebrity for a day as I signed copies and posed for pictures. After all of these efforts, the cookbook sales, as I mentioned before, were so successful!
I was also able to participate in the Miss Alabama Top Ten fashion show in December. We modeled some wardrobe items from the Clothes Tree, Gus Mayer, and Ann Northington. I had a wonderful time feeling like a model for the day, and getting my hair and makeup done was definitely a treat!! It was exciting to see Courtney Porter, Miss Alabama 2011, and her wardrobe for Miss America! In case you did not see the Miss America pageant, Courtney did a wonderful job by making it into the Top 13 and being the contestant's choice. And, of course, I enjoyed seeing some Miss Alabama contestants again- that week of competition really brings you together.
I also supported the Auburn Tigers at the Chick-fil-A bowl as a majorette with the Auburn University Marching Band this New Year's Eve. It was a great game, and an Auburn win makes everything that nut better (War Eagle)!
As my year of service is winding down and as I prepare to crown the new Miss Auburn University, I cannot help but feel grateful. I will remember these memories and experiences for the rest of my life, and I will never forget the generosity of so many: sponsors, the Miss AU directors, the Division of Student Affairs, fellow students, SGA, mock interview judges, my friends, and my family.
After I have passed on the crown, my fight against domestic hunger will continue. As I explore different outlets and remain involved in hunger organizations and the hunger studies curriculum, I know that my passion will be strengthened even further. I consider it an honor to have been able to serve the university that I love at such a high level, and I have full confidence that Miss AU 2012 will do the same.
With Love and War Eagle,