Saturday I was up bright and early to go to the cake-off at the Westgate Mall in Brainerd. The Cake-off is an event put on by the Miss Brainerd/Baxter committee and is the first time that the community gets to see the contestants that are competing in the pageant that year. Last year, they had professional cake decorators decorating the cakes, but this year they put a new twist on it! The contestants and titleholders got to decorate the cakes this year. It was so much fun! I was decorating a cake with my former sister queen, Savannah.We put all four of the Brainerd/Baxter queens on our cake (both Miss and Outstanding Teen). It was also fun to see the ideas that other people had thought up of as well.
Saturday night I headed down to Minneapolis for the twentieth annual Alzheimer's Gala hosted by the Minnesota-North Dakota Alzheimer's Association. The event was held at The Depot, an old train station that has been renovated. This was an absolutely beautiful and perfect place for the Gala this year. My mom and I volunteered and we were assigned to sell beads for a game at the end of the night with a prize of a trip to Mexico! Also that night, we were assigned as "flagers" for the live auction. We had a group of tables and if someone wanted to bid, we had to wave our flag really fast so that the auctioneer could see that that person wanted to place a bid. I was amazed at how much people were willing to bid! The highest selling item of the live auction was VIP tickets and hotel to the Ellen DeGeneres show... It went for almost $20,000!! I was so happy and surprised. There were also tickets to the Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw concert. I wanted to go to that concert so bad, but it is a sold out concert all over the US! Congrats to the winners and thanks for being so willing to donate so much money for such a worth while cause.
As fun as the night was, one moment sticks out in my head, and that was the last fifteen minutes of the evening. I watched in awe as a room of 900 people raised over $75,000 in just a couple minutes, and I'm not kidding. The auctioneer asked if anyone was willing to donate anymore money before the night was over, and I kid-you-not, the auctioneer could not keep up with the numbers as people were willingly donating $5000, $1000, $500, and $250. There was even an anonymous family that donated $10,000! I walked away that night a changed person, simply because of the generous people who gratefully give their money to help families like mine. I couldn't hold the tears I had been fighting back anymore.
Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in America and is the only one of the Top Ten diseases that has no cure or any form of prevention. It is also the one that is growing the most is numbers, yet it is the most underfunded. How can a disease that robs so many victims of their memories and personalities be so underfunded and unknown about. It's frustrating for a teenager like myself to see this disease slowly take my father's life and have no way to stop it.
So as you read this blog, I ask one thing of you. Please take a couple minutes and think of the people who you love the most and thank them. Tell them you love them before it's too late and cherish the simplicity of receiving a response, something I didn't do before my father's diagnosis.
Life is way to short to hold grudges and be vicious towards one another. I hope all of you take a step back for a few moments and really think about whats important in life.
All the best,
Miss Minnesota's Outstanding Teen 2012