They say there is a first time for everything. What an amazing year of firsts for this 2014 Utah Princess. The first time I had ever heard of this thing called NAM was when I went to my first open call ever. We thought this would be a fun thing to try, and so I went to my first state pageant ever. Now, here I am my first time being Miss Utah Princess. This sent me on my way to sunny California for my first time at Nationals. I got to experience my first time in Hollywood and also my first time ever losing my voice. For the first time, I met friends from other states and even another princess who had the same name as me and had a younger 4 year old brother named Alex too. I also had a great time being royalty in the Bear Lake Raspberry days parade and the 24th of July parade.
This was my first time ever having sister queens, and they are amazingly wonderful sisters to have. Since I don’t have any sisters of my own it was like my first time even having sisters. They are amazing girls who have supported me, cheered me on, spoiled me and always welcomed me with open arms. They literally let me jump into their arms! We have done so many fun things together including: making and serving meals at the Ronald McDonald house and having a great service weekend in Las Vegas which included my first time helping on a farm and at opportunity village, which especially meant a lot to me because of the weekly volunteering I do at a special needs community ed program. I also had the opportunity to be a judge for the first time at a special needs pageant with my sister queens, including one who traveled from Nevada to help us. I even got to be locked in a marketplace “jail” and raised almost three times my bail goal to help support Primary Children’s Hospital.
I would like to thank National American Miss for a wonderfully exciting fun year of firsts. I will never forget all of these amazing fun experiences and all the amazing friends and people I have met. I also want to thank Breanne for being a super fun and awesome State Director, who did a great job on teaching us our dances and making us laugh. We love that you can be so silly with us! I want to thank Brooke who made open calls a crazy fun experience. I also want to thank whoever suggested our name to National American Miss, because we never could have done this awesome crazy ride in life with out that curious open call letter. I want to thank my heavenly father for giving me the strength and abilities I have and for all my many blessings in life. And a huge heartfelt thank you to my sister queens: Ciearra, Kailyn, Miah, and Mikayla. You are amazing sisters and I can’t even put into words how much love and laughter you have brought into my life. You all make me feel so special and like your own little sister. This experience wouldn’t even been half as amazing without you guys. I also want to thank all of the moms of my sister queens and my mom for helping with all of the things a 6 year old queen needs. You all do so much for us and you all took me under your wings. Thank You!
I have had an amazing year as National American Miss Utah Princess. To anyone out there who thinks dreams are out of reach and that you can’t win your first time trying… you can! You never know what you can do until you try. To my successor: have fun! This year goes by so fast and there’s so much fun to have and things to experience. Try everything. It is an awesomely amazing adventure.
Love your 2014 Miss Utah Princess,
Alyssa Haylee Ray