Monday, September 10, 2012

Miss Illinois, Natalie Swieca reflects on the past year.

I cannot begin to describe how reigning as National American Miss Illinois 2011-2012 has impacted my life.  I have been forever changed!

Beginning the week that I was crowned, I arranged numerous events for the Illinois queens to do together.  One of my goals as the IL Miss was to be an example of leadership, servanthood and selflessness to my sister queens.  I truly hope that I succeeded!  We raised money, changed lives, and developed some lifelong friendships in the process.

Together with my sister queens, I checked in countless Chicago Marathon Runners, while enjoying Navy Pier, Raised money and walked for an Alzheimer’s Cure, Decorated and delivered cards to seniors on holidays, made dinner over Christmas Vacation for the Ronald McDonald House, Manned a Cheer Station for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, waved in Parades, threw the first pitch while being a special guest for the Kane County Cougar’s Princess Night and Drove the Winning Car off of the field during the 7th inning strethch!!!

Nationals was a ton of fun!  The girls were so welcoming.  I laughed so much and made a lot of friends!  And I am so proud to say that I came home 7th runner up in the Nationals!!   

It was an honor to be asked back a fourth year to dress up, to welcome guests, draw winning numbers, and collect money for the Multiple Sclerosis Gala.  And what a thrill to be a Greeter for two different 22Q events for Chicago Cub’s Player Ryan Dempster!! It was a blast greeting for the Children’s Hospital event, “Stepping Up for Kids” at the amazing AON building.  And not to mention the enormous blessing while receiving hugs and sloppy kisses from countless angels at the Angelman Syndrome Walk!

This year, I have been blessed beyond belief!  First and foremost, I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity.  I pray that I have used my crown to honor and glorify Him in everything that I have done.  Secondly, I want to thank my amazing family for their support and constant encouragement. My love for you is so great! And lastly, I want to thank the terrific NAM staff and my sister queens.  You are all amazing and I look forward to continued friendships for many years to come.

To my successor, use this year to give of yourself in service to others.  The rewards are insurmountable!  Be an example to your sister queens and others in ALL that you do with or without the crown on your head.  Make lots of friends and have the time of your life!!

For the very last time, I am your 2011-2012 National American Miss Illinois, Natalie Swieca!!!

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