Lauryl Trenholme-Pihl's Miss Winnipesaukee 2003 Farewell Speech
As I travel on this road called "Life", I am constantly writing new chapters along the way. The chapters are never the same, nor are they totally different. They consist of the formative experiences that make up the sum total of my life, making me the person I am today and the person I am becoming.
The Miss Winnipesaukee Pageant has been one of those formative experiences. It is very special to me, because it was my first title.
I remember a couple of years ago when a dear friend and former Miss Nashua director asked me if I would ever consider competing in a Miss N.H. pageant. I believe I looked at her in a similar way that I look at (pause) feta cheese -- a food I don't think I'll ever get used to -- and I thought, a beauty pageant? No way. For one thing, I'm way too short!
I attended the Miss Derry Pageant two years ago just to check it out. Guess who sat in the row right in front of me? Candace Glickman! She was so friendly and encouraging, I knew right then and there that the Miss NH Scholarship program is not simply a beauty contest but so much more.
For those in the audience who are attending a pageant for the first time, and may have stereotypes as I did, let me correct them.
The Miss NH Organization as part of the Miss America Program is the largest scholarship program in the US offering thousands of scholarship dollars which help hundreds of young women achieve their educational goals.
But that's only the beginning. This program develops leadership skills by supporting young women to speak up about issues of national and world importance.
In this way we grow to become empowered women who are dedicated to making a difference in society
We develop poise and self-assurance as we spread our messages and serve our communities, helping others to better their lives.
This is way more than a beauty pageant: Scoring alone speaks for itself, 40% of the score is devoted to interview, you have to show intelligence, knowledge of today's issues and be able to speak and answer questions extemporaneously.
30% of the score is given for talent. For those who don't know me, I am pursuing a career in musical theatre performance with my sights set on Broadway. As Miss Winni, I had the chance to share my talent in many settings from nursing homes to the Miss NH Stage.
Is this a beauty pageant? YES! But it is mostly about bringing out the inner beauty in every contestant.
Competing in my first Miss NH pageant as Miss Winni, gave me the opportunity to become friends with the wonderful young women that represent our state. Not only are they smart, funny, and talented, but also genuine. That's why I am so proud to be part of this program.
I know you came tonight to see who will be crowned the next Miss Winnipesaukee, but I must seize the last few moments as Miss Winni to make you aware of something I am very passionate about, my platform and local program A. B. C. Acting Builds Character.
Today's youth are faced with more pressures and difficult choices than ever before.
I know from personal experience that involvement in Dramatic Arts kept me on a straight path and helped me to avoid becoming involved as many of my school friends did with drinking and other risky behaviors.
Many schools are facing crises in funding for art and music programs, but Drama is The Forgotten Art. And it can do so much for young people in and out of school. Role-playing teaches empathy and helps kids think out good decision making. Through drama kids develop cooperation, self esteem, self-awareness, and flexible thinking skills in a safe, non-threatening environment.
All of our youth are at risk! With Drama everyone can find success. Please support your local youth theatre programs by enrolling your children, attending performances or become involved as a volunteer.
Now I want to take a moment to recognize all the volunteers in this program. Without their time and effort, this program could not exist. Thank you to all of the people behind the scenes, to the local directors and most of all to Suzanne Knox and Brenda Keith for the countless hours of selfless dedication and love you give.
I also want to thank my friends and family who are unbelievably supportive. Mom and Dad, thanks for your encouragement and your failure to point out my imperfections.
Tina and Gary, you both have been so supportive of me and my goals. I couldn't have wished for a director more understanding, encouraging and realistic. And I got not one but two!!!
You are both so dedicated to this program and helping to enrich and empower the lives of young women. You have truly succeeded with this young woman.
You each taught me an important lesson that I will always carry with me. Tina, you taught me to see myself as a role model. You brought out that part of me that I never knew was inside. It was always there, but I needed encouragement to see that I could be an effective leader and spokesperson.
Gary, you taught me the power of the crown. I never realized how people will let you do almost anything with a crown on your head. If only you had a crown Gary, you could rule the world!!!
Most of all, you both helped me to believe in myself and I can't thank you enough for that. I feel so lucky because you are the kind of people that we all want in our lives. You never pushed me to be or do something I was uncomfortable with, or to strive for something I wasn't ready for. You taught me that small steps toward a goal can make a big difference.
Not only did I get two great directors, I got two great friends. In my mind, friends are truly the family we choose. I hope and pray that we will always be family.
At the end of this chapter on the road of life, so begins another. I am sad to have to leave you, but glad to walk away with many great memories and all I gained from you. Thank you.
As I pass on the title of Miss Winnipesaukee I feel compelled to pass on some tips to Justine. These are some simple things that I've learned throughout my year. (Keep in mind, they most likely won't help at all, since they are very personal), but here they are anyway:
- Don't worry, you will never need tokens to Funspot again for the rest of your life!
- And you will learn to spell Winnipesaukee!
- Hone your navigation skills. That way you might not get lost on the way to every appearance.
- Watch out for the mother's of the children who don't win the Halloween Costume Party - they are scary!
- Consider taking up powerwalking...or at least walk faster than I did in the Christmas parade (or you slow the whole thing down. )
- Practice sustained breath-holding. This will be necessary as you walk into the smoking section of the Miss Winni Bingo on Monday and Wed, nights.
- Know that Gary is always there as your bodyguard during Bike Week.
- If you ever run out of perfume, Gary should be able to help you out. He must have won every girly item at the Miss NH Ball!
- No need to buy any Avon products during your reign. Tina has mad hook-ups.
- Start buying blank thank you notes now!
- Lastly, get ready for a wonderful year, which will change your life! Welcome to a new chapter !