I have always been a very independent person. Some would say that as a teenager I was independent to a fault. I have often wondered if my LGMD2B was God’s way for me to see that it’s okay for me to allow others to help me.
Due to my physical weakness, I except all kinds of help all the time. Even though I KNOW I need help and most people are always willing to help, I still dislike having to ask for help.
So, this will probably be my least favorite, but most necessary blog post.
The Ms Wheelchair Tennessee is a nonprofit organization. As the current title holder, I am responsible for fund raising. Everything I am able to do this year will either have to come from my own pocket, from donations, or business/corporate sponsors.
I have already received donations from two local businesses. The first business, Bloom Photography, provided their services for head-shot photographs that I was required to have for the Ms Wheelchair America pageant. The second business, Diversified Companies, created and printed my business cards.
I still have a long way to go. The entry fee for the Ms Wheelchair America pageant is $1,850.00 The first $925.00 is due by May 15. The second $925.00 is due by June 15. My goal is to raise the entry fee one dollar at a time. I would like to receive $1 from 1,850 different individuals. I would also like to reach all 50 states by having someone from each state donate. I feel this is a great way to help raise awareness to the Ms Wheelchair America organization. I didn’t even know it existed until January 2013.
I have already collected over $100, but I still have a long way to go. In the beginning, I didn’t want to do PayPal or other website based donations because these company’s get their cut of the donations as well. Unfortunately, most people don’t carry cash anymore, not even a $1. As a result of this, I have signed up with Go Fund Me. This company takes 5% of all donations and then about 3% when you withdraw the funds.
The pageant entry fee does not include travel expenses. I am hoping that any business/corporate sponsors I recruit will cover these costs. Any left over funds will go towards my travel expenses for my year of reign. It is my dream to reach all corners of the state of Tennessee.
If you think the company you work for would be interested in being a sponsor for the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee organization and my year of reign, please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to make a donation towards my entry fee, please follow the link below.
And of course, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
As part of my platform, I want shine a spotlight on people who lead an active life, are a positive example for others, live in the state of Tennessee, and just so happen to use a wheelchair. It is important to recognize the accomplishments of these individuals as they are not only amazing role models for our youth but for everyone!!
I realize that most people will not nominate themselves. (My family had to encourage me to be a contestant for the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee pageant and look at me now!!) So, I need help from you! If you know someone who fits the description above send me an email, tell me all about them, and attach pictures of your nominee. I have a questionnaire I can send back to you if you need help, but I’m sure you will have no problems at all telling me just how wonderful your nominee is. I will also need contact information for your nominee.
Once I receive the information from you about your amazing nominee, I will reach out to them and send them their very own questionnaire. I will compile the information I have on each amazing nominee and write a blog post about them. These blog posts will be shared on all my social media sites. I also intend to brag about these amazing individual in any future interviews I may do with the news.
Before the pageant I thought I would just do one nominee a month for a grand total of twelve. During the pageant I realized if I won that one nominee a month wasn’t going to be enough and I should do one a week. Fifty-two sounded like a much better number than twelve. But then I thought, what if I have more than one nominee a week….how will I pick?? So, I have decided to try and spotlight everyone that is nominated. YAY!!
I can’t wait for the nominees to start rolling in. I am excited to shine a spotlight on these individuals. But I am more excited to see how these individuals are able to touch your life with their story.
Ready, Set, Nominate!!
Send nominees to email@example.com
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
March 16, 2013, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Bliss Welch of Harrison was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2013 on March 16th, 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Chattanooga. Bliss is a graduate student working on her Master’s degree in Accounting at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She is involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, assists as an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistant, and has also been a guest speaker at the International Dysferlin Conferences. Bliss enjoys spending time with her family and deer hunting. Bliss has Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2B and her goal as Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is to shift the focus from what people with disabilities cannot do to what we CAN do and to raise awareness of the Abilities of those with disabilities. Bliss will go on to compete in the national competition in Houston, TX July 15th – 21st, 2013.
Ashley Grimes of Cleveland was first runner up, Christina Earheart of Springfield was second runner up, and Jessica Goodman of Knoxville was third runner up.
Hanna Latimer of Camden was crowned Little Miss Wheelchair Tennessee 2013. Hanna is an 11-year old Merit Roll Scholar in the fifth grade at Briarwood School. She participates in Cheerleading, 4-H, and enjoys singing, camping, riding 4-wheelers, swimming, and being outdoors. She also helps raise funds for Vanderbilt Heart research and also to help families at Christmas. She has 2 younger sisters, a younger brother, and an older stepbrother and loves being with her family and friends. Hanna has Cerebral Palsy and her goal as Little Miss Tennessee is to educate children on disabilities so that they can learn that someone who uses a wheelchair is really not any different from anyone else.
The Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee Organization would like to thank Superior Van and Mobility, McGrath Solutions, Permobil, UT Chattanooga, Little Lace Lady, and Elite Behavior Analysis for their sponsorship of the program. Also, thank you to all of the volunteers and guests who made this event possible.
See our website to learn more about our organization: www.mswheelchairtn.org. To have any of these lovely ladies speak or attend your event, please call Samantha at 865-441-6888. We are currently looking for advisory board members.
About Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee:
While contestants are showcased in a pageant format, Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is not a beauty contest. It is a competition, started in 1996, to select the most accomplished and articulate spokesperson for persons with disabilities across the State of Tennessee.
Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is charged with a continuing effort to educate the public regarding the dignity, productiveness and basic values of people with disabilities. She must be able to communicate both the needs and abilities of her constituency to the general public, the business community and government. Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee will have the opportunity to travel and make public appearances. She will ultimately represent Tennessee at the Ms. Wheelchair America Program.
State Coordinator: Samantha Moreno