Happy New Year!!!
As someone who was born and raised in New York, one of the things I often said I would never do was to be one of those people ringing in the New Year in Time Square.
"They're crazy", I'd say.
"I would NEVER do that!" I'd declare.
So, guess what I did on December 31st 2014? Yup! Rang in the New Year at Time Square!
How, might you ask, did that come to pass?
Well, the Wounded Warrior Project and the lovely Miss Florida 2015, Lyss Acosta-Millan paved the way for myself and three other International beauty queens to be their special guests. When I was first invited I was like huh?!? But then I thought to myself, Marjorie, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so you should do it. So I did!
I was so excited on New Year's Eve. Not only was I going to meet three of my sister queens that I have only conversed with on Facebook: Miss Teen International 2014, Blair Wortsmith; Miss Florida International 2015, Lyss Acosta-Millan; Mrs. Connecticut International 2015, Paula Brittingham Mele; and my partner in NY, Miss New York International 2015, Elaina Estrada but I would also be meeting some great men and women who have fearless fought for our country.
When I arrived at the office there were tons of people there eating, conversing and enjoying the music. First person I met was Paula, Mrs. Connecticut who sweetly starting introducing me to the people she was speaking with as well as those she had already met. I began to meet some soldiers as well and took many pictures. Not too long after, the other queens arrived and we chatted and took pictures. All the queens are wonderful women and it was a pleasure to meet them as well as Blair's mom and aunt. There was an announcement that we would be convening downstairs so that we can walk to our designated area in Time Square. Prior to meeting downstairs, we were given passes, a blanket, hat, scarf, and a giant foam pointy finger, all with the Warrior Project logo on them. What an honor!
"Wounded Warrior Project mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors." Their purpose:
To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.
We all met in front of the building and within a few minutes we were police escorted 14 blocks to our designated area. It was surreal! Getting into our special area was not taken lightly by the officers. We had to show our passes at three check points. We even saw a young man, who was not with our group, get pulled away from the area. When we got to our area there was donuts, water and coffee for everyone. With four hours left before the new year, we spent the time getting to know each other, the people around us and taking pictures (as you might have already seen on Facebook). Was it cold? Yes! No one complained though. I think we were all in awe of being there, at that time, with new friends.
3-2-1 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! And just like that the new year rang in and our time together was up. I truly enjoyed spending time with the other queens! It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and one I will cherish forever. I can't wait to see what 2015 holds!
Lesson learned: Never say Never!