As my year of service as Miss Wyoming 2017 continues winding down to a close, I find myself overwhelmingly grateful for the work that I have been able to partner with the American Heart Association for. Since I was crowned last summer, I have joined the AHA to advocate for a governor’s proclamation mandating pulse-ox texting on newborns in Wyoming hospitals, lobby for tobacco tax reform to encourage heart health, speak on the Wyoming Senate floor and to representatives in the Wyoming House of Representatives, meet heart heroes across the state, and tour the state fundraising for the AHA’s Jump Rope & Hoops for Heart.
What a year! I’ve met thousands of children who are excited to develop and maintain heart healthy habits for their entire lifetimes and they’ve all left my heart feeling so full. (A full heart = a happy heart!) I am incredibly blessed to have been chosen to serve as your representative this year, and am even more thankful for the connections I have found within it! I’d like to give a big thank you to the American Heart Association and all of their employees and volunteers who have eagerly welcomed me onto their team. I have loved serving as an ambassador for Jump Rope for Heart and sharing the joy of the Scare Squad Monsters with elementary schools around the state. This blog post is filled with pictures of just a few of my favorite moments spent working with the AHA as Miss Wyoming 2017. I will treasure these moments forever!
Just a few weeks ago, we wrapped up our spring fundraising campaign for Jump Rope for Heart. What a whirlwind it has been - and I’m so sad that it’s over! Reflecting on my time spent with the AHA, Jump Rope for Heart was definitely one of my favorites. Our final event in Wyoming took place at Wilson Elementary in Jackson Hole, WY! If you’ve never been to Jackson before, add it to your bucket list. I’m proud to be from one of the most beautiful states in the country, and Jackson is a little slice of heaven on earth. Settled at the base of the Grand Tetons (one of the most incredible mountain ranges in the entire world!), Jackson is a small town full of people with big and generous hearts.
The students at Wilson were so sweet and excited about Jump Rope for Heart, and we had a blast at the event! There were several stations where students could spend time jumping rope, playing games, pledging heart healthy habits, learning to use stethoscopes, and eating healthy snacks. Many of the students proudly wrote that they would work to maintain their heart health by avoiding sodium in their diets, drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, getting at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, swimming, dancing, biking, playing sports, and more!
You could tell that they had truly learned from and embraced the ideas of the AHA through the Scare Squad monsters - and the best part of it all was that they truly wanted to help save lives. It wasn’t about them or the prizes they had earned, they wanted to make a difference and reduce heart disease in America! At the end of it all, each of the grades had an official Jump-Off Contest. I was amazed at how many consecutive jumps some of the students got! I think the school record was somewhere in the 900s! These little heart heroes never cease to amaze me!
Thank you to all of the students who worked hard to fundraise for others, as well as to their incredible teachers and school officials for being so positive and passionate to help them throughout the process. The state of Wyoming truly has incredible educators and it has been a privilege to get to meet and work with many of them during my school tours this year. We appreciate you and your work more than you know!
This spring, I had the privilege of visiting multiple schools in Sheridan, Newcastle, Wheatland, Cheyenne, Rocksprings, Green River, and Jackson with the AHA for Jump Rope for Heart. I hope I’ve had as large of an impact on the students’ lives as they've had upon mine. They truly stole my heart! However, none of these students would have been as successful as they were without the love, support, and encouragement from their family members, friends, and neighbors in fundraising. Thank you for donating to the American Heart Association - you truly are saving lives and teaching your children valuable lessons about giving back! From songs to dances to chants, I know that Jump Rope for Heart will have a lasting impact upon my life and I am so grateful to the state of Wyoming for being so supportive of the program.
The crown may go away, but I will always be Miss Wyoming 2017, and my work as an advocate for the AHA is far from over. I encourage you to get involved with the lifesaving advocacy work of the American Heart Association today. Add your voice by simply texting HEART to 46839 right now, or visit yourethecure.org/join. It only takes a few minutes, and you will become part of a powerful movement to make a difference, pledge to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, and save lives. Remember, “You’re the Cure, WY!”
Forever your Miss Wyoming 2017 and AHA Advocate,