Monday, December 28, 2015

"Happy Holidays to All" from Lillie Imm

I hope you are enjoying this lovely time of year!  I love all the lights, Christmas music and holiday cheer.  The season began back in October for me with rehearsals for “The Nutcracker” ballet.  It was a magical experience and I was amazed at all the beautiful costuming, props and dancers.  But the best part for me was that for the first time my brother, Andrew, and I were in a production together.  I am grateful for the fun memories.

For the past 3 years, I have been organizing a group of students ages preschool through middle school to go Christmas caroling at Gracewood senior living.  Gracewood is an assisted living community and a memory care center.  Many of the residents love to sing along to the songs they know.  I think the crowd favorite is “Angels We Have Heard on High”.  The Christmas caroling always lights up everyone’s spirits and after caroling we all love to eat delicious cookies.  Who doesn’t like a little sugar!  Everyone had tons fun and I can’t wait for Christmas caroling again next year! 

Have a lovely holiday season everyone!

Lillie J

Lillie Imm, Miss Pre-teen Minnesota International 2015




"First Book & DC" by Kate Howe

While out in DC I had the opportunity to stop by First Book’s headquarters.  I have been there before and absolutely love the environment.  There are beautiful murals on the walls in the hallway, stories about the children we have helped and of course books everywhere!  To date, First Book has distributed more than 135 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families.  First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis. 

I was able to sit down with Diana Peacock, who is First Book’s Senior Vice President of Development Alliances.  Diana provides strategic oversight for First Book’s corporate strategic alliance, individual giving and community based fundraising initiatives.  It was very exciting to drop off funds from my corporate partnerships and fundraising efforts.  Diana and I discussed the latest impact report and new fundraising techniques.  I can’t wait to try them out.


The next day we were off to the White House.  It was so nice to be reunited with my sister queens from across the country.  Mrs. DC International, Alegra Woodward, was incredibly sweet and took charge of arranging the tour for us.  At nationals, I made some close friends and it was wonderful to see them again.  I hold such a high respect for these women and all that they have accomplished with their platforms.  It was wonderful to see Mrs. International, Farabe Algor.  She is doing an incredible job as Mrs. International and taking the responsibility very seriously. 

The decorations in the White House were absolutely amazing!  Everywhere I looked there was another elegantly decorated Christmas tree.  I loved the long hallway overlooking the front yard that was filled with snowflakes.  The history, the pictures, the china, the furniture, the stories – it was all so incredible!  One of my favorite areas was seeing the different Christmas cards the Presidents have sent over the years.  Did you know that during the first year of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, the White House received so many Christmas cards that they had to hire a staff just to handle all the incoming mail – ha!


Happy Holidays!

Mrs. Minnesota International 2015

Kate Howe