My very first appearance as Mrs. Colorado was to attend the Jayda Ball, a fundraiser for a little girl who was and is still battling cancer. It was held at the elementary school she attended located about an hour away from where I live in Highlands Ranch. I was instructed to wear an evening gown as this fundraiser was going to have a “princess” theme and all the people attending were going to be dressed in prom type outfits. I remember that day clearly. I got my hair and makeup done and tried to envision what it would feel like attending as Mrs. Colorado. I even picked up my autograph cards earlier in the day as I was told that people attending may want my autograph. I remember as I stood at Kinkos, waiting to pick the cards up, my husband called. I told him what I was doing and he burst out laughing, not in a mean way, just in a shocked way. He said, “Autograph cards? Do you really think people are going to want your autograph?” I remember chuckling and saying, “I know, it’s strange but I was told to bring them. Let’s hope someone wants them or that will be awkward.” We laughed together but I remember thinking, boy that could be really embarrassing if I set up my cards and no one shows up. Looking on the bright side, my mom and dear girlfriend, Renee, where planning on attending with me so I knew as nervous as I was, it was going to be a fun night. We entered the school gym aka “Prom” and little girls fluttered in princess inspired dresses, waiving magical wands in the air. I remember the host, Heather, came right up to me and said, “Oh thank you so much for coming, everyone has been talking about your arrival. We have a table set up for you right over here where you can sign autographs,” as she pointed and we walked to a table next to the silent auction tables. She told me that Jayda would be arriving soon and asked if I would introduce her and her family to the crowd. I responded with, “I would be delighted!” After a few moments of awkwardness, a rush of little girls came running over. “Mrs. Colorado, can we have your autograph?” they shouted. “Of course,” I responded and whipped out my pen as fast I could. With a huge smile and a nod of approval from Renee I thought… if my husband could only see me now!

Me and the Star of the Night, Jayda

Me and My Dear Friend Renee
With My Mother and Cheerleader, Sandy

About thirty minutes later, Heather, the host of the party, rushed over to me to tell me that Jayda,  was arriving.  I remember feeling so nervous and excited to meet her and her family.  I left the table and walked to the entrance of the gymnasium.  It was if the princess had arrived and the crowds parted ways.  Jayda entered with her family and looked radiant.  Being a mother myself, I instantly felt a lump begin to form in my throat knowing that she was ill.  I could not imagine the pain her parents must have felt.  I knelt down and introduced myself to Jayda. Her dark, curly hair and golden skin were absolutely beautiful.  She was so precious and was smiling ear to ear.  I introduced myself to her parents and they hugged me right away.  Her mother looked at me and said, “We can’t thank you enough for attending our fundraiser.  You brought in many people who may not have attended otherwise.”  I was so humbled and honored to be part of the amazing event.  I looked around and felt overwhelmed with this little community who came together to support this family.  I remember standing there and feeling so privileged to be part of such a wonderful eveninh.  Being Mrs. Colorado is so much more than anything material, it is an honor and blessing.  Attending the Jayda Ball was the best first appearance ever!   It really brought home what being Mrs. Colorado is all about.