September 2007 Newsletter
Though Autumn is officially here, it still feels like summer and I am thankful for a few more days to enjoy warm weather. I imagine it gets quite chilly here in the Lehigh Valley so I will enjoy the heat while it lasts. This month I basked in the unseasonably warm weather at several outdoor events including the Kennett Square Mushroom festival. I visited the mushroom capital of the world on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon for this appearance. In addition to signing autographs and taking pictures with some of the cutest kids in Pennsylvania I had the pleasure of introducing Chef Miguel Morales from Season 1 of the Bravo reality show Top Chef, and Ilan D Hall, winner of Season 2, during their cooking demonstration. The fried mushrooms Chef Miguel made were quite tasty.
Unlike the Mushroom festival, we did not have favorable weather on the day of Walk Now Philadelphia benefiting Autism Speaks. The morning started off windy and rainy though the sun poked out as soon as the walk got underway. I have to thank all of the local titleholders who braved these rough weather conditions for such a worthy cause. All of those in attendance really appreciated them being there, especially the little girls.
At the end of the month I had the opportunity to make another appearance related to my platform at the 2nd annual Harmony Festival for Autism in Coatesville PA. While there, I shared the story of how I chose my platform and shared ways that all of the folks in the crowd could make a positive impact for the cause of autism in their communities. At the end of my talk I sang the Louis Armstrong ballad What a Wonderful World. I donít know what it is about that song but whenever I sing it at an appearance someone in the audience sheds a tear. The highlight of the day for me was finally meeting Nina Wall-Cote, who is the director of the Bureau of Autism Services under the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. She has been a true champion for autism in our state and I hope to follow her example during my year of service.
Before arriving at the Harmony Festival I spent the morning at the West Chester University Homecoming. It was amazing. I was truly overwhelmed by the support and warm reception I received from the WCU community. They gave me the honor of serving as grand marshal for the homecoming parade and I was invited to judge the parade as well. Prior to the football game, I met Lynn Carol Grote, Miss Pennsylvania 1977 and fellow West Chester University Alumna. We took photos with West Chester University President Adler, shared stories about our Miss Pennsylvania Experience and just had a fabulous time. West Chester went on to beat Bloomsburg 44 Ė 28. Unfortunately I had to leave before halftime to travel to the harmony festival and therefore have still yet to see WCU win a football game with my own eyes. Congratulations guys.
Go Golden Rams!!!!
Rachel Marie Brooks
Miss Pennsylvania 2007
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