Farewell from Miss Santee 2014

Headshot of Elizabeth Shank, Miss Santee 2014

Elizabeth Shank, Miss Santee 2014

I cannot believe the time has come for me to say my farewell as Miss Santee 2014. Listening to the former Miss Santee titleholders speak about how fast the time had gone by during their year, I assumed they were in part being cliché. However, I find that I now completely understand the sentiments they expressed. From the moment, “A Moment like This” began to play after my name had been announced I found myself in a whirlwind of a year. Summing up this year in just a few short words is nearly impossible, but I will try my best to convey the amazing experience it has been. This year, I was given the opportunity to represent a city that has claimed a large space in my heart. Santee is my hometown, my current town, and will always be a special place for me. The people in Santee have shown me their passionate, kind, friendly hearts and it has truly been an honor to represent them. My year has been filled with a plethora of amazing experiences and individuals. One of these individuals is Brianna Stafford. To my teeny, my Bri, Miss Teen Santee 2014, thank you for being the little sister I never had. I thank God for allowing you to be the one I got to have so many fabulous experiences with. I never thought that I would have so many late night talks about everything from boys to life, inside jokes, and develop such love for the girl who was a year ago a stranger I took pictures with on pageant night. Words cannot describe how blessed I feel to have been able to become your “pageant sister for life.” You are such an inspiration to me with your determination to succeed in everything you do. I truly believe that you will accomplish any goal that you set out to reach. My love and gratitude are with you always. To Sierra, Maria, and Robin, thank you so much for dedicating your time and expertise to guide me and all who participate in this pageant. Without the three of you, this journey would have been much more difficult. You have acted as listening ears, sounds of advice, scheduling masters, bodyguards, stylists, touch-up queens, and hands to hold. Sierra, I’m so grateful to you for urging me to step out on the stage last year when I was overcome by fear of failing. Thank you to all of the City employees, City Council members, Chamber of Commerce, and all of the others who had an impact on me this year. Your involvement with this wonderful program has increased its value exponentially. To my Junior Misses and Princesses, you all are exemplary young ladies who have the brightest of futures ahead of you. I see so much potential in each of you to make a difference in the world. You all are shining stars who have brought me so much joy. Each of you is truly a princess with a hearty of gold. Wear your invisible crown always. To my sister queens, Mandy, Kelli, Shannon, and Leona, you are all the most amazing young women who inspire me to strive for greatness. You each display so much beauty on the inside and out. I will forever cherish the times we have been able to spend together throughout this year and the friendship we have made. To my best friend, you have been such a gift to me. Vas, you have been my cheerleader, my make-up fixer, the one I called for advice, a shoulder to cry on, and so much more. Thank you for being here for me in all the crazy feats I decide to attempt. Last but very far from least: Mom, Dad, and Daniel, thank you for being my foundation. You have watched me on this journey and helped me along the way. My hectic schedule was one you learned to cope with and you encouraged me as I stopped home to change from one event to another. Thank you for being my support this year and every other year of my life. Miss Santee 2015, I pray that you get as much love, knowledge, and happiness from your year as I received from mine. Live every moment to the fullest and take nothing for granted. In the words of James Dean, “Dream as if you’ll live forever; live as if you’ll die today.”

xoxo,

Elizabeth Shank

Miss Santee 2014

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