Friday, July 10, 2020

Jenna Holt Revisits Section 36!

Section 36 has another revisitor! Jenna Holt is passionate about women in business, a talented trumpet player, and the current Miss Sierra Nevada. I was thrilled that she wanted to visit with us again to catch up on those topics, and a few more!

So, let's see what happens when Jenna Holt revisits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Sierra
Nevada crown?
Since this is my last year of eligibility, I knew if I were to win a title at Miss Sierra Nevada/Miss Yosemite Valley, I was going to be ecstatic!! Those who’ve seen my crowning video, know ecstatic was an understatement because...after I was crowned, my best friend was crowned as my sister titleholder and I FREAKED out! It truly couldn’t have been a better way to be crowned for the last time. We went out to eat after the show, shared a Pazookie (pizza cookie ice cream), and drive 2.5 hours home and stayed up for 2 more hours because we were so excited!

Since this is your last year of eligibility, are you treating your time as Miss Sierra Nevada differently than past years (aside from the obvious COVID related differences)?
I don’t think I’ve ever been more motivated in my life, even despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Since this is my last title, I have been more invested in the organization, with my local program, and with my platform: Women in Business-Crown to CEO.

I flew to Connecticut to watch Miss America in December to get the full experience even if it’s just from the audience. I truly love spending time with my directors and sister titleholders; The city of Merced has welcomed us with open arms and luckily we’ve had a chance to spend time doing appearances before the shelter in place! 

We can still make an impact despite the pandemic! I’v chosen to volunteer on multiple occasions including doing my part in helping make 10,000 face shields for local hospitals in the greater Sacramento area! 

I’ve taken my platform to the national level by partnering with Dress For Success and becoming a member of the American Business Women’s Association, as well as maintained my support with GM Women, a group within my company, and with Women of Sacramento, a networking group for local business women in the area. 

I’ve taken my platform across the country to my hometown: Davison, Michigan, by becoming a scholarship sponsor for the local scholarship pageant: Miss Davison. I was Miss Davison 2012, and I knew I wanted to give back by promoting the endless opportunities women have in business! It’s never too early for a young woman to start thinking about her future career! 

Truly I cannot speak enough about how much the sisterhood of MAO has an impact on me. I’ve met my best friends through the organization. I want to do everything I can with my girls and have no regrets during my last year being a part of this sisterhood! 

What aspect of the upcoming Miss California competition are you most nervous about?
I think I’m most nervous about the unknown: where/when It will happen and how that will effect Miss America. All in all, I cannot wait to perform on that stage for the last time and truly express how much I love this program and why it’s relevant to the success of young women around the country. 

Interview is my favorite portion of competition, but I am SO happy to have evening gown back!! I think I’ll be a little nervous for the Social Impact Pitch, but I know with practice and determination, my public speaking skills will take over and carry me through! 

Do you have different goals for you social impact initiative, “Women in Business” this year?
I really wanted to take my platform to the national level and have more quantitive data to prove my impact. That’s why I partnered with Dress for Success and The ABWA. There’s a lot that people don’t know about these organizations and what they can provide! My goal is to increase volunteers for Dress for Success, whether in California or in one of their 147 offices across 25 countries! Our Miss California 2018, Mackenzie Freed was a big part of my inspiration to partner with Dress for Success. She still volunteers with them now! 

The American Business Women Association offers so many resources for women in any industry and networking opportunities. My mission is to do the same with women across California, introduce resources, and encourage young women through public speaking events to pursue their dreams in either starting their own business or being at the helm of one that’s already begun! 

You changed your talent this year to the trumpet. What led to that decision?
Playing the trumpet gives me such a rush and I truly enjoy playing it! I’ve been playing for 15 years, walking in the footsteps of my older sister who played trumpet all through college at Purdue! My family has been blessed with musical talent! We all know how to play instruments-we could start our own band! I still remember playing in trios with my dad and sister at church with my mom on the piano! 

My very first talent performance with MAO was playing my trumpet. I decided to switch to singing, which has landed me 4 titles since my start in the organization. But I wanted to end my last year with a bang by going back to my roots and bringing my fire to the stage! All I have to say is..I am ready! 

If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?
Even though I think we all feel like Rapunzel being trapped in our towers right now, I’d love to be Moana for a week! Not just because she lives on a beautiful island, but because Moana has such courage to reach her goals and dreams, which is the same mentality I strive for every day. She knew of her potential to do great things and never forgot who she was along her journey. Not to mention I love sailing so that’s just an added bonus! 

How would you complete the sentence “I get great satisfaction when I ___”?
“Achieve something I’ve worked hard for”

Nothing is more satisfying to me right now than reaching the end of my Executive MBA program! Only one class left!! 

If you had an extra ticket to the next Red Sox - Dodgers game, who would you bring with you? Why?
Well since I took my mom to the World Series at Dodger stadium in 2018, I think it’s only fair I take my Dad! His grandfather is where the Red Sox passion began for our family. I’m really missing the team right now!!

What is your favorite memory from attending a baseball game?
Fourth of July game in 2015, against the Astros! My entire family went and we ended up crushing them. It was a great way to spend Independence Day, a Fenway Frank in hand with the people I love watching our favorite team win. 

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That sounds like a wonderful time!

As always, I want to thank Jenna for visiting with us, and for sending along the amazing pictures to go with the interview. It was great to hear what she's been up to since her last visit.

As Jenna continues her time as Miss Sierra Nevada, I encourage you to check out her official Facebook page. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything she’ll have going on. 

I also want to wish her the best of luck whenever she competes for the Miss California title. It would be wonderful to have a Section 36 visitor wear that crown!

Thanks again Jenna, and good luck!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Alyana Simpron Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Alyana Simpron is passionate about protecting refugees, a talented dancer, and the current Miss Dakota Harvest. I was thrilled that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more!

So, let's see what happens when Alyana Simpron visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Dakota Harvest crown? 
It was the weekend of my university's homecoming when the Miss Grand Forks Scholarship Competition was held. I celebrated by meeting up with friends that I had not seen in a while and was in town for homecoming! It was a great way to celebrate after I won the title of Miss Dakota Harvest! 

What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Dakota Harvest competition that will help you whenever you get to compete for Miss North Dakota? 
I learned that I do have the ability to have a voice for issues that I am passionate about and people are willing to listen. I learned that when you show confidence in what you are speaking about then it gives credibility to your opinion and passion for the cause that you are talking about! 

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Dakota Harvest? 
My goal is to continue advocating for refugees and what they can bring to this country. There is uncertainty about refugees coming to the U.S. and I want to continue educating others about why the U.S. should continue to welcome refugees into the country.

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Welcoming Refugees: A New Path to a New Journey”? 
I selected this as my social impact initiative after I had the opportunity to volunteer and work with refugees from the organization Global Friends Coalition in Grand Forks, ND during my schooling in the UND occupational therapy program.I saw the benefits of helping them through that transition as I understand what it is like moving into a new country as a first generation immigrant myself and being exposed to a new culture. It is important to have the resources and support during the transition phase for new refugees in the first 60 days. 

What do you enjoy about performing your talent on stage? 
I enjoy showing how much fun hip hop is and I love hearing the comment from the audience that they wanted to dance with me. I love hearing that and I want to show that through my talent of how much fun hip hop is!

You had the opportunity to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What was that experience like? 
It was an amazing and memorable experience! I spent a week with the Macy's Great American Marching Band as a dancer and we had a week full of rehearsals. When it came to parade day we had to wake up around 2am and get ready for rehearsals at the Macy's Star where filming happened. We were the opening number that year and it was great to see all of the people who came together for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade! I got a chance to see celebrities such as Ariana Grande who were on the parade route. I had a lot of fun and it is an experience I will cherish forever! 

If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why? 
I would be Raven Symone from That's So Raven because I think it would be awesome to have psychic abilities and live in San Francisco for a week! 

If you had an extra ticket to a Minnesota Twins game, who would you take with you? Why? 
I would definitely take my dad as he has never been to a baseball game since we have moved to the U.S. I think it would be a fun experience to showcase this old time American tradition!

Is there a feature or activity at a Twins game that you’d especially like to experience? 
I enjoyed when the Minnesota Twins held college nights! I went to a game that was a University of North Dakota (UND) night and it was a great way to connect with alumni and current students from my university in my favorite city! 

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That sounds like a great time!

As always, I want to thank Alyana for visiting with us, and for sending along the amazing pictures to go with the interview.

As Alyana continues her time as Miss Dakota Harvest, I encourage you to check out her official Facebook page. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything she’ll have going on. 

I also want to wish her the best of luck whenever she competes for the Miss North Dakota title. It would be wonderful to have a Section 36 visitor wear that crown!

Thanks again Alyana, and good luck!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

1975 Topps Page by Page: Page 23 (199-197)

I'm sure that you all remember that I finally completed my 1975 Topps set. 

Now that it's done I thought it would be fun to look through the set and talk about it. Going page by page seemed like a good way to go about it. Hopefully you find it interesting to read what I have to say.

How about we continue with page 23?


Red Sox Cards on the Page:  1. Always nice to be reminded of Yaz's 1967 season!

Cards that make the 1975 Topps set cool: As I mentioned last time, while these cards aren't exactly "vintage hall of famers", they're definitely a cool subset. Something Topps should really replicate one of these days. 

My favorite card on the page: I think I'd have to stick with the Yaz-Cepeda card. But I really appreciate the Robinson-Clemente one as well. Interesting to note the variety with these cards. Robinson is the only person who appears twice...and it's once in each league.


What would your answers to those last two categories be?

Friday, June 26, 2020

Cairo Eubanks Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Cairo Eubanks is passionate about young leaders, a talented speaker, and the current Miss Broward County. I was honored that she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more!


So, let's see what happens when Cairo Eubanks visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Broward County crown?
I celebrated by sharing the news with my family, loved ones, and local community leaders! I was still in shock that I couldn’t sleep because I was excited for my first appearance as Miss Broward County 2020 at the Girl Scouts Thin Mint Sprint the next morning at 6AM. I cheered on the runners, attended a meeting with my Executive Director and fellow titleholders and then spent the Sunday surrounded by my family as we celebrated my Dad’s birthday! It was an amazing 24 hours that I experienced with my new title.

What did you learn about at the Miss Broward County competition that will help you at Miss Florida?
I learned to stay calm and focused no matter what’s going on around me. The day of the pageant, my feet cramped up at 12PM—6 hours before the competition started! I had to wear sandals through the rest of rehearsal and prayed that my feet would feel better in time for the competition (thank goodness they did!) . And food that was supposed to be delivered during the pageant because of dietary restrictions never showed up! Regardless, I calmly assessed my alternatives: I wore heels on stage and would immediately change to sandals until I participated in all aspects of the competition on stage. And my kind, fellow candidates shared vegan snacks they had that held me throughout the competition. These are just examples of aspects of the day that could have caused me to lose focus or be distracted. Instead, I implemented my motto that there is always a solution and was more than humbled to find out that despite some setbacks that happened on the day of the competition, I was able to overcome them to become Miss Broward County 2020 in the first competition that I have ever competed in! I am also extremely grateful for the sisterhood opportunities that the Miss America Organization provides: backstage, we were helping each other with makeup, hair, and (in my case) sharing vegan snacks so that I wouldn’t be hungry!

Which part of the Miss Florida competition are you most nervous about?
I wouldn’t say that I’m nervous per se, I’m extremely excited! It felt like a dream come true to receive the title of Miss Broward County and I look forward to experiencing the Miss Florida competition alongside some amazing fellow candidates. I have already (virtually) met and connected with many of my fellow sister queens and I can’t wait to experience the sisterhood on the Miss Florida platform.

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Unlocking Youth Leadership Potential”?
I’ve always had an interest in leadership development but it wasn’t until I came back from living abroad in Tamil Nadu while working with often marginalized youth on soft skills development that I realized that I could develop a youth leadership program. I created Personal and Professional Development, a 3-part youth leadership program that includes a 10-week online course through my company, CairoSpeaks/CairoWrites prior to competing for the title of Miss Broward County. Throughout my life, I feel blessed to have held leadership positions on local and international platforms and I know that I gained my confidence in my leadership potential after being believed in and encouraged to strive for excellence by my mentors. I want to pay it forward by providing soft skill training and leadership networking opportunities because I truly believe that every child has the potential to become a leader if they are given the opportunity to lead.

As a talented motivational speaker, what do you enjoy about going out on stage?
The best part of going out on stage is connecting with the audience! I love being able to connect with individuals of all ages, ideologies, and backgrounds. When you are able to feel the audience’s energy and I feel like I’m able to connect with each member of the audience as if it’s just the two of us in the room, regardless of the audience size.
If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?
I would 100% be Esmeralda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame! Not only is she intelligent, witty, and absolutely gorgeous, she was fearless and unafraid of advocating on behalf of marginalized people.

What can you tell me about CairoSpeaks/CairoWrites?
CairoSpeaks/CairoWrites is a consulting firm which specializes in executive coaching and enhancing both interpersonal communication skills and executive writing. As a Certified Leadership Coach-in-training, I also offer speech coaching sessions and ghostwriting to busy international leaders and business executives.

If you had an extra ticket to a Miami Marlins game, who would you take with you? Why?
I would definitely take my Dad who is an avid sports enthusiast. He’s also one of my favorite people in the world, so hopefully we could watch a Miami Marlins game in July (fingers crossed!). I would also make sure to schedule the ticket with my Dad when you’re going—I’m still new to baseball and I know that Section 36 would be the best to watch the game with—after we finish social distancing, I’ll be ready to watch the Marlins and I’m sure you will be, too!
Is there a feature or activity at a Miami Marlins game that you’d especially like to experience?
I would love to experience the pregame activities and then after the game watch the kids run the bases! I remember the first time that I played baseball as a child , I was amazed by that feeling of adrenaline when you’re able to score a run—I would love to see that same enthusiasm and joy that these future baseball players would have after the Marlins played!

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That would be so much fun!

As always, I want to thank Cairo for visiting with us, and for sending along the amazing picture.


As Cairo continues her time as Miss Broward County, I encourage you to check out her official Instagram and website. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything she’ll have going on. 

I also want to wish her the best of luck whenever she competes for the Miss Florida title. It would be wonderful to have a Section 36 visitor wear that crown!


Thanks again Cairo, and good luck!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

2019 Topps Heritage High Number Blaster!

You may remember that he Easter Bunny was good to me this year, bringing plenty of card packs for me to open. I thought I'd share them with you because, well, what else am I going to write about?

We'll continue with the next box, the 2019 Topps Heritage High Number!


Bravo Easter Bunny for finding older wax to open. I'm sure you've all seen as much as you care to of this set by now. But, I mean....there still aren't any games being played right now.

So...



See? I wasn't lying. That's really the box I opened.


And there are the eight packs.


OK. What? I'm a fan of multi-player cards. One of the things I love about the regular Topps Update series is that they tend to have lots of these fun cards included. But, "Robbie and Rosy"? What does that even mean? I like a little bit more thought put into it than that. OK, a lot more. I even wondered if they were going for some obscure homage to the original 1970 set, that they had a card like this that was being duplicated. But, the checklist seems to say that't not the case. Any ideas?


One of those hard to store inserts. At least it's of a guy I may be able to move at some point. 



What?


A chance for Topps to squeeze in as many Guerrero cards as possible. A "Now and Then" from a few months earlier.



I'm so Shiny!


Finally, a Red Sox card. Not exactly worth the wait. But, it's nice to have nonetheless. Obviously fond memories of Eovaldi from 2018.

But, if that's the highlight...that's pretty poor. 

How did your boxes go?

What people are reading this week