Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Every now and then you come across people who want to beat you up and slow you down. One busy day, the week after I was crowned I was running around to appearances, interviews, and meetings (not to mention finalizing my senior thesis on Biblical and Quaranic Interpretations of a Woman's Right to Vote and Hold Office). During one of those crazy days I zoomed onto campus in my Miss Vermont T-shirt to grab my mail from our campus mailroom and a wrap from our student center. I saw several friends and peers while on this ten minute jaunt in between Miss Vermont meetings. I have since heard that a peer of mine was blabbing to a group of friends that I was arrogant after having been crowned...his only evidence...because I was wearing my Miss Vermont T-shirt "all around campus". Luckily I have the confidence (mistake it for arrogance if you are unsure of the difference) to laugh something like that off.

What reminded me of this little story was a blog post I read this evening. The blog entry was a response to the "Strolling of the Heifers" parade I went to in Brattleboro a few weeks ago. The portion of the blog which pertains to me had a photo of me waving to the crowd and the caption read...

"Hey look, it’s Miss Vermont, Ashley Wheeler, sitting on a bale of hay! She looked a lot better when she was crowned.
Sometimes I wonder if these girls know the hardships of the job – I may be off base, but it looks like it’s taking a toll on her.
From her own blog, “I am not sure exactly what to expect but I am certain cows will be ’strolling’ down main street. I am contemplating dressing in black and white as to blend in with the heifers.”
I mean, I wouldn’t really like to go for a hay ride all dressed up. Would you? And is it just me or is it really stupid to wear white when you know you’re going to be sitting in a rusty trailer filled with a bunch of hay? Apparently, she didn’t know.
Really though, can a parade really be called a parade without at least one beauty queen swiveling her forearm like the real Queen?"

I know I will not be able (or want) to respond to every negative thing written, said, or thought about me...and why would I? I don't want to give the negativity any more focus then it has already. However, tonight when I saw that blog I thought I am going to say something just this once. I think it is important to all little girls who look up to young women such as myself to know that there are bitter and sad people in this world who like to poke fun at others and try to make accomplished people feel bad for the goals they have reached and for going after the goals they aspire to achieve.

In direct response to the words in the aforementined blog I will say that I had a great time at the Strolling of the Heifers. I met a lot of wonderfully friendly and giving people-- people like Charlie Robb who graciously gave of his time and resources to pull me behind his John Deere tractor and so fitting of Vermont made a thrown for me out of hay barrels. I had never met Charlie Robb before that day but I am glad I did. His gracious and altruistic demeanor epitomizes a true Vermonter. I arrived in Brattleboro fully prepared to walk the parade route in my black pants and white jacket to celebate the importance of agriculture in this state. I was lucky to have "a rusty old trailer filled with a bunch of hay." That's Vermont folks and that is the state I am proud to represent.

On the day in question I went to the parade that morning after being in Barre for a parade the night before and sped to Saint Johnsbury for the Relay for Life walk just after. I did three appearances in three different corners of the state in 24 hours. I do "know the hardships of [this] job" and so far the only hardship I have come across while holding this job is hearing false, negative, ramble about an organization and position that is many times misunderstood.

Today i received an e-mail from a mother whose daughter I met and shared a few minutes with after the parade in Brattleboro that day. She was requesting an autograph card and thanking me for being such a positive role model for her daughter. That is what this year is about and that is why I am proud to be the "Beauty queen swiveling [my] arm like the real Queen."

To the author of this post I hope you find validation in your own life so you can stop seeking it from trying to take it away from others. I also encourage you to learn about the history of the Miss America Organization. Hopefully then you will realize that the young women who join in the pursuit of becoming the next Miss America do so for personal and professional development, scholarships for education, and to have a voice to advocate for a cause that is close to her heart. When I read your post only 54 people had also done so. That is 54 people who may have walked away from reading it with a negative impression about the Miss Vermont Schoalrship Organization...that is why I felt compelled this evening to respond.

As always thank you to everyone who is a true friend and has always supported me in all my endeavors. There are many more great times and memories to come. Stay close.

Love and Blessings,

Monday, June 23, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake

I just came from the Vermont Children's Theatre fundraising Auction. It was an appearance I was proud to be part of as I realize the importance of volunteer based art organizations like the VCT. I was in the 1995 VCT production of Annie and fell in love with the stage. I was only 9 and had a small orphan part (I was the orphan who hid in the linen basket from Ms. Hannigan). However small my role was that expereince was instrumental to introuding me to theater. I plugged for the auction this morning on my hometown radio station WGMT. The kind Steve Nichols interviewed me about the auction and my reign.

I have been trying to eat really well and have succeeded for the most part. Tonight however, I feel guity because I just pigged out on homemade strawberry shortcake. I am not sure why I writing about this, but a blog is meant to share thoughts right? Well, my thoughts at the moment are about guilt in pigging out on Stawberry shortcake.

Thursday I will be singing the Anthem and registering voters at Thunder Road. Thursday is the coveted Governor's Cup and I have been asked to sing. I am honored to be a part of this great annual Vermont event. Hopefully I will see you at the races!

Saturday I will be in Fall River, Massachussetts for the Miss Massachussetts Scholarship Pageant. I am excited to see another production and meet some other 2008 titleholders.

As always you can track my official schedule at Our new webiste will be launched in August so keep checking.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Car, Cows, and...Burpees!?

Car, Cows, and...Burpees. The life of Miss Vermont is quite eclectic. One minute I am dressed and made-up for a 12 hour appearance at a charity golf tournament and the next minute I am in a t-shirt and shorts sweating as my trainer pushes me to works my glutes (and work my glutes i have...and my arms...and my hammies...and my abs...etc). A glance at the "Apperances" tab of will give you a good idea of my days. Since my last post, when I am not at an official appearance, I am working with my trainer, meeting with my image and wardrobe consultant, scheduling appearances, calling potential sponsors, and meeting with different organizations that want to partner with the MVSO.

I have had some very productive meetings lately. Last week I met with the Secretary of States Office in Montpelier. They are totally energized about my platform and want to use me to register voters at events they cannot attend. I got some great ideas from them about how to engage even young school children in voting and being politically active. I have also solidified a partnership with Vermont 211. 211 is a United Way organization which serves as an information source for basically anything you need to know. For instance, a call to 211 can answer for you where your nearest foodbank is and what to expect when you get there. 211 compiles requests and helps implement policy change by keeping track of needs Vermonts have. For instance, this winter there was a rise in Vermonters calling about fuel assistance. Those type of statistics can help policy makers see what Vermonters are struggling with. I am happy to spread the word about 211. I joked with the dispaters that if I keep this schedule up soon I will be calling in to ask what day it is (all day Monday I was certain it was Sunday.)

This weekend will be very full. Tomorrow, Friday, I go to Barre for the Car Show Parade. From there I will drive to Brattleboro for Saturday morning's "Strolling of the Heifers" parade. I am not sure exactly what to expect but I am certain cows will be "strolling" down main street. I am contemplating dressing in black and white as to blend in with the heifers. After showing my support for agriculture I will venture to the Northeast Kingdom to help kick-off Saint Johnsbury's Relay for Life. All of this traveling will be done in my new Suzuki SX4 which I pick up from Quality Suzuki tomorrow! I saw the car today and it looks great. A pearly white with green lettering and the new Miss Vermont logo. I could not be more excited.

Today commenced my second week working with my new personal trainer. As I type, I notice I can't lift my arms above my sholders. haha. I love it! I have been very pleased with the training I have done in the last two weeks. I wish I could have more free time to run but at least working with my trainer I am staying on track. I have developed a love/hate relationship with an excercise called "Burpees". A squat, pushup, squat, jump to the sky fluid motion. Today i did 60. Next week my trainer wants 100 in a session. Yikes! Miss America here I come.

This post's shout out has to go to Lonny Ruggles. Lonny is a family friend and has dubbed himself my #1 fan. Today I received "fanmail" from Lonny (it actually said "FANMAIL" all over the envelope and letter.) Lonny cracks me up and gives me the push I need to continue to find the humor in living out of a suitcase and stroll with heifers. ;)

Lovin' Every Minute!