Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today, I take a moment to reflect, looking back over the past 17 weeks as Mrs. North Carolina International 2011. The success of my activities promoting The NASCAR Foundation is summarized in numbers, but more importantly memories I will cherish for a lifetime. The numbers add up to traveling 13,000+ miles, covering 11 states, 108 volunteer hours and helping to raise over $100,000. More importantly, I made a difference.

Fifteen years ago when I competed in the Miss America system, I didn’t fully realize how inspiring a sparkly crown can be to others. For the nay-sayers, they will always have a closed heart and mind. For the rest of us to believe pageants provide a venue to achieve personal development and life skills - you can relate.

As a business professional, working tirelessly to climb the corporate ladder, the life experience of being Mrs. North Carolina International has given me more than I could have ever hoped. I created my own website, a skill that I would have otherwise hired a 3rd party agency to handle for me. I created a marketing plan for myself to promote The NASCAR Foundation which meant I was taking on the role as project manager and talent – usually I’m just crafting the plan and relying on someone else to be the “talent.” I also was a slave to myself to uphold my word, which to me means everything. My word, my promise, was to promote The NASCAR Foundation and raise awareness for the charities who benefit, promote volunteerism and also the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to be a larger voice to champions of the community who tirelessly provide support and encouragement to children so they can live happier, healthier lives.

The opportunity available as Mrs. International gives a strong female leader the ability to continue to make a positive impact – on a global scale. I compare it to NASCAR, in the fact the NASCAR races are broadcast to over 150 countries in 30 different languages. This equates to more than 50 million eyeballs. As Mrs. International, that same reach is just a start.

For those of you reading this who are new to the Mrs. International Pageant system, I encourage you to compete. This pageant provides a stage for you to share your passion and commitment to either your own charity or support for an existing charity while also celebrating all of your accomplishments and commitment to marriage.  And, the support and encouragement of those within this pageant family are truly there to help you be your best. Please visit for more information.

Mrs. North Carolina International 2011

Janet Bolin