Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from Meghanne

I hope everyone had a safe and very happy Thanksgiving. I just wanted to share a few things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, and the best way to keep traditions going instead of "Black Thursday" shopping.

This year I spent Thanksgiving with my Anne Carlsen Center family. We spent the entire afternoon cooking and decorating our cottage (where my clients live). My favorite tradition at the center, is for the kids that don’t go home with a family, we create an entire meal together and push all of our tables together to eat as a 'family', which we normally are unable to do, due to certain circumstances. I am thankful that I was able to be a part of such a wonderful dinner, and spend time with the ones who don’t get to go home for the holidays.

After the meal, instead of planning on what to buy people for Christmas when Thanksgiving isn't even over, my family likes to spend time sharing stories and playing family friendly games, and I HIGHLY recommend Mad Gab. Too often, especially in today's society, people tend to forget what the holiday of Thanksgiving is really all about. If not this year, maybe next year try taking some extra time with your family, memories like those will last a lifetime, that new TV won't.

So, wherever you were and whoever you were with, I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving, and safe travels.

Your Miss Teen North Dakota International 2016,
Meghanne Quam

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meghanne's First College Semester

Wow, it has been sometime since I have caught up with everyone and my blog! I would like to start by saying, I'm alive, doing well, and super busy; and I love it! I started college back in the beginning of September at the University of Mary, and so far it has been amazing.
I am going to be honest, being a people person has always been my strong point, not math and science. So, this semester I have taken on a math and a science to get them out of the way, but that’s where my main focus has been for the past few months and will continue to be until Christmas break. Other than my challenging class load, college has been even better than I expected. I have found that I do not want to be a nursing major (hence the math and sciences), but I have switched my major to Business Administration with a minor in Communications (hence the people person thing).
College isn’t all classes; I have met a TON of new friends and people that are so amazing and I can't wait to finish the year out with them. I am so grateful that I am able to attend a University, and live on campus to get the full "college experience". Without living on campus I wouldn't be able to be in various activities and programs such as the program at the University of Mary called TRIO where I get amazing volunteer opportunities and can spend my free time participating in those.
So, yes, college isn't a walk through the park.. It's more like a walk to the Sahara Desert in the middle of July, but I wouldn't trade my education for anything in the world. I am so blessed to be able to attend such a wonderful University.
With love,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pageant Tips from Taylor

Guess what everyone, ITS PAGEANT SEASON! How exciting is that?
Girls are dress shopping, excelling in the gym, and working hard on paperwork. Today I want to share a few prep tips that I hope some of you can find helpful.
1.     Think of yourself as if you are already wearing that crown! Don’t just work towards the crown, work to bring glory to the crown that is already on your head (You’re always a Queen).
2.     Don’t let brand names make your decisions. If you love that dress or shoe but it is not a popular brand, wear it anyways!
3.     Be honest. Be honest on your paperwork and to yourself. The judges want to know YOU and what YOU have done. You are wonderfully and beautifully made, so embrace who you are, don’t pretend to be something you are not.
4.     Don’t look at the past winners. Just because the 2016 winner wore a green gown, doesn’t mean you should too. Use what looks good on YOU and brings out your best attributes.
5.     If you are a coffee drinker like myself, start using a straw two weeks before you pageant (or always!) to keep your teeth whiter
6.     Water. Water. Water. Water. Water. Water. ( clears you face and keeps you thinking straight)
7.     Also, that one slice of pizza or one donut isn’t going to kill you. Enjoy yourself
8.     Use a photo that ACTUALLY looks like you. You want the judges to have a good impression of who you are!
9.     Do. Not. Compare. Yourself. It is easier said than done, I know. Just know that you worked hard to get where you are and there is not another you in this entire universe, so no one can be a better you than you.
10.  Reuse. Reuse. Reuse. I think we can all agree that Pageantry isn’t exactly the cheapest sport out there but reusing can totally save you a load of money. Coming from a girl who used the same gown in three pageants in one year! Yes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a dress twice, or in my case, three times! I wore my state gown at nationals because I was still so in love with it! It also saved me quite a bit of money. Even borrowing or renting a dress from someone else totally works! That dress will look completely different on you than perhaps it did on your friend! Do it!

These are just a few tips that I have learned in my pageant career and I hope that they can be helpful to you in this time of year! Feel free to even write me if you have any question! Love to help out! Thanks again for catching up with me <3

 Miss North Dakota International 2016
Taylor Woodruff

Sunday, November 13, 2016

'Cope With Hope' Survivor Sacks

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my latest blog post! I am especially excited for this blog, as I’m about to share with you some additional information pertaining to a recent post that I made on Facebook about a very special project that I’m working on through my platform, The Cope Well Foundation!

As I already announced on my Facebook page, The Cope Well Foundation is beyond thrilled to introduce our NEW ‘Cope with Hope’ coping outlet, which includes the distribution of our NEW ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sacks with support from the Hope for the Journey Cancer Support Group through Hope Church!

The intention of our ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign is to simply increase the impact we have on the Cancer Community by further promoting the importance of emotional AND spiritual well-being during one’s Survivorship Journey.

As a nonprofit organization that focuses on the emotional recovery of Survivorship, including Cancer Survivorship, the Cope Well Foundation promotes the importance of three main coping outlets, all of which have been developed by Cope Well and focus on the emotional affects of Survivorship. Those coping outlets are as follows: Survivorship thru Mentorship, Live Well thru Activities and Coping thru Counseling. With a desire to add a faith-based element to our organization, we have added a fourth coping outlet, which is ‘Cope with Hope’. Each of these coping outlets has proven to be not only beneficial, but essential, for the emotional and spiritual well-being of Survivors and their support systems.

As the primary focus of the Cope Well Foundation has been on Cancer Survivorship since the launch of our organization in 2011, the initial plan for our ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign is to focus specifically on Cancer Survivorship. We will accomplish this through three different methods. First, we will make the Survivor Sacks available to Cancer Patients by distributing them to area Cancer Centers, who will then offer them to their patients on our behalf. To begin, we will focus first on the two Cancer Centers in Grand Forks, ND, as Grand Forks is the home base of the Cope Well Foundation. From there, we hope to expand to Cancer Centers throughout the state, then to Cancer Centers throughout the region and then finally to Cancer Centers throughout the country. Second, we hope to make the Survivor Sacks available to other groups and organizations affiliated with Cancer Survivorship. Our relationship with the Hope for the Journey Cancer Support Group is a perfect example of that effort. And finally, we hope to make the Survivor Sacks available to any individual Cancer Survivor who reaches out to us directly to request a Survivor Sack of their own.

Our long-term goals for our NEW ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign are to 1) provide two different versions of our Survivor Sacks, which would include an adult Survivor Sack and a youth Survivor Sack, and 2) to eventually provide a slightly modified Survivor Sack that focuses on Survivorship in other areas of life, as Survivorship isn’t limited to Cancer alone.

To kick-off the initial ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign, we’re focusing on adult Survivor Sacks specifically for Cancer Survivorship. With that in mind, each Survivor Sack consists of the following items:
·       A ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack, which will be a black, drawstring bag. Inside the Survivor Sack will be a letter explaining our ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign and the relevance of each item provided in the Survivor Sack.
·       The Cope Well Foundation promotional materials, which include a Cope Well Brochure, a Cope Well Ribbon Card with Lapel Pin, a Cope Well Bracelet and a Cope Well Pencil.
o   Items pertaining to each of the four Cope Well coping outlets mentioned above to emphasize their benefits during one’s Survivorship journey.
§  Deck of Cards to promote Survivorship thru Mentorship.
§  Word Search Activity Book to promote Live Well thru Activities.
§  Personal Journal and Inspirational Booklet to promote Coping thru Counseling.
§  A Water Bottle, a New Testament Bible and information from the Hope for the Journey Cancer Support Group to further promote Cope with Hope.
·       Specific items that have been known to be helpful during different types of Cancer Treatments, which include a pack of Tissues, Hand Sanitizer, Chap Stick, Hand Lotion, Medical Face Mask and a bag of Hard Candy. (We would eventually like to add a Beanie and a cozy pair of Socks in the future if funds allow.)

Our ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign will be much more effective with the support of other like-minded individuals and organizations. This is where we need YOUR help! The cost of each ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack is just $10.00, which includes the Sack and ALL of the items in it! That means that for ONLY $10.00, YOU can make a direct impact on the Survivorship Journey of a Cancer Survivor! We even have options where you can request your Survivor Sack to be sent to a specific Cancer Center, a specific Cancer-related organization or even a specific Cancer Survivor with a personalized note to make it that much more personal. To put the financial needs of this campaign in perspective, one local Cancer Center that we spoke with saw over 850 adult Cancer Patients in just one year. It’s obvious that the need is great, but by working together we can all lead by example and make a difference in the lives of Cancer Survivors everywhere!

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve received two $250.00 grants and over $1000.00 in initial donations to kick-start the campaign, which we’re using to produce 150 initial Survivor Sacks. 100 of these initial Survivor Sacks will be distributed equally to the two Cancer Centers in Grand Forks, ND. The remaining 50 Survivor Sacks will be distributed to local Cancer-related organizations and to a number of individual Cancer Survivors throughout the region. These individuals will be receiving them on behalf of requests made by private donors. Our goal is to have all of these initial Survivor Sacks distributed before the end of 2016. We hope that this kick-start effort is just the beginning of a long-term, nationwide ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign that will increase the impact we have on the Cancer Community and further promote the importance of emotional AND spiritual well-being during one’s Survivorship Journey.

For more information about the Cope Well Foundation, the coping outlets that we promote or to learn of ways that you can support our NEW ‘Cope with Hope’ Survivor Sack campaign, please contact us directly or visit our website at

Until next time, continue to lead by example and make a difference!

Ashley Rae Klinger
Mrs. North Dakota International 2016

‘Leading by example for those around us and making a difference in the lives of others, isn’t a hobby; it’s a Purpose!’ ~ Ashley Rae Klinger