Every year around this time, the titleholders – past and present – of Ms. Wheelchair Utah get together for a dinner to catch up, laugh, and help the current titleholder prepare for her turn to represent Utah at the national Ms. Wheelchair America pageant.
This year we dined luxuriously at the Olive Garden in Layton. They reserved us a nice little alcove that was perfect for chatting and we were seriously treated so well. It was awesome. We’ll definitely be going back there.
Not all the titleholders could come. We were sad to miss some of our finest – Kim Belliston (MWU 2009, left), Kelie Babcock (MWU 2010, center/left), Sandra Whipple (MWU 2011, center/right), and Ari Nakasone (MWU 2013, right):
But it was fun to see these fun friends!
This is Rebecca Geockeritz and her husband, Isaac. Becca plays the violin for the Orchestra at Temple Square and teaches private violin lessons.
Becca was the first legitimately crown MWU since it was resurrected in 2005 (by Whit and me when I crowned myself and went to the Nationals…). I passed the crown to Becca and she passed it to Ashlee Allington:
I love this picture of them both when Ashlee won.
Ashlee (MWU 2008, right) was there at Olive Garden also! She teaches second grade and her kids must LOVE her because everyone who knows her does. She is so sparkly and fun! With her are Jake and Shae Petersen who are integral in putting on the Little Wheelzz Princess Pageant (the youngest division of contestants has their own).
Here’s a fun picture of Ashlee when she was the reigning titleholder:
And Brittany Cox (MWU 2012) came with her husband, Richard. They both sing and act in plays together, the most current one being Guys and Dolls. Such the loving and fun couple! They were married 11-11-11, right after Brittany was crowned MWU. She was crowned on the 13th anniversary (the exact day) of the car crash that paralyzed her.
And, last but not least was (DA DA DA DAAAAA) Amanda Rhees! The reigning Ms. Wheelchair Utah 2014 who is going to the National pageant at the end of July. She and her mom, Sarah, came with many questions. And they got many answers. Which probably doesn’t help a ton, seeing as how each titleholder has a different experience at the National pageant, but it helps a little to kind of know what to expect.
Here’s a picture of Amanda in her beautiful purple dress:
Purple is Amanda’s favorite color, we went around the table and shared that little fact about ourselves. Here’s the breakdown: Ashlee: Pink, Jake: Orange, Shae: Pink, Me: Purple, Whit: Teal, like my shirt teal, Sarah: all colors, but Red for that day, Richard: Royal Blue, Brittany: Yellow, Isaac: Gray, Becca: Hot Pink)
Oh yeah, and Whit and I were there! We wouldn’t miss it. Being with these uplifting and inspiring women always leaves both of us amazed.
We were taking the pictures so this is the best one we could get of ourselves…
The bunny ears in the back is Shae.
I guess she knew it wasn’t going to be the best shot so she offered to take one.