Tag Archive | melissa frans

Big Things Come In Little Packages

Earlier, I posted about an upcoming volleyball tournament I’m taking part in this weekend for my family member and friend, Missy and her husband Kyle.  Kyle has battled Crohn’s Disease for 15 years, so this weekend, we are hammering Crohn’s for him and hopefully, raising money for the Frans family and their mounting medical bills.  (Click here to read more about Kyle’s fight and how you can help in the battle against Crohn’s!)

I am NOT good at volleyball.  It’s not for a lack of trying.. I played rec volleyball throughout junior high.  I couldn’t spike, or set, or serve overhand… but I was never afraid to dive for a ball!  At the end of one season, my coach gave a short speech on each of us when we got our medals, and when it was my turn, he said ‘big things come in little packages.’

THAT, is what comes to mind the more I learn about a promising young lady from Chadron, Nebraska.

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MISS CHADRON’S OUTSTANDING TEEN 2015 SHELBY BLUNDELL

(Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography)

“I am Shelby Blundell.  I am the shortest girl in my grade,” Shelby told me, turning 14 just last weekend.  That height stat may make Shelby memorable in this year’s Miss Nebraska Outstanding Teen class, but it certainly doesn’t define her.

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Shelby, shortly after winning her local title, alongside Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen 2014 Morgan Holen

“I’m competing for the life skills that I am sure to develop through my reign as Miss Chadron and hopefully Miss Nebraska,” said Shelby.  “Miss Nebraska is a great way for young women to develop much needed skills that will later become an advantage in the work place.”

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Shelby already has an impressive skill set; based on her photos, she’s either ready for next month’s state pageant or to take over Katniss’s role in the Hunger Games. Fear?? What fear!

“I enjoy playing basketball, going fishing, riding my dirt bike, practice shooting and hunting,” said Shelby.  This active lifestyle no doubt contributed to Shelby’s personal platform as Miss Chadron’s Outstanding Teen, ‘Commit To Be Fit’.

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Shelby sharing her platform with Girl Scouts at the Scouting For The Cure event in Bridgeport in March

“This is committing to eat healthy, and keeping an active heart and mind,” said Shelby.  “I really would like to show people that eating smaller portions is better for you.”

Shelby also notes something I’ve heard time and time again from the young women who take part in the Miss America or Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization, that they love the bonds they’re forming off stage.  Shelby’s cover photo on her Facebook page is the group shot taken of all the contestants and the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen directors at this year’s Crowns and Gowns weekend.

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“My favorite part of competition is the friendships that I have and will form with my pageant sisters,” said Shelby.  “I also like it because it has brought my mother and I closer together.”

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I’d bet Shelby’s mom will be among her loudest supporters as her little girl takes the stage as one of the most remarkable teenagers in the state of Nebraska.  Tiny she may be, but Shelby Blundell talks of confidence and independence; BIG thoughts and goals for a girl just barely 14-years old.

Someone once said, ‘God only lets things grow until they’re perfect.  Some of us didn’t take as long as others!’  Shelby may forever be the shortest girl in the crowd, but remember, big things come in little packages.  This girl, could also be Nebraska’s next Outstanding Teen.

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(Photo courtesy Tami Fosher Photography)

Follow Miss Chadron’s Outstanding Teen 2015 Shelby Blundell and contact her for appearances and events on the Miss Chadron/Miss Northwest’s Outstanding Teen Facebook page.

Click here for a special feature on Shelby on the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Facebook page!

For more information about how to become a contestant, contact Director Riki Hunter at 308-430-4355 or by email at maoteenchadron@gmail.com.

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The Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will take place June 5, 2015 in North Platte.  Click here to visit the organization’s website or the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant on Facebook and on Twitter.

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Omaha’s Outstanding Teen 2015 Chelsea Arnold

NEXT.. Miss Northwest’s Outstanding Teen 2015 Cherokee Purviance

To read more about the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Class of 2014, click on the ‘There She Is’ link at the top of the page.

Hammer Time

This weekend, my incredible volleyball skills will be on display in Papillion. And by incredible I mean TERRIBLE.  Softball was always my game; I love all sports but I could never do much more than the solid bump from the backfield, occasionally breaking out a trademark move I’ve called THE HAMMER.  Basically clenching both hands together above my head and smashing the ball as hard as I can to protect myself, endlessly embarrassing my husband in the process.

Good thing that this time around, I’m playing for four AMAZING people where effort triumphs over talent and skill.

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Meet Kyle and Melissa Frans, and their sweet boys Tanner and Kraig.  You know their hands are full when they have to hand off the camera to take dual pictures so everyone is included!  Missy is my husband’s cousin, but close enough to be a sister to him and sister-in-law to me.  She spoke at our wedding, and is our Evan’s godmother.  Kyle is funny, kind and welcoming to friend and stranger alike, and just an awesome all-around guy!

Kyle has also battled Crohn’s Disease for 15 years.  Officially, Crohn’s is described as a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.  Simply put, Crohn’s is intense abdominal pain.  Frequent hospital stays and surgeries.  Inability to eat when or what you want.. often leading to weight fluctuation, diarrhea, bleeding, fatigue and other issues.  This is a CHRONIC illness, it lasts for life.  There is no standard treatment, and no cure.

Kyle, only in his early 30’s, has already made several trips to the Mayo Clinic and back.  He’s undergone multiple surgeries.  He’s faced countless trips to the ER.  This couple has dealt with this challenge while working and taking care of two little boys.  If you’ve ever gotten a big doctor’s bill in the mail, even WITH insurance, you know how quickly procedures can add up.  Multiply that by the dozens, if not hundreds of tests, stays, and visits the Frans family has gone through.. and it’s hard to imagine what they are dealing with financially, let alone physically and emotionally.

THIS SATURDAY, their friends, loved ones, and more will join together to raise money to help and to show Missy and Kyle they are not alone.  Organizer Joe Dolezal said it best on the event website: ‘Knowing Kyle and Melissa would, and do, go out of their way to help their friends, we’re going out of our way to help give them a little relief from all the costs that have been piling up over the years.’

CLICK HERE for more information about the CROHN’S SUCKS: FRANS FAMILY BENEFIT SAND VOLLEYBALL TOURNEY.  $20 gets you at least four games of volleyball, a drink ticket, and a chance to bid on LOTS of great raffle items.  Better yet, if you have a group of friends looking for a volleyball tournament.. or just a group of friends who want to hang out.. sign up your team!  Visit the Facebook event link above or email FriendsofFrans@gmail.com.  This will all take place SATURDAY MAY 30th at Sinnott’s Sand Bar in Papillion.

I’ve said before.. and posted right here on this blog.. I don’t know why things like Crohn’s happen to such good people.  Not just Kyle, but my good friend and co-anchor Rob McCartney also suffers from this terrible disease.  Rob often reaches out to other patients, especially kids, to compare stories about what they are going through, forming a support network in a club they never wanted to be part of.  Nebraska native, now Phillies baseball player Jake Diekman went public with his battle with Ulcerative Colitis this year, promoting research through the sale of ‘Gut-It-Out’ t-shirts and gear nationwide.  Guys like Jake, Rob and Kyle rise above their challenges; they fight, they stay positive, they inspire the rest of us to roll up our sleeves and do better.

This Saturday, I’ll be with my Team Paparazzi softball squad, as our team trades gloves and bats for sand and volleyballs to support our superstar catcher and friend Missy Frans and her family.  I would LOVE to see hundreds of people there to support them!  Regardless, I have a favor to ask of all of you who are reading this.. please learn more about Crohn’s.  It’s a terrible, terrible disease.  More awareness, means a bigger push for answers, meaning more fundraising and hopefully, bring us one step closer to finding a cure.  CLICK HERE to learn more about Crohn’s Disease at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America website.  CLICK HERE to learn more about Jake’s story, and his work with the Gut-It-Out campaign.

And if you pray, please say a prayer for these guys, especially my friend Kyle.  For a huge showing of support Saturday, for the financial boost the Frans family needs right now, and for a cure so one day this wonderful family of four can have a volleyball game for no other reason than to teach Kraig and Tanner THE HAMMER.

Loved ones have also established a GoFundMe account to help Kyle Frans and his family.  CLICK HERE for more information.