Tag Archive | melissa fry

The Sisterhood Is Real

As long as I can remember, I’ve had very vivid dreams. I swear I dreamt of my husband before we met, and I fully admit that I am less than pleasant with him if I have a nightmare about him falling for another woman. I dream about flying quite a bit.. and dreams about falling, especially careening off the Missouri River bridge, FREAK ME OUT.

This week, I had a dream about my pal, Alex Bisson. So random – I haven’t seen Alex since last summer! But that’s how my whackadoodle brain works sometimes.

I dreamt I was supposed to be emceeing a big awards ceremony. Everyone was dressed up.. and I was in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Then, to make matters worse, I was petting dogs at the animal exhibit (because why wouldn’t there be an animal exhibit at a high-profile awards ceremony?) and a goat threw up all over me. WHAT TO DO? I suddenly remembered that across the high school (because that’s suddenly where the event was held) there might have been a spare set of clothes in the KETV wardrobe closet (which also happened to be at said high school). I sprinted there as fast as I could, made it to the closet, and nearly burst into tears when I realized there was NOTHING that would work. I opened the door…. and there stood Alex, saying “I can help!” She magically found me one of her anchoring outfits, helped me change, and I rushed back to the event where I joined Rob and elegantly shared with the audience how I was late because a goat threw up on me. Everyone had a nice laugh and we moved on – the event was a success and no one remembered me being late or looking like a dirty hamper.

WHAT. IN. ALL. THE. HECK.

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I seriously wonder sometimes what is going on in my hairspray infused skull. The next morning though, the overwhelming feeling I woke up with was peace and gratitude for Alex, that she was there for me to help.

Alex and I became friends when she began working at KETV as a reporter, then the First News Anchor. I was asked a question frequently in my time at KETV: do you get along with the other women? I think there was an assumption that we were competitors; we were all vying for air time, the same prime time spots, and therefore, we must have all had secret contempt for each other. SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH.

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This photo was taken in October at Adrian Whitsett’s wedding in Florida. My caption with this on Facebook and Twitter: my heart is happy. The women shown here all worked for KETV at some point (two still do!) We were not competitors; we were teammates. We turned to each other for advice and support. We cheered each other on when we found success. We shared clothes, makeup, hairspray (A LOT of hairspray), and insight. In a way, we were very much sisters, connections that we confirmed were still strong during this wonderful trip. Because we were all facing similar challenges and comparable journeys, we understood one another in ways others could not.

I see the same love and support in another sisterhood: the Miss Nebraska Organization.

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Yes, each of these women wants, or has worked for, the same thing: the title of Miss Nebraska. But the environment surrounding them is not Miss Congeniality brawling, gossip-mongering, or vindictive game-playing. They form friendships that span years. They learn how to support like-minded women, an attribute that will serve them throughout their lives. And when they feel alone, juggling service, school, family and work… they reach out to the sisters who can empathize because they are doing it, too.

#TheSisterhoodIsReal

That phrase has become a universal message in recent weeks, one of the toughest times the Miss America Organization has faced in decades. Our program has been in national headlines, not for the goodwill we inspire, the opportunities we offer or the relationships we nurture, but for an email scandal and ensuing criticism of our organization as a whole.

Every time I see a tweet or post from someone questioning why we have beauty pageants in 2018, or why we parade around young women in swimsuits like a meat market… I fight the urge to reply. I want to write about the scholarships we offer thousands of young women every year. I want to write about the networking opportunities this program provides, the lessons in confidence, public speaking and presence, personal composure and more. I want to share my own experiences that only happened because I was once a Miss Nebraska local titleholder. I want to tell those critics about our success stories: the doctors, award-winning journalists, philanthropists, business owners, teachers, and more who all gained incomparable life skills and attributes because of this program.

What is wrong with BEAUTY? What is wrong with a woman feeling beautiful, and promoting beauty on the INSIDE as well as out?

I get the swimsuit argument; truly, I do. But I ask critics to look beyond their initial assessment: we live in a world of obesity, indulgence, heart disease, inactivity, high cholesterol… and let’s be frank, when you know you are going to be on stage in a swimsuit, you WORK HARD. You hit the gym, you eat clean, you BECOME HEALTHIER. We are hopefully building the foundation of health in these women that will last years beyond their time competing for a crown. More so, our program is evolving; we see women of varying shapes and sizes from the local to national level. Health is not defined as ‘skinny’; we see muscle, positive lifestyles, CONFIDENCE. In my years attending the Miss Nebraska Pageant, I have left not feeling ashamed for the women who walk that stage, but wanting to BE BETTER myself, and wanting to work to be the healthiest and most confident I can be.

I don’t post any of this when I see those negative remarks…. because HATERS GONNA HATE. There will ALWAYS be negative assumptions and unfounded opinions about our program. They don’t want to listen, and I would argue, many haven’t taken the time to learn more about what Miss Nebraska and the Miss America Organization stand for TODAY.

SERVICE. SUCCESS. SCHOLARSHIP. STYLE.

To those who WILL listen, we will show the world the value of this program through our titleholders’ stories. If you’re reading this, I encourage you to join me over the next few months as I introduce you to the women competing for the titles of Miss Nebraska and Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen. They are scholars, public servants, artists. They are ART, they are inspiring, they are ambassadors of goodwill. They are proof of what our organization truly stands for; not objectifying women, but empowering them.

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I’ve written before about all of the positives I gained from being a local titleholder in this program. Cash scholarships. Speaking skills and confidence. Lessons in networking and learning from criticism. Learning how to take care of myself. Getting to sing in front of thousands of people. Traveling across the country. And learning the importance of supporting other women; in pageants, career and life, we are only competing with ourselves, not each other.

Haters, go ahead and hate. #TheSisterhoodIsReal. Miss America is relevant and empowering. This organization, much like my time at KETV, helped instill in me that we as women are better when we support each other and surround ourselves with others who are pushing to be the best versions of themselves.

Alex, my fellow anchor at KETV, is also a Miss America alum. She’s an NCAA record-holder in swimming, a goosebumps-inspiring singer, one hell of a softball player, a majestic woman and a beautiful human being.

We believe in this sisterhood… and in helping a sister out when goats attack. Alex, thanks for the outfit.

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The Miss Nebraska Pageant takes place June 7-9 in North Platte, Nebraska.

CLICK HERE to follow the Miss Nebraska Organization on Twitter, CLICK HERE to follow on Facebook, CLICK HERE to follow on Instagram.

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COMING UP.. Tristen Wecker, Miss Fur Trade Days 2018

To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2014 through 2017 click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!

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Like what you’re reading? Consider supporting Anchor’s Away! Email brandipetersenomaha@gmail.com for information on advertising.

Brilliance

BRILLIANCE (n)

1. great brightness; luster
2. excellence or distinction; conspicuous talent, mental ability, etc.
3. splendor, elegance, or magnificence:

EXAMPLES OF BRILLIANCE:

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This week at work, my friend Kim asked me if I watched Miss Universe.  With that, she unknowingly invited me to share my original oratory for why I LOVE pageantry, and in particularly, the Miss Nebraska Organization.

 1. INSPIRATION. These women are clear evidence of how beautiful our bodies can be when we exercise, eat right and take care of ourselves.  Every single time I feel that fire within myself rekindling to JUST DO IT, looking like that IS POSSIBLE with focus and hard work.

2. RADIANCE.  I am a proud, strong, confidant woman.  I can be all of those things and still LOVE to dress up and feel like a queen.  The gowns, the glitz, and regarding Miss America, the beauty and art behind each talent performed on stage.. I LOVE IT.  Being a woman is a beautiful thing; focusing on that beauty and allowing each woman is radiate is spectacular.

3.  CONFIRMATION.  Evidence of the intelligence, articulation and confidence so many of these women possess in their interviews on stage and off.  Women at Miss Nebraska last year were asked questions on issues ranging from prison overcrowding, to education funding, to social media challenges.  These are real issues we as a society face, and in front of hundreds (and sometimes, millions of people on live TV), these women address each topic and prove time and time again you can look amazing, and FEEL fantastic, AND be BRILLIANT.

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And with that… the time has come for Year 4 of There She Is, my annual series profiling each of the Miss Nebraska and Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen contestants.

This program is RELEVANT, providing countless opportunities for young women in our state to speak, perform and to raise money for their futures beyond pageantry.  Miss Nebraska 2014 Megan Swanson went on to perform the National Anthem for tens of thousands at the College World Series and is currently pursuing a recording career.  Miss Nebraska 2016 Aleah Peters has visited dozens of schools crisscrossing Nebraska to speak to children about cyberbullying and what they can do both before and after it happens.  Both she and Miss Nebraska 2015 Alyssa Howell topped $20,000 in cash scholarships during their time competing for Miss Nebraska and then Miss America, money that helped both pay for their college educations.

One of the other things I have come to cherish about this program is the camaraderie it creates between the women who compete, and the women who work behind the scenes to make it happen.  I look forward to Miss Nebraska events all year long not only for the glitz and glamour, but to be surrounded by women who work everyday to ‘have it all’.  Our goals are so similar; to give to our families while serving others, to make sure we are hitting the gym and eating right despite nonstop schedules, to reach the top of our career fields the right way, through hard work, respect and kindness.

“Someone else’s strengths are not my weaknesses.”  

–Miss Pennsylvania 2014 Amanda Smith

We live in a competitive world, folks; I can’t tell you how many times people seemed surprised when I told them Melissa Fry was one of my dearest friends at KETV and that Julie Cornell was a leader and mentor to all of us.  Much like in the pageant world, I think people assume there’s an Anchorman/Miss Congeniality mentality where women are constantly fighting with each other to be the It Girl.  Programs like Miss Nebraska reinforce a culture of unity and support between women.  Is it competitive?  For sure.  But one of our constant goals is to teach women to compete with themselves and not others.  To focus on defeating procrastination, weakness, distractions, NOT other women.  To be the best THEY can be, and allowing others to inspire, not deflate.  Those lessons translate far beyond pageantry in teaching young women how to support each other, creating more positive work environments, support networks and friendships.  To better handle challenges and disappointments, to better foster team work and productivity.  I daresay these are intangible qualities that every employer in America prizes in their staff.

Happy February; the countdown has officially begun.  To this weekend’s Crowns and Gowns event in North Platte and to the final weeks and months leading up to the competitions that will determine the next two women to represent Nebraska in this storied organization.

If I can’t convince you to become a Pageant Junkie like me (shout out to the talented Carrie Lakey!), I ask you this.. to please support the women who take part.  They are talented.  They are beautiful inside and out.  They are intelligent and well spoken.

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Photo courtesy Kali Tripp

They are BRILLIANCE defined.

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The Miss Nebraska Pageant takes place June 7-10 in North Platte, Nebraska.

CLICK HERE for more details, HERE to follow on Twitter, HERE to follow on Facebook

The Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant takes place April 21-22 in Omaha, Nebraska.

CLICK HERE for more details, HERE to follow on Twitter, HERE to follow on Facebook

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To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2014-2016 click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!

Just Keep Swimming

There’s something special about swimmers..

These athletes are just wired differently than n0rmal human beings.  They’re up at 4am to put in hours at the pool.  They are SHEER musle and strength.  They don’t know failure, because when they’re not focused on the swimmer in the next lane, they are constantly racing their OWN clocks to top their personal bests.  All of these traits; dedication, health, perfection, also seem to translate to swimmers’ lives outside the pool.

Want proof? Meet Team KETV.

Before Melissa Fry was our 5pm anchor and one of our best reporters, she was the 2001 state champion in the 100m butterfly at Millard South High School (Melissa and her dad are the first father/daughter state champions in swimming!)  Melissa is still in the Patriot record books for several strokes, and went on to swim at Illinois State before transferring to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Before Alex Hoffman was our First News anchor, she was nothing short of a legendary swimmer in her home state of South Dakota.  In high school alone, she won four individual state titles.  At South Dakota State, Alex’s list of school records and career wins is TWO FULL PAGES LONG.  I’M NOT KIDDING.  She broke 9 school records her first season, was team captain her senior year and chosen as an NCAA Woman of the Year nominee.  Alex was also Miss South Dakota 2008 and a Top 10 finalist at the 2009 Miss America pageant.

Before Alexandra Stone became our First News Weekend anchor (and one of our star reporters!) she was swimming year-round for both school and club events, starting when she was a toddler.  Alexandra made the varsity swim team as a freshman, excelling in the 100M backstroke.

And finally..

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This INCREDIBLE young lady, Jojo Randby!  Jojo’s mom is Emmy-Award winning journalist Julie Cornell, and her dad is our Chief Meteorologist Bill Randby.  Jojo is making a name for herself.. representing Nebraska in the midwest regional 5-state All Star meet, where she won the 50m and 100m breast, clocking personal record times in both!

NONE of this is easy.  ALL of these ladies say they swim or swam 6+ days a week, often twice a day.  This all comes in addition to school, volunteering and other activities.

Want more proof?  Meet Hannah Miller.

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Photo courtesy Blinq Studio

“I’ve had a crazy swim season that just concluded with the state meet,” Hannah told me last month, after qualifying for two events at state as a sophomore.  (CLICK HERE to watch Hannah set a new personal record in the 100m butterfly in January!)  Hannah’s also a dancer.  And she works part time.  And she’s a student at Elkhorn High School.  And she’s Miss Omaha’s Outstanding Teen.

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Hannah spends almost three hours EVERY DAY swimming, in addition to everything else she’s got going on in her life.  How, and WHY add a crown and sash to the mix, and commit to competing for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen in June?

“I got involved in the MNOT program because I love the values that it promotes: service, scholarship, style and success,” said Hannah.  “I have such respect for the titleholders who are volunteering in their communities and are role models for everyone around them.”

Hannah has also held the titles of Miss Nebraska Pre-Teen 2012 (ANTSO), America’s US Miss Nebraska Teen 2014, and as Miss Nebraska Junior Teen 2014 (ANTSO) she was named National Junior Teen 1st Runner-Up and National Spokesmodel winner for 2015.  Complete disclosure.. I know very little about the America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization, but it seems Hannah knows what to prioritize as a new contestant in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen club.

For starters, her volunteer work ties right back to where she’s most at home.. in the pool.

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“My platform is ‘Safe Splashes’, combining my love for the water with my passion for working with young children,” said Hannah.  “Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children between the ages of 1 and 4.  According to the CDC, in 10% of those drownings, the adult will actually be watching the child with no idea it is happening!  While complete ‘drown-proofing’ does not exist, parental water safety education and early childhood swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning.”

Hannah is hoping to make a difference both with with her words and action; she works part-time as a swim instructor, teaching kids and parents exactly what she promotes as Miss Omaha’s Outstanding Teen.  She’s also volunteered to read for local students, to ring bells for the Salvation Army, she’s been part of the Bid Buddy/Little Buddy mentoring program and helped as a math tutor.

Hannah has also lettered in Varsity Cheer, and she’ll dance at Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.

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“I combine my two favorite dance styles (jazz and tap) into a fun, upbeat routine that I absolutely love to perform,” said Hannah.  Hannah also loves her family (just below, she’s emceeing part of Nebraska’s Miss Amazing pageant with her dad, Jim!) and friends, and says those relationships along with school are most important to her in her life.

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“From an early age, giving back to the community and volunteering have been important to me, so I look for role models who are reaching out and making a difference in real ways each and every day,” said Hannah.

Now, this 16-year old hopes to become a role model for someone else, and notes that her pageant-background has propelled her forward.

“I tell people about the community service I have become involved in through pageantry and the self confidence it takes to walk and talk on stage,” said Hannah.  “When I applied to be a swim instructor at the age of 15 I was interviewing with candidates that were as much as 6 years older than me.  I got the job because of the confidence and poise I had in the interview.  My ability to speak honestly and confidently to parents about their child’s progress earns me respect as an instructor.  The skills of communication and confidence are directly related to my involvement in pageantry and I am proud of that.”

And now, Hannah Miller wants to take her journey one step further as Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.  After all, she’s a self-described well-rounded over-achiever.  If you ask Melissa, Alex, or Alexandra… I’m pretty sure that’s synonymous with SWIMMER.

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Photo courtesy Blinq Studio

“I have been preparing to represent our great state for some time now and I know I am ready to step up and be the best possible representative nationally for Nebraska,” said Hannah.  “I am a genuine person who connect with people easily and I have the ability to help make a difference.”

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To follow Miss Omaha’s Outstanding Teen Hannah Miller on FACEBOOK CLICK HERE.  To contact Hannah about appearances and events, email her at hl_miller@icloud.com or email Jim Miller at  jr_miller@cox.net.

For more information about the Miss Omaha/Miss Douglas County’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, visit THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE or THEIR WEBSITE.  For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Kelsey Ellis by email at omahadouglascountyOT@gmail.com.

For more information on becoming a Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen contestant, contact Director Heather Edwards at heatheraloseke@gmail.com or Director Kali Tripp at kalinicoletv@gmail.com.

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The 2016 Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant takes place June 10 in North Platte, Nebraska.  Learn more on THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER and ON INSTAGRAM.

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Alliance 2016 Kate Lynne Duncan!

NEXT.. Miss Harvest Moon Festival 2016 Kara Kriha!

To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2015 & 2014, click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!

Let It Snow

A SNOW DAY.

KETV First News meteorologist Matt Serwe put it PERFECTLY when he tweeted:

“Post about any snow during the week, and every high schooler be like…”

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Remember what it was like as a student, watching TV and listening to the radio nonstop just wishing you’d hear your school’s name as CLOSED for that one blissful day in the snow?  Now, TENS OF THOUSANDS of high school and college students across Nebraska and Iowa can also check Twitter and Facebook for closings.  This year, they are going above and beyond to not just watch, but PLEA for those days off.  And MAN are they creative doing it.

To be clear, neither Matt, nor I, nor ANYONE here at KETV have any power in determining a day off from school.  We wait for area superintendents just like everyone else.  We are merely the messengers.  But boy, we have been THOROUGHLY entertained by the requests coming into the newsroom.

THERE ARE THOSE WHO FLATTER AND BRIBE..

Emma Hasenjager :  thanks for being my heroes…hopefully! @brandipetersen @BillRandby @jsutfin

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Taylor Elizabeth: We need our heroes  https://vine.co/v/OFDBMKFrpxi

Andrew ‏@senor_andy: @brandipetersen you’re basically every metro area students best friend when it snows

Jessi ‏@jesssidwell: Hey @brandipetersen!!! My buddy @i_got_dilEMMAS and I are pros in the snow and will GLADLY shovel your driveway in return for a snowday

SOME MAKE AN EMOTIONAL APPEAL..

@sydney__nelson: @brandipetersen seems pretty dangerous outside… #snowday?? 

 B8-PyEGIYAAVjQZ  B8-PyEGIcAADVkc  B8-PyEJIAAEPjJo

@ptalm: @brandipetersen can school be called off tomorrow my wife left me

paradise ‏@jacobtroia: I’m blaming Brandi Petersen when I step out of my car; freeze, then break in half tomorrow morning

rachel winkler:   would be a shame if I got frostbite tomorrow walking into school….. come on @brandipetersen

Emily-Rose ‏@emilyvlach: @brandipetersen “give me a snow day” please?

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OTHERS TRY THE ‘NO SCHOOL OR ELSE’ TECHNIQUE..

Natalia: @brandipetersen if we have school tomorrow..

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Andy Page:   @brandipetersen @MattSerweKETV @BillRandbyKETV you are splitting apart friendships by not telling us

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Colton John$on: If Blair doesn’t cancel school its @brandipetersen ‘s fault

Jack Shoemaker: @ThorTripp is once again my favorite Omaha area newscaster. You know what you didn’t do @brandipetersen.

A FEW TRY.. OK, I’M NOT SURE WHAT THIS IS..

Langston ‏@ptalm: I heard about this ritual where if we all make moaning noises towards Brandi Petersen she will summon the ice devil and cancel school

THERE ARE THOSE WHO TURN TO RELIGION..

Evan English: Prayin for a cold day like…

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Will.i.am. ‏@willsynowiecki: We’re really gonna need you to pull through for us tonight @brandipetersen

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estelle mckinney: Do u think Jesus would have the 12 Apostles go to school in the Plz remember wwjd @brandipetersen 

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AND MY FAVORITES.. WHO TRY TO ‘USE THE FORCE’..

Travis Schwartz: @brandipetersen when outside is like Hoth you should cancel

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Nolan Harrington: How @brandipetersen wants me to go to school tomorrow

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Hannah ‏@uhlhannah: Help me @brandipetersen you’re my only hope.

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AND WHEN THAT MOMENT COMES.. AND WE TELL EVERYONE THEIR SCHOOL IS CLOSED..

ktown ‏@krgrinvalds: “@brandipetersen: WESTSIDE CLOSED MONDAY FEB 2”

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Bipolar Mike Riley‏@BipolarM_Riley: @brandipetersen will you marry me?

Brooke Gustafson: THERES NO SCHOOL. BRANDI CAME IN CLUTCH ONCE AGAIN

kates ‏@katie_fichter:  thanks brandi love u

Stavros Piperis: No school tomorrow and High School Musical is on. Love you @brandipetersen

grant ‏@wish__GRANTed: @brandipetersen you are the real MVP

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So much love–AND LAUGHS 🙂  Keep it coming, folks!  Best wishes for students everywhere hoping for a cold, snowy winter.

And by the way, Bill has snow in this weekend’s forecast.

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You can follow Brandi on twitter at @BrandiPetersen

Back To School

And with a simple phrase, ‘back to school’, I can hear thousands of screams from children (and teachers) across the Omaha metro area…

But it’s almost time, folks!! In less than a month, your kiddos will be heading out the door, ready to start a new year of learning, friends and memories.

Wait… will they truly be ready?

For thousands of kids across the metro, the answer is no.  No backpack, no new school supplies, no motivation to head to a place where they feel like they aren’t good enough or as prepared as all of the other kids.

CUE: The Seven Can Help Kids Back to School Backpack Drive.

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This is arguably the biggest fundraising/donation event we put together every year here at KETV.  We work with nonprofits, corporations and businesses, schools, and THOUSANDS of donors, to provide as many backpacks and supplies as possible for area kids who need them.  This year our goal is 14,000 stuffed backpacks.

WHY???

Before I became actively involved, it’s a question, I admit, I asked; why, when we could raise money and awareness to get kids food, or shelter, or countless other causes or plights, WHY BACKPACKS?

For me, here’s the reason why.

Last night, Rob and I listened to a story from KETV’s Tony Cornett about the expected trial in the murder case of Brandon Wallace.  The alleged shooter: 15 years old.  His alleged accessories? 13 to 17 years old.  Rob and I watched each boy’s mug shot appear on our screen, and I just shook my head.  They look so young.  THEY ARE so young.

What the hell happened?!?!? What happens in any case where young people, teenagers and young men and women, turn to crime and violence?

There are no easy answers, but how about DREAMING BIGGER.  HAVING GOALS.  MAKING PLANS.  Where does that start?  At home.  For some, in church.  AND IN SCHOOL.

Could it be that simple?  Get kids pointed in the right direction EARLY.  Make them EXCITED about going to school, learning, finding structure and vision for their futures.

Although it was many, MANY, MANY moons ago, I can still remember the excitement of my mom getting our school supply lists, heading to the store, and choosing all of our supplies.  I’d get home, lay all of my new gear on my bed, and organize it into my new backpack.  It made me so excited to go to school.

Let’s get kids excited.  Let’s HELP THEM find that right track and stay on it.

Yes, money is tight, for all of us it seems.  But I hope the next time you are at the store you check out the school supply bins; a quarter for a notebook.  50-cents for a brand new pack of crayons.  5-bucks goes a long way, and if a couple thousand people each chip in, IMAGINE the huge amount that adds up to.

This year, our community partners are doing even more.  The Salvation Army, who has been KETV’s Backpack Drive partner for years, is again offering a text donation option; if you don’t want to hassle with buying supplies and dropping them off, you can simply text “OMAHA” to 80888 to make a $10 donation, or go online.  Again, I know $10 isn’t an option for everyone, but perhaps it’s your sacrifice of your 2 weekly trips to the coffee shop, or that lunch out.  What you are giving up, could mean so very much to a little boy or girl in our city.

In addition, Methodist Health Systems is offering free health screenings this year when these families pick up their backpacks.  Another HUGE impact for children who may not see a doctor and get checked out otherwise.  Rob and I sat down with Methodist’s Katina Gordon recently to talk about this year’s efforts.  Check out her blog about it here!

KETV and the Salvation Army will be at Nebraska Crossing Outlets July 26 from 10am-4pm, and July 27 11am-4pm, collecting donations and backpacks.  For every backpack or $10 donation, Nebraska Crossing Outlets will match it with a backpack of their own!

Our team will also be out at the Methodist Women’s Hospital on Friday, August 1 collecting donations. If you need any other motivation, I hear Rob is signing autographs FOR FREE that day!!!

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Thumbs up for Rob! He’s kind of a big deal!!

We hope to see you there BEFORE you head back to school!  THANK YOU for considering this, to make a difference in the lives of kiddos in our area!

You’ll find more information, including maps where you can drop off your donations, on our website!

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If I Could Be Like Mike

Remember the commercials? The jingle? “I wanna be, I wanna be like Mi-ike!”

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(Clearly, I am a child of the 80’s)

Why did we idolize Michael Jordan? Other than the fact he was arguably the best basketball player of all time..

As my boys grow up, I know they’ll have any number of role models they admire and want to be just like. It’s easy to look up to amazing athletes, superstar celebrities, and the rich and powerful. There are qualities that don’t always get the same attention that are, in my opinion, so important, so valued, so WONDERFUL, and if a few more people tried to showcase those attributes, this world could be such a better place.

I’m blessed to work with a few people who showcase those qualities every, single day.

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Melissa Fry

Stunning. HILARIOUS. Beautiful on the inside and out. And so very, very kind.

Melissa Fry is ONE-OF-A-KIND. This girl is the life of the party in our newsroom and when we are out having fun together. You can turn to her for anything–an ear to listen, a caring friend, a person who will always make you laugh. She is as down to earth as they come, despite the fact she could model in New York or LA.. she’s that gorgeous.

Here’s what you may not know about Melissa–she is one of the HARDEST WORKING PEOPLE I know. She was an intern here at KETV just like me, and applied here 8 different times before she was hired. She was DETERMINED to work hard and keep trying to return to her hometown. That drive and passion earned Melissa a spot in our 5pm newscast–in addition to reporting everyday and landing some of the biggest interviews in Omaha news. She’ll come in early to shoot an interview. She’ll stay late. She’s worked just about every shift we have here at KETV. And through it all, SHE NEVER, EVER COMPLAINS. This is the kind of work ethic you want your kids to have. She’s the kind of coworker you want on your team. She’s the friend you want in your corner. I’m so lucky I’ve got her in mine 🙂

jeremy

Jeremy Maskel

Melissa and Jeremy sit in the same corner of our newsroom. Maybe that’s it.. an aura of AWESOME that circles that area.. because Jeremy is also in a whole different league when it comes to genuinely amazing people.

This guy goes out of his way to be nice to people. And he truly means it!! My son used to LOVE watching Jeremy on weekend mornings (before Team Umi-Zoomi and Paw Patrol beat him out..) and I truly think it was because he emits this positive energy that is just contagious. I wish we could bottle it and sell it as a perfume or something just to make everyone a little happier in the world.

Jeremy makes me want to be a better person. THAT is one of the qualities I hope my kiddos pick up on.. what a positive impact you can have on others when you smile, treat people kindly, and truly care.

And did I mention that he’s one of the best reporters we have here at KETV? Brilliant out in the field, an incredible writer, a true team player. Jeremy was just promoted to our weekend evening anchor position, and I couldn’t be happier for him–AWESOME.

I could go on and on about our people here at KETV..

Directors Tom Rock and Matt Brown

Photojournalist Dave Hynek

Our sports team, Andy Kendeigh and Thor Tripp

They’re just awesome people to be around. They make our team better. They make you want to run faster and jump higher, just like Mike.

Why am I telling you all this? Why did I devote an entire blog post to KETV shout-outs?

Because Thursday I got my first snarky message from a viewer since I returned from maternity leave. I’ve certainly received them before, and I’ll absolutely receive them again. Still, it stings-even if for just a second. And that stinks–that you can be surrounded by so much good, and yet it’s the bad that seems to reverberate. So this blog is just as much for me as it is for my readers (and THANK YOU for reading, by the way!!)

A reminder to all of us.. we are surrounded by ‘Mikes’. And I’m so thankful for that.

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inspiration