Tag Archive | team paparazzi

Our Invisible Crowns

Let me tell you about my friend, Alex..

Alex wears MANY hats.  She is a momma to sweet baby Jackson.  She is a proud wife.  She is one of the stars of the #1 rated KETV First News, drawing nearly 9,000 followers on Facebook, thousands more on Twitter.  She is also a former Miss South Dakota, record-breaking swimmer, accomplished vocalist.. the list goes on.

Alex is also the former ringer 1st basewoman for Team Paparazzi.

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Typically in slow-pitch, coed softball, when a girl gets up to bat you hear a cry from a guy somewhere on the field… ‘MOVE IN!! GIRL UP!!’

A word to the wise.. NEVER say that when you see THIS girl step into the box.  Alex grinds her hands on the bat and UNLEASHES fury.. usually catapulting the ball over the head of whichever dude yelled to move in.

Alex is STRONG. CONFIDENT. POWERFUL.  She is proof you CAN be all of those things AND be talented, beautiful and sophisticated.

Next up to bat.. Shelbe Stroh, a young lady on a mission to crush any steretypes you may have about pageant girls, and what they can or can’t do.

HEAD SHOT

Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

“What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a pageant girl?” Shelbe asked me recently.  “Is it glitz and extravagant dresses? Or is it the dedication to scholarship, community service, leadership and integrity?  The Miss America Organization has shaped me to be the confident, independent and self-sufficient young woman I am today.”

Shelbe is a 17-year old who is as diverse and involved in her community as she is striking.  She’s smart, taking AP classes at Elkhorn South High School and making the Rotary Honor Roll, while also taking part in FCCLA, SADD and National Honor Society.  Shelbe earned recognition at the 2015 BBB Integrity Awards and as a Gregg Young Great Kids of Omaha award recipient.

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Outside of school, Shelbe is part of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council,  she volunteers at the Hope Center for Kids, and she models for Omaha Fashion Week.

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Photo courtesy Kathy Rae Photography

One more thing.. ever since she was a little girl in glasses, Shelbe has been kicking a soccer ball.

A few years ago, Shelbe found an organization that encompassed all of the qualities fine tuned by taking part in these activities… the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen program.  Shelbe is currently Miss Kearney’s Outstanding Teen 2016.

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This June, she’ll compete with more than a dozen of teenagers from across Nebraska who excel in any number of activities in and out of the classroom, on the stage or on the field, in front of a crowd or with one other person.

“I have made connections with people across the state and along the way I have learned a little bit about myself,” said Shelbe.  “With each community event I attend, I witness the sparkle in a bystander’s eye as I flash a smile or spark casual conversation.  I have come to realize that the small deeds I do have a major impact on lives of others.”

Shelbe and her sister queen, Miss Tri-Citites Outstanding Teen Ashly Helfrich

Just as she is trying to change stereotypes about pageant girls, Shelbe wants to alter how girls and women view themselves through her personal platform, ‘Fit and Fabulous: Shattering The Negative Body Image of Young Women.’

FITNESS

“Instead of focusing on that ‘perfect image’ by resorting to unhealthy habits, I want young girls to discover the long term effects of a healthy lifestyle and reap the benefits!’ said Shelbe.  “As a teen, I know it’s hard coming to terms with your body, but finding the satisfaction in exercise and smart eating will radiate positive vibes and inspire others.”

Part of Shelbe’s message is her own story of pain and disappointment.  In October 2014, Shelbe tore her ACL in a club soccer game, and spent the next 9 months building herself back up physically and emotionally.  When she couldn’t turn to soccer, she found yoga and other ways she could stay active.

HORSE

“I take pride in my athletic physique and want to empower young women to take pride in their own bodies as well.  Confidence is the key to success,” said Shelbe.  “Loving yourself along the way will make the journey that much more meaningful.”

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Shelbe also credits her mom for supporting her throughout her recovery and during every activity she’s taken part of, pageants included.

“I want to make a special shout out to the one who taught me to always wear my invisible crown, my beautiful momma,” said Shelbe.  “Thank you for making me the strong young woman I am today.  You are such a blessing to me!”

And THAT is what Shelbe Stroh wants to bring to the table as Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.. the message that no matter what hat you wear, from soccer player to beauty queen, from student to star, WE ARE STRONG.

Women of the world, we can do ANYTHING we set our minds to.  Wear YOUR invisible crown.. and be darn proud of it.

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“Above all, I want to be remembered as the girl who put her heart and soul into everything she did,” said Shelbe.  “I’ve failed many times, but I am so full of life and have this dream to change other peope’s lives.”

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CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Kearney’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Shelbe Stroh

on FACEBOOK, and on TWITTER

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SHELBE?

CLICK HERE * 2014 * Nebraska’s Outstanding Teens

For more information about the Miss Kearney/Miss Tri-Citites Outstanding Teen Pageant, visit THEIR WEBSITEFACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER.  For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Megan Goeke at hello@beautifulbridal.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 Queen City of the Plains 2016 Lianna Prill!

NEXT.. Miss Nebraska State Fair 2016 Payton Merritt!

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!

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.