#34 Break a world record

When I first put this goal on my 10 year list, I had assumed that it would be more of a long-term goal.

Lucky for me, it’s the seventh item completed on my list.

Josh Dueck, a Paralympic silver medalist, partnered with Worksafe B.C. set out to break the world record for the most high fives in 24 hours.

He started his mission on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. and ended it at the same time on Saturday the 28th.

Within 24 hours, Dueck managed to high five 9,230 people at the Pacific National Exhibition and Empire Field, far surpassing the previous record of 3,130.

And I was one of those 9,230 people.

I’d like to think that I was the 3,131st person to slap his hand, but considering that I high fived Dueck mid-afternoon on Saturday, I highly doubt that was the case.

Regardless, I took part in breaking a world record, and I’m crossing it off my list.

7 down, 94 to go.

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My very last pageant, my own retirement pageant, took place this past weekend in Merritt.

I drove up early on Wednesday, my first time driving on the Coquihalla highway.

The 2010 B.C. Ambassador candidates had already been up in Merritt all week rehearsing and preparing for their events on Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday evening, I met the cameraman from Shaw Cable who would be interviewing us the next day.

It’s a small world: turns out he lived in White Rock, graduated from my high school several years before me and graduated from BCIT’s broadcast journalism program, the school I am planning on transferring to.

Thursday morning was our designated “press day.”

We were interviewed on the Kamloops Midday Show, and did a segment with Shaw Cable. The three of us did two newspaper interviews with local Merritt papers: the Merritt Herald and the Merritt News. Our final interview was with the Merritt radio station.

Friday, I co-emceed the candidates’ personal speeches in the afternoon, and their community speeches and talents that evening.

Saturday morning and afternoon were dedicated to hair appointments, rehearsals and a visiting royalty luncheon.

Finally, the pageant night had arrived.

The slideshow I’d spent hours working on displayed hundreds of photos of the 2009 Team’s past year and went off without a hitch. I received many bouquets of flowers, and walked through the audience in a brand new gown. I gave my retirement speech without blubbering, and I proudly crowned one of the three 2010 British Columbia Ambassadors.

It was a great night.

And even though the week leading up to it had been dramatic and stressful, the evening was nothing but positive.

I will miss being an ambassador, but I am looking forward to what lies ahead.

Equipped with many memories, friends all over the province and the skills I’ve learnt over the past year, I am ready for the next big thing.

I am, and forever will be, @HayleyWoodin, Miss White Rock 2008 and British Columbia Ambassador for 2009/2010.


This weekend was my last pageant as a B.C. Ambassador: in seven days I will be passing on my crown and banner to another deserving individual.

On Friday, I travelled to Penticton with the newly crowned White Rock youth ambassadors and Miss White Rock 2010/2011, my sister, @ChloeWoodin.

My mom chaperoned us, and we met up with my other two ambassadors in the city of peaches and beaches.

The gala was lovely, and the 14 Miss Penticton candidates all did a great job. As usual, the visiting royalty had the opportunity to bring their greetings on stage.

Saturday morning we rode in the Peachfest parade, and spent the afternoon mini-golfing and go-karting before attending the royalty ball that evening.

This weekend was special not only because my sister and I both got to go to a pageant together as sparkleheads, but also because the Penticton pageant was my first out-of-town experience as Miss White Rock 2008, and my last as a B.C. Ambassador.

It has been a full two years, coming full circle. And although I will miss being an ambassador, I am looking forward to temporarily retiring from the public eye.

Final stop, Merritt on Wednesday, the beginning of the end.

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Friday morning I drove up to Kelowna with six of the White Rock youth ambassadors, including Miss White Rock and White Rock Friendship Ambassador.

For once, we were on time with plenty of time to spare.

The pageant was held that evening at the city’s theatre. It was a lovely gala: the visiting royalty were piped-in in a sparkly procession, and the Lady of the Lake Society (the organizers of the Miss Kelowna pageant) were awarded $10,000.

That night, I travelled with the Lytton ambassadors to Oliver so we’d be in town for the parade the next morning.

This time I sat of the back of a bright yellow Miata. I also remembered to wear sunscreen: no awkward sash tans this time.

Afterwards I attended the Oliver pageant wearing a short dress for a change. The gala was semi-formal, so I was happy to get some use out of my hot pink grad dress.

The White Rock crew and I headed back to Kelowna that night, and headed home the next morning.

All in all it was a short but sweet weekend.

I didn’t get to spend too much time in either city, but from what I saw of the countryside, both Kelowna and Oliver look like amazing weekend getaway spots, complete with lakes, beaches, cute restaurants and vineyards galore.

Next stop, Lytton. Three days away!

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When the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, it means that pageant season has finally arrived.

This weekend I travelled to Vancouver Island to take part in the Lake Cowichan Lady of the Lake pageant with my fellow B.C. Ambassadors.

We caught an afternoon ferry on Friday so we would have time to get ready for the gala that evening. The dress was formal as usual, and the ball was held in the Lake Cowichan community hall. The dinner was catered, and the hall was beautifully decorated.

Because it was an island pageant and most of the ambassador programs are in the Interior, only royalty from Nanaimo, Lower Nicola Indian Band, Ladysmith and Lytton got to enjoy the candidates’ fashion show, speeches and evening gown walk.

The retiring royalty said their goodbyes, the visiting royalty gave their speeches and program coordinators took countless photographs.

After the 5 hour event, we went back to the Nanaimo house we were staying at to get some sleep.

Saturday morning was the parade, and the three of us rode in style: a red covertible Mercedes thank you very much.

My girls and I unfortunately suffered some sunburns. Ever heard of a farmer’s tan? Well we each had a much dreaded sash-tan…

Lunch was next, and then the Lady of the Lake crowning. We then toodled around the town for a bit, checking out the Lake Days’ festivities and snapping photos.

After an off-duty barbecue and a relaxing night of pageantry talk, we took a morning ferry back to the mainland.

Luckily, I live about 40 minutes from the mainland ferry terminal. My two ambassadors had a bit of a longer drive home: Miranda lives in Vernon and Anna in Williams Lake, both in B.C.’s Interior.

The Cranbrook and Castlegar pageants are next in line, but my next trip will be to Osoyoos on June 30.

Pictures and info on the British Columbia Ambassador Program can be found at www.bcambassador.com.

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