Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Emcee at Severe Burn Victims "Shriner's Hospital Gala"

On the heels of Veterans Day! I write this post about an opportunity that came to me through my work for the US Army that I've been so Blessed to do. My way of saying THANK YOU to our troops for their service to our Nation. Please, click here to see the many wonderful ways I've been given to help the US Army...including jumping out of a perfectly good airplane!
Thanks to my work helping the US Army,  I was fortunate to meet the kind Mr. Marty Bartlett.  He recently approached me to Emcee The Shriner's Hospital Gala.  Proceeds will benefit the Shriner's Hospital which services, primarily child severe burn victims, but now, will also be joining forces to help our wounded warriors at BMAC.
I met a very special little girl who was the victim of severe burns when her family's home burned down.  Here I am with this beautiful, very smart and thanks to the Shriner's Hospital excellent care, very healthy and active,  Kathryn.
The Auctioneer, Louis Mourad, who came from Dallas did an AMAZING job with the incredible auction items, including a full-length fur coat.  I was doing double duty as I modeled the coat-didn't have to twist my arm to get me to do that!  ha, ha, ha...
  I felt I was doing very well Emceeing and didn't feel I had competition, until I felt something knocking on the podium: 

  Well looky here.... howdy there cowboy! ha,ha, ha...

A night filled with delicious food, and great music provided by The Country Man Band...this couple dancing above is proof of the great music!  Below, the other music I enjoyed very much, provided by the Alzafar Shriner Band who performed beautiful bagpipe music in authentic garb.  I'm THRILLED to know that the night was a HUGE success, raising the amount they were hoping to raise this year including a dinner with me that I offered as an Auction Item. I'm so very grateful to the SURVIVOR fans that happened to be in the audience who purchased the dinner with me! Feeling Blessed to have been give this wonderful way to help the Shriner's Hospital!  If you'd like to also help, please, click here for more information:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Emcee for "DAISY CARES" Charity Animal Friends Foundation 5K Marathon, 2013

This past weekDAISY CARES Foundation (  Huge THANK YOU to my friend, #Tracy Jaso for recommending me to Emcee this.  It was all about risin' & shinin' on this beautiful Saturday morning & heading out to the starting line.  Are you Ready?  then Get Set? and Gooooo check out these fun images!
I Emceed, without a doubt, the CUTEST event I've EVER Emceed:  The #Daisy Cares 5K Marathon Run/Walk. Held at Alamo Heights Swimming Pool this past weekend.

Dayna Robokoswki, the Organizer of this WONDERFUL event w/a photo of  Daisy-the inspiration behind this organization

The event came with a Costume Contest..this is the part that made this the CUTEST event I've EVERRR.  Roxane Deluna's doggie had one of my favorite costumes...

Ms. "60's"  Peace Child! LOVE the long auburn hair wig!

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm, first and foremost about Family.  Coming in at a close second, no pun intended:) is COMEDY so, here I am "on my marks, getting ready (in heels:) and, here's where my "Miss Venezuela" training comes handy-posin' like I'm about to "Goooo!"  ha, ha, ha...

Or...was I really posing?  I guess y'all will have to attend next year to find out:)

and here we have one of our runners cooling off after her run:)

Here's my pick for the "human" winners of the 60's inspired theme Costumer Contest

"Super Doggie"-one of my Top 3 picks..what do you think?

And the Winner Is.....also my pick, Yay!  The Jockeys:)  I knew I was good at Judging Beauty Pageants, but who knew I had an eye for Judging Doggie Best Costume Contests?  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dancing with my friends from SA Disabled Athletes Association at Morgan's Wonderland

This past Valentines Day, my Valentine was out of town. God is so good to me that I ended up with not one, but many Valentienes as I decided to join my sweet friend, Melissa Cheatwood and her sweetheart  as well as some of my other friends from MOSAIC Charity ( at the "Valentine's Day" Dance hosted by my dear friend, Mr. Gordon Hartman, at the "Morgan's Wonderland" Auditorium.  MOSAIC, btw, is endorsing the film that my fiance and I are acting in and Producing, "Jimmy and Mia,"  A love story of two adults with special needs.
I leave you with some images which reflect how much fun we all had.  Special thanks to Michael, Melissa's boyfriend, for allowing me to dance with her.
Michael and Melissa

Me and my friend from MOSAIC of Southwest Texas

Giving and gettin' some "sugar" from sweet Melissa!

Our "Prom" Valetine's Day photo-they're so sweet they wanted me to be a part of it! Just as I told you above,  God ended up Blessing me w/wonderful Valentine's after all:)

Me and my friend, Jimmy.

Time to "get up" and "get down" on the dance floor!  You don't have to tell me twice to go dancing!

With Morgan and her father, my dear friend,  Gordon Hartman. Founder and owner of the only Amusement Park in the world that accommodates EVERYONE, included people with special needs. Click here for more information about MORGANS WONDERLAND Amusement park:

Here's a recent interview that I did with Gordon Hartman for my TV show LATIN CONNECTION TV.

Friday, August 2, 2013


My relationship with "LATIN CONNECTION" started several years ago when a dear friend, Mr. Eugene Williams, introduced me to the Editor of an online magazine called Latin Conneciton Magazine, Mr. Wayne Zamora.  I had just participated in the CBS Reality Show, SURVIVOR FIJI and they wanted to do a cover article about my experience.   A few years later,  Mr. Zamora contacted me again with the wonderful news that they wanted to do another Cover Article on Latin Connection Magazine. This time of my work/achievements as Beauty Pageant Coach.  This made me the ONLY 2X Cover Girl for Latin Connection Magazine!  I then started as a "Journalist/Correspondant" for the Magazine, writing articles of special events.  Please, click here to see the Cover Articles as well an an example of one of the articles/features I wrote about the "Army Bowl":
Seeing the success of the online magazine, a reach of over 40,000 I suggested we produce an "Entertainment News TV"  version of Latin Connection Magazine, thus LATIN CONNECTION TV was born.  I'm very Blessed that my Fiance, Mr. Carl Mergenthaler, happens to be in the Entertainment Industry as well.  Stay tuned to Latin Connection TV for more about  "Jimmy and Mia!"
We're currently Co-Producing and Acting in a movie called "Jimmy and Mia."  Take a look at our sizzle reel and click "like" on our fb page:

For now, please, click on the following links for the most recent and past segments of LATIN CONNECTION TV: 

With Sheila E. at the PEOPLE EN ESPANOL Festival 2012: 

With Nick Verreos of PROJECT RUNWAY Season 2:

SPECIAL "SA Film Festival" Show!:

Interviewing Tito Puente Jr:

and even Sports coverage! With Esteban Bayona, one of the SCORPIONS Soccer Team players:


With Mayor Julian Castro at the PEOPLE en Espanol Press Conference


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Coaching another "Top 3" Beauty Pageant Winner!

 I'm so happy to have gotten a chance to Coach a very pretty and sweet girl for the National American Miss Pageant.  I've been in a Judge in this pageant, about 6 years ago and I have to tell you, I don't know which is harder, competing or judging!!  The level of professionalism of this system reminds me very much of the demanding Miss Venezuela organization. They expect very prepared contestants and that's just what they got in the contestant that came to me for Coaching:)(#beautypageantcoach,#ritaverreos)
 I'm grateful that her equally beautiful mother, Julie, entrusted me with Coaching Emily.  We worked for about a month, during which time I applied my tried "Ms.Rita" techniques that I got from receiving the training I went through, in my day, when I was a Miss Venezuela(#missvenezuela,#missmunicipiovargas) contestant.  Here we are, days before the show, making sure her pose(below) and gown were just right!

After lots of very fun work, Emily did an amazing job and came out with a Top 3 win!  CONGRATULATIONS, Emily and family. I'm so very proud of you. I remember during our first session, her mom said to me, we'll be happy if we make it into the Top 15. With over 103 contestants, I can see why they would have been happy with that result. Not good enough for me!  Top 3's much more to Ms. Rita's liking:))
Another Top 3 Winner! Emily Smith, National American Miss 2013, 3rd Runner Up.

Happy family!

Backstage, in her very professional suit minutes before her interview competition!
For more information re/the National American Miss Pageant (#nationalamericanmiss), please, click here:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

CELEBRATING my dearly departed friend, Karen Martinez's on her Birthday

Today I remember one of my dear friends, the 3rd one to lose her fight vs. #BreastCancer.  For those of us who knew her, among many things we knew Karen to be, I think we would all agree one way to describe her was a fighter.  She fought 2 things wholeheartedly:
1) breast cancer
2) to not be defined by breast cancer

Karen, however, went on to define what it is to be a TRUE Survivor.  While on earth, she fought breast cancer tirelessly on ALL fronts, w/in her and using her surroundings.
Another quality that stood out about Karen; how extraordinarily kind she was. She really had a special calming energy about her which I and I'm certain so many loved to be near. I miss being near her. Because she shared her battle, I shared with her my experience with having lost one of my dearest childhood girlfriends to breast cancer, Diedra Bradshaw Auci.  Karen and I were brought together by my loss and my need to continue to do whatever I can to find the cure for breast cancer so that others don't have to go through what Karen and I went through, her directly, myself, indirectly, both, painfully.  So Karen and I became friends as we became the 1st Pin Up Calendar girls alongside a group of extraordinary fellow Television & Radio female colleagues and we did the #STRIKEAPOSE for Breast Cancer calendar. Special thanks to Jim and Vanessa Johnston for coming up with the idea and asking me to be one of the models.  Karen and I took this experience way beyond being a "Pin Up." I was so impressed with her and so happy to have found a friend with the drive and need I have for going beyond the call of duty to continue to raise funds for breast cancer.  That's exactly what we did. Click here, please, to see more of our STRIKE A POSE adventures!
Karen didn't stop there. In 2011, she came up with the idea of putting together an event, stemming from LOVE because, in my opinion, next to Faith, Love is one of the most powerful forces we have to help raise funds for breast cancer. And so, the Healing Hearts Gala was born! I was thrilled and so Honored when she asked me to form part of the Committee alongside her fellow Fox News Reporter and her best friend, fellow Panamanian, #Yami Virgen, Mike Hernandez, Chis Duel, Aymee Jeffers Locke, among others. We raised $30,000 the 1st year..YAY!!! Karen was always so kind and supportive of my career as I work hard to make my dream come true of becoming a TV Host of a network show-would LOVE to be the 1st Latina Co-Host on "The View" or "The Talk."  As such, Karen would do everything she could to help me, highlight me so she asked me to be the Emcee of the "Healing Hearts Gala."  Click here, please, for images and videos of that magical night:
 Along the days leading up to the event, our "Healing Hearts" Committee would come up with other ways to raise funds. #Mike Hernandez, Meteorologist for #Foxsanantionnews and Co Host of #Daytimeatnine Fox Morning show found a place called "Painting with a Twist."  We all learned how to paint-soemthing I'm TERRIBLE at, but thanks to giving it a try (hey, remember I'm a "Survivor" too (LOL) so I'll definitely try new fun things!)  Here's my 1st work of art!  My daughter who is a very gifted artist was there to give me moral support! 

Casia, my beautiful and super talented artist daughter!

I gotta concentrate, okay!!  

and the Big Unveil of my first painting-...Drum Roll or can I get a "Ta raaa!"  btw-I'm still in search of a good title for this painting, any ideas? 

My fellow "Painting with a Twist," artistes!
Sweet and beautiful amiga, Karen.  Te extrano. I love you and thank you for Blessing me with your friendship on earth and from the Heavens where I know you're resting in peace.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Emcee, "Our Community Salutes" Event

I have been so very lucky to have been approached by the Army in the past to help them and I've not stuttered ever in responding yes!  to everything they've needed from me, including jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and several other fun things:
It's NOTHING compared to what our soldiers do for us..and it's my very small way of saying a HUGE "THANK YOU" for their service to our nation.
It was a night of Pride, delicious food and good music! :
This time, I'm so very grateful to Lt. Col. David Grant for recommending me to Emcee the "Our Community Salutes," event. It turned out to be one of the biggest events I've ever Emceed in San Antonio...with over 1,000 attendees who filled to beyond capacity the Rosenberg Sky Room at the Incarnate Word University.
ur Community Salutes (OCS) is a national, non-profit organization created to recognize and honor graduating high school students (and their parents) who plan to enlist in the armed services after graduation  One of the students being honored was, coicidentally, the sweet daughter of a former neighbor of mine. What a wonderful surprise to see sweet Melanie Gomez there:)
The event was exquisitely organized by Dr. Cyndi Wilson Porter, /VP /Extended Academic Programs
With Dr. Cyndi Porter. An exceptional woman...LOVE her!!
and Ms. Julie H. Webber, Dir. of Marketing & Recruitment for Extended Academic Programs.  In attendance, the 3 Star LTG Ricardo Sanchez who was the Guest Speaker.
LTG & Mrs. Sanchez, LTC David Grant and his wife

among other important figures in the Armed Forces, including the current LTC David Grant who heads the San Antonio Recruiting Batallion-pictured below with his stunning & fellow Panamanian wife, Xiomara.