Thursday, February 27, 2014

Beauty Pageant Queens with a Purpose: Emcee for Children's Miracle Network fundraiser, 2013

I'm wearing a NIKOLAKI gown designed by my brother Nick Verreos (#ritaverreos,#emcee,#nickverreos,#echoemalone)
Last year, a beautiful young girl I met while on a work trip to Los Angeles, Echoe Malone, asked me to help her raise funds for The Children's Miracle Network. When I went through my experience on SURVIVOR, I felt it was an answer to a prayer.  At 1st, I was so grateful to God for helping me get through being on that island without breaking down, neither physically, mentally or emotionally.   I knew that I had accepted that challenge for several reasons, one was to give my children a visual of their having a strong mommie that was going to get us back on our feet after a divorce that left me in San Antonio, a city where I knew no one and had to start a career to provide for my children on my own from zero. From the 1st day on that island, I decided to stay strong morally and not "sell out." To stay true to my values of being kind and respectful and see how far I could get in that game playing it with integrity. To most, it may seem as if I didn't win, but quite the contrary, it has helped me to open doors that would have been so much harder to do without this "calling card."  I had already been on a local morning show for 3 years as a Spokesperson for the biggest supermarket chain in Texas, HEB PLUS!  
Shortly after my return, I auditioned for and got the job of becoming the Host of a Real Estate program.  
Since then, fortunately my career as TV host/Spokesperson has slowly but steadily continued growing. I'm still working towards the opportunity of ultimately becoming the Host/Co Host of a TV show like "Good Morning America," or "The View!"  You gotta dream big:)
Another even more wonderful thing that happened was one of my 1st fans, a woman in Michigan, asked me if I would go to an event-alongside fellow SURVIVORS to do an event that would raise funds for abused children who where getting well in a place called "House of Hope."  She paid me a wonderful compliment by telling me that she reached out to me because she loved how I played the game of SURVIVOR being kind.
Bruce Kanegai: Survivor Panamá, Billy Garcia, Cristina Coria, Misty Holmes: Survivor Cooks Island, Jed Hildebrand: Survivor Thailand, Lisa Kieffer, John Pollack: Survivor Vanuatu.
From that moment on, I have been so grateful and humbled by the continous flow of invitations to help charities raise funds/awareness for their causes nationwide and in my community.  I chose to use the public image/name that being on SURVIVOR gave me to give and help others. This event is one more such answer to God's call to help others. When this young lady reached out to me, I dug into my frequent flyer miles to fly to Los Angeles and help her.  She wanted me to Emcee:)  Here are some images from that event where I'm so lucky to have been accompanied by my then boyfriend who...the very next day...gave me the SURPRISE of my life when he asked me to marry him and just like that event from "boyfriend" to fiancé!!! 

With my Co-Emcee, Chris Bryant

With Comedian, Stevie Mack

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Celebrity" Spokesperson and Emcee for DRESS FOR SUCCESS Charity at 1st Annual Powerwalk

Recently, while at lunch with my mother, I made friends with our waitress. My kids and fiancé will tell you this is nothing new. I can't help it...I'm a people person:) Something about her stood out to me. She had a light about her, a constant smile on her face. As we were getting ready to leave, I complimented her. A few sentences later, she said I looked familiar. She was very sweet when she suddenly placed me from some of the work I've done on television in San Antonio. We quickly realized we were both single working mommies. She shared with me her early days of struggling and how an organization in San Diego helped her get on her feet. She then shared with me that she was very eager to get involved in the community.
 I immediately remembered my involvement a couple of years ago with an organization called DRESS FOR SUCCESS that helps women in need. With so much going on, I could have sworn I had already written a post about this, but when I searched for it on here, I found it had fallen through the cracks. So, here it is. As my son always tells me "Mother, it's better late than never!"  OF course, that's his response to when I realize he's yet to do something I've asked of him..LOL.

A couple of years ago, they asked me to be their Local "Celebrity" Spokesperson for their 1st Annual POWERWALK.

 The event brought out lots of people for a walk/run around the Wonderland of the America's Mall. These folks brought it because when I came down from my unplanned Salsa Dance with the band that was the entertainment for the event, my friend Ray Colao's band: 

With "Dress for Success" Director, Pamela Taylor and the Mayor of Balcones Heights-where the event was taking place, Suzanne De Leon

A few months before the event, the "Dress for Success" Organization held a Gala to Honor & Highlight some of their Success stories.  Here I am with a fellow television colleague, Ursula Pari, Anchor of the Ksat Evening News..the # 1 Evening News Telecast in San Antonio!
I'm wearing  a NIKOLAKI gown designed by my brother, Nick Verreos. Project Runway, Season 2 Top 5 and current Mentor on Lifetime TV's UNDER THE GUNN.

My participation on SURVIVOR Fiji was a Blessing. I'm so grateful that I realized what a Blessing it was so very early on (maybe not while I was out here on that island starving! LOL) All this I write to tanks SURVIVOR for giving me one of the MOST priceless gifts that I have ever been given (more valuable than the million dollars I could have won on there). A way/a tool to help others. I'm so happy that this young lady is now going to reach out to the DRESS FOR SUCCESS organization to do what she can to help them. If any of you who read this are also interested in this cause, please, don't hesitate to reach out to them.

THANK you, once again, to Charles Villafranca and Pamela Taylor for having made me their local "celebrity" Spokesperson for the event held a couple of years ago-advertised on this flyer.(#ritaverreos,#dressforsuccess,#spokesperson,#philanthropist,#ksat,#ursulapari,#nikolaki,#nickverreos,#redcarpetgowns)