Monday, February 14, 2011

The Second Annual Brightest Star Awards !

Wow, so this month has literally been pure pandemonium and it’s only the beginning. There are so many amazing things happening, just not enough hours in the day to write about them all lol, so for tonight I am going to start with The Second Annual Block Institute Brightest Star Awards. I attended this event on Saturday, January 29th.  It was exceptional award ceremony that acknowledges the tremendous accomplishments of people living with disabilities.

All of the Brightest Star Finalists
Photography by Jeff Hollis
“Established in 1962, Block Institute is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people, primarily the developmentally disabled and their families.” The Brightest Star Awards itself began last year with winner Calvin Greene receiving the title of the Brightest Star. This year brought 10 new finalists all extremely deserving of the 2011 title. This wonderful program was started with the help of Miss Brooklyn 2009 and current Miss Greater NYC, Keelie Sheridan, along with Block Institutes Brightest Star Chairman, Todd Adelman. It truly has blossomed into a beautiful and inspirational event that I was so thankful to be a part of. Not only did the event bring together wonderful people from all over Brooklyn, but it also brought together some familiar faces from the Miss America Organization, including Miss New York, Claire Buffie, Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen Alison Stroming & Miss Manhattan Jackie Holmes.

Titleholders <3
Photography by Jeff Hollis

I got the chance to perform my talent for the audience :-)
As did Miss Manhattan, Jackie Holmes  :-)
Photography by Jeff Hollis

With Brightest Star Judge Kimberly Thomas, who funnily enough coached all three of us :-)
Love you Kim !!!
All of the titleholders were able to meet with the 10 contestants at the beginning of the night. There were finalists in a variety of categories such as Wellness, Leadership, and Independence. I myself was able to walk in Talent Finalist Phillip Pabon, whose artistic abilities landed him a spot in the finals. In order to get to know the finalists a little bit better each contestant presented a video of themselves that demonstrated their achievements and allowed the audience to truly appreciate just how wonderful they all really are. The judges had a very difficult decision to make, but after all was said and done Aman Khajah was deemed the Brightest Star 2011. His worldly adventures and love of dance (his idol being Michael Jackson) put him over the top and more then worthy of the honor. 

CONGRATS AMAN, You did it !!!
Photography by Jeff Hollis

Well that's all for now, I have two more events to write about before my next appearance this week, yikess!!! But I will do my best to get it done :-) 


PS Happy Valentine's Day to all, cherish the day with the people you love <3

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