Radio & TV Correspondent's Dinner

You've probably seen the coverage of the annual Radio & Television Association Correspondent's Dinner on the news... with the President's humorous speech, and Karl Rove's rapping and dancing. Well, I was there and I promise, it was even better in person!

Chad Pergram, of Capitol News Connection and one of last year's award recipients, was incredibly generous enough to secure me a ticket to the dinner. I sat with Representative Ken Hulshof (MO) on one side and George Foote on the other - and we enjoyed conversation with other wonderful people seated at our table, including Rep. Dennis Kuccinich (OH).

The highlights of the evening (other than the presentation of awards, of course) were JibJab's new "That's What we Call the News" cartoon, a laugh-out-loud self-deprecating speech by the President, and the entertainment... Colin Mockery and Brad Sherwood and from Whose Line is it Anyway!!!

Another personal highlight for me was the opportunity to finally meet Chris Matthews, one of my judges at Miss America, and his lovely wife. He was kind enough to chat with me for a moment and even pose for a picture. We didn't talk about why I didn't make the Top Ten... but I did find out that he has a new book on the way - and if it's as good as Hardball, I can't wait to read it!

The hugest THANK YOU ever to Chad Pergram and Capitol News Connection for allowing me to share in this incredible evening. As an aspiring journalist (I'm still trying to decide on next steps...) this was a most amazing opportunity!

March Madness

The Washington Post added a new dimension to their NCAA Tournament Tracker this year - a Celebrity tracker division. Dan Steinberg, Sports writers and Blogger for the Post, asked me to post my picks.

This is the first bracket I have ever predicted. I was doing so well at first - even making it in the Top 6 of the celebrity list at one point. (For, like, a minute!) But my downfall, like so many others along with me, was the loss of North Carolina. I should have been a good Washingtonian and read the tea leaves for Georgetown - Go Hoyas!!

Here is the link to the Washington Post's NCAA Celebrity Tournament Tracker. You'll see I've got "No dice" at winning, but it was a blast to participate and track my first bracket. Hope your picks were better than mine!

Dinner with Miss America

It's been almost two months since we competed together in Las Vegas. While I've been resettling in DC and looking for a new job, Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007, has been travelling across the country making appearances with her new title and crown.

We were lucky to catch Lauren on some down-time and have dinner last Friday night at Bebo Trattoria, the newest of Chef Roberto Donna's dining "attractions" in Crystal City. After dinner, which was amazing, we took pictures - of course!

Shown here: Teri Galvez, Executive Director of the Miss District of Columbia Scholarship Organization; Chef Roberto Donna, Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007; and me.

Bryce Harlow - Advocacy with Integrity

In addition to serving my community as Miss District of Columbia this year, I was also honored to be selected a fellow of the Bryce Harlow Foundation. This foundation awarded (this year) 17 students, who work full time and attend graduate degree programs part time, with a generous academic scholarship.

There are several purposes to the Bryce Harlow Foundation. One is to remember Bryce Harlow, a man of character and integrity, who worked tirelessly for his community. Second, to further academic pursuits in lobbying and public/government affairs. And lastly, to give scholars an opportunity to further their knowledge of the field of advocacy and help them to network in this area, while practicing advocacy with the ideals of Bryce Harlow.

I attended the annual Bryce Harlow Foundation Awards Gala was held last week on Capitol Hill. Myself and the other 16 scholars were identified, and other distinct honors were awarded. Thank you to Linda Dooley, President of the Bryce Harlow Foundation, for her incredible work at the Foundation, and for her wonderful introduction of me at the dinner as not only a scholar, but also Miss District of Columbia!

3 Senior Sopranos Starting Out!

I walked through the halls of the Duke Ellington Schol of Performing Arts for the first time yesterday. Surprising since the school is such a strong part of DC's history and identity. Perhaps I was so thrilled to walk through those doors because attending a performing arts high school was once a dream of my own.

I was there to witness the placement of the final brick in the foundation of three senior students' castle in the sky. Each student must perform a Senior Recital to graduate from the school's music department.

While the performances of Latoya Smith and Emily Olmstead were phenomenal as well, I was there to be entertained by my friend, Miss District of Columbia's Outstanding Teen, Elizabeth Payne. Incredible!

Elizabeth, you have matured so much this year. You deserve your standing ovation and so much more. I am confident that we will soon see your name in lights! Congratulations on an amazing senior recital.

While Elizabeth is on to bigger experiences and promising vocal career - after college, I hope! - I, myself, was back in class last night after an awards ceremoney for the Bryce Harlow Foundation. I wonder if Johns Hopkins' DC campus offers arts courses?? I sure do miss those!

Irish Blessings

In advance of all of the St. Patty’s Day celebrations, the American Ireland Fund hosted their annual Reception and Gala at the National Building Museum last Wednesday evening.
An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern served as Honorary Chair and Gerry Cassidy, Gala Chair. Kinglsey Aikins, President and CEO of The American Ireland Fund started the evening with a rousing account of the England vs. Ireland Cricket match in Croke Park, eagerly recounting how the Irish handily beat the English.

The purpose of the Fund, and the Gala evening, is to further underline the peace process: to bring Catholics and other Irish together in celebration and friendship. The room was awash in green.

Receiving the Fund’s Distinguished Leadership Award were Madam Speaker Pelosi, for her contributions to the advancement of women in society and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Bipartisan and bi-cameral.

To be sure, it was an evening of gaiety, Guinness and green. Here I am pictured with Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland and friend and Mr. Gerry Cassidy.

Talk Soup... VH1... Guess my Answer was Entertaining!

To tell the truth it was edited a little bit. I did say I wanted to be "invisible, like a fly on the wall," but if my answer gets this much publicity - who am I to complain??!

Pageant School, Talk Soup, and VHI's Best Day Ever all featured it... have a look:
K Street Kate - Voted "Best Local Online Magazine" by Metromix!