This week 14 years ago I was eagerly awaiting and preparing for the 50th 
Annual Tulip Festival.  This week I am now eagerly awaiting the 64th  Annual
 Tulip Festival.  I feel almost the same nerves I did back then.  In 1998 I
 was selected as one of 5 finalists to be crowned the City of Albany’s Tulip
 Queen.  The week leading up to the festival was full of interviews, meeting
 City officials, picking out our wardrobe and being showered with
congratulations.  This year as the Co-Chair of the Tulip Luncheon I am 
anxiously checking in on the RSVP’s and hoping that every day we receive 
more positive responses in order to fill the room, reaching out to friends 
and family to encourage them to join us and support the Tulip Fund.

Being crowned the Tulip Queen was an honor that significantly changed my 
life for the better.  I was selected to represent the City of Albany for an 
entire year as a volunteer ambassador and I wanted nothing more than to do
 the best job I could.  I was focused on inspiring my 4 court members to
 work together as a team and made sure that they knew that just because I
 wore the crown didn’t make me any better than them. Rather, “we were a team 
and all members shared the spotlight.”  We worked together the entire year
to support Mayor Jennings Literacy campaign, held story hours at Lauriets’s
 Bookstore with local celebrities like John Gray, Yolanda Vega and many
 more, we raised over $1,500 through the “Open your Heart, Buy a Book”
campaign.  At the time the “Tulip Fund” did not exist so we purchased books 
through the store and gifted them to the Tulip Queen Reading Room at the
 Albany Public Library.  We made an impact, we made a difference, we were a
 team and it impacted me forever.

My experience as Tulip Queen opened so many doors for me and helped provide
 me with opportunities that I otherwise would not have had.  I developed my
 organizational skills juggling my schedule of appearances while working
 full-time, I became a better leader working with my fellow court members, I
 honed my public speaking and interview skills and I developed a stronger 
appreciation for the City I call home.  
All of the skills I learned helped me become the small business owner I am 
today.  As a wedding and event planner I have expanded my business with the
 help of many people who I met during my reign.  One of the best things
 about my current role is that I am able to provide my planning expertise to 
help coordinate the 64th annual Tulip Luncheon this year.  I remember
sitting at the luncheon in 1998 thinking “maybe I could plan this event
 someday.”  I am proud to join my Co-Chair, treasured friend and former
 Tulip Queen Amy Kaplan as we put the finishing touches on months of
 planning for the event on May 11th.   We would love to have you join us as 
we celebrate this amazing tradition and set the stage for future
    luncheons.  We will have a delicious lunch from the Hotel Albany, a
 presentation from Mayor Jennings and a fun fashion show by Fancy Schmancy.

Contact me today for reservations: 518-275-6813 or katieo@katieoevents.com