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 firstname.lastname@example.org