Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The color pink is everywhere -- and Delta Airlines is no exception.  They do an amazing job with their awareness campaign, from flying the skies painted pink to selling and promoting their very own “pink” products. 

Delta's international "pink plane" will make many international journeys by the end of October, to destinations including Italy, Spain, Germany and the United States. The aircraft features BCRF's (Breast Cancer Research Fund) trademark pink ribbon logo on the tail of the aircraft and adjacent to the boarding door. The special plane has carried nearly 150,000 passengers and flown approximately 104 trips around the world, since being painted pink in May 2010.

Who could resist a frosty Pink Martini (or lemonade) at 30,000 feet? Putting on our pink uniforms is our way of standing up for and supporting the ongoing battle for prevention, treatment, and a cure.

All proceeds will go towards the Breast Cancer Research Fund.


Sunday, September 11, 2011


The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has submitted a Citizen’s Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting that a documented policy be established regarding the review of potential treatments for people with rare diseases.


“Today, most of the nearly 7,000 rare diseases do not have an FDA-approved treatment,” said Peter L. Saltonstall, president and CEO of NORD, a nonprofit organization representing the one in 10 Americans affected by rare diseases. “Basic research and clinical trials needed to develop treatments for these diseases are complicated by the fact that there are few patients and they are geographically dispersed.”

“NORD recognizes and applauds FDA’s historical flexibility in the regulatory review of submissions for articles that treat rare disease.” Now, he added, NORD is asking for FDA documentation to guide future drug reviews and specifically to:

•acknowledge that clinical trials for most orphan drugs are fundamentally different from trials for drugs for common conditions

•acknowledge that FDA review of orphan drugs is therefore different from the review of other products

•document that, while the need to demonstrate both effectiveness and safety remains unchanged, it will now be official FDA policy to apply special flexibility in the review of orphan drugs

NORD was established in 1983 by patient advocates seeking to enhance awareness of rare diseases and to improve the lives of those affected. Today, NORD provides services that include advocacy, education, research grants, and patient assistance programs. It represents 160 disease-specific member organizations, as well as all individuals and families affected by rare diseases.

Real treatment for Rare Diseases are not OTC (over the counter) available -- NORD is fighting for help for our loved ones.

Visit the NORD site to see how you can help and to read the Petition.

And take a minute to sign the ongoing Rare Disease Day Petition -- a click on the hands will take you there!

With respect to all on this very special day.  Those loved, those lost, those remembered.


Monday, August 22, 2011


Congratulations to Florida’s Shannon Ford -- Our new Mrs. United States!!!

Congratulations also have to go to Mrs. Michigan Annette Kelly for winning Physical Fitness and placing in the top 12 and Heidi Scheer from Michigan who represented the District of Columbia and also placed in the top 12. Michigan women were in the house that night! I was so proud!

I remember all too well the thrill of hearing my name and my state called out -- One of many memories that I cherish from my days competing in the Mrs. United States System. Another is the day after my win in 2007 at a private meeting with Isabella. She stated then that she was an Icon of Beauty Pageants and having successfully produced 25 years worth of spectacular pageants, I couldn’t agree with her more. I commend her on her ability to combine excellence and integrity with the glamour that is the Mrs. United States Pageant System.

The 25th Pageant was so much fun!! We had a ball getting together and talking about old times, good times...and what we’re all up to now. It’s what the Sisterhood of Pageantry is all about.

(photo credit Joe Pier)

Monday, July 4, 2011


I was very fortunate to meet Tracy Rodgers during the Mrs. United States 2007 Pageant where she represented Nevada.  She’s a hard-working single Mom, a registered nurse, business owner and was all set to compete in the upcoming Ms. USA Pageant this July until she was involved in a near fatal traffic accident on June 24th.  Suffering fractures of almost every part of her body, her recovery is expected to be long and tough but my experience of Tracy is that she’s a real fighter and won’t be giving up on any goals and dreams just yet.  Rodgers' family has set up a recovery fund at Wells Fargo Bank. To make a donation, go to any Wells Fargo branch and donate to account number 5664274817.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Pre-flight briefings by Delta Airlines Inc. Management are standard operating procedure and as I settled in for the information session before a recent Amsterdam trip I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary. But they wanted to start our session with an announcement and proceeded to read a letter they’d received. It wasn’t long before I realized that one of my co-workers had written in to nominate me for the Delta Airline’s Chairman’s Club Award. I’ve always been overjoyed and grateful for anything I’ve ever won—from grade school competitions to Mrs. United States—but this nomination is a tremendous honor. It speaks to my 21 years of service with Northwest Airlines and my continuation of service with Delta, my work in pageantry and for the empowerment of women, but more so to my efforts to expand Rare Disease Awareness. I’d do it all again and keep doing it with or without the recognition...but I have to admit that this feels great!!

The Delta Airline’s Chairman's Club program recognizes 100 employees throughout its worldwide operations who consistently demonstrate dedication and determination to the highest standards of service to Delta customers, their co-workers and the communities Delta serves. Each year, employees are eligible for nomination by their peers or managers. The gala and award ceremony this year will be held in October.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Some of you may remember my visit to the Jack Hadley History Museum and my recent gown donation for one of their exhibits.  They've just let me know that they're partnering with other Blue Star Museums and offering free admittance to military personnel and families.  That's news worth sharing!!

Visit their site for further information!

Friday, May 13, 2011


So pleased to announce that we're putting out a call for submissions and we think it's going to be great -- for our readers and our authors as they share their stories. 

here's the info but it's also posted here:

Book Title – To Be Determined
Call for Submissions:

Editors: Nola Summers & Jordan Huff

Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2011

Please note: Publisher has final right of refusal on all submissions.

This is a not-for-profit publication with any sales revenue generated donated to Rare Disease Awareness causes and research. There is no payment if your story is selected for inclusion.

This is a book about living with Rare Disease. The collected stories speak to life from the hospital rooms to the living rooms of those affected by a rare disease diagnosis. It is a book of sharing between families and the bond of experience that is created with circumstances that only those involved can truly understand. The personal accounts included may inspire you, touch you, or give you strength but most importantly they will let you know that you are not walking this road alone...someone else out there does know what it’s like to have rare disease as a part of their family.

With forwards by Stephanie Hunt & Jordan Huff
Desired themes include but are not limited to:


Bringing Baby Home

Family Impact

Hopes & Dreams

Return Hospital Visits and Support


Living with (from the viewpoint of the person affected)

Living with (from the viewpoint of others)

Parent of

Sibling of

Grandparent of

Friend of

Child of

Paste your story submissions into an email and send to:

Attachments will be deleted
You may submit up to 2 stories

You do not have to be a “writer” to submit. If your story is accepted we will work with you to edit and ready your submission for inclusion.

Stories must be non-fiction, ranging in length between 300-1200 words.

No anonymous, author unknown or "as told to" submissions. On acceptance and on publication, if you wish to not include identifiers, names may be changed and you as the storyteller can be identified by first name only or as “name withheld”.

You must include your name, mailing address and main contact email address with your submission as release forms must be returned in order for your piece to be included in the book.

Publisher retains one-time publishing rights.

Please only use the (email) address for correspondence about this book. Emailing at a different address, Tweeting or Facebook messages will get lost.

Be sure to keep a copy of the stories that you submit to us as we will be able to acknowledge receipt of your submission but will not be able to send you a return copy or keep on file those stories not accepted for publication.
This book may be available in print and Epub.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I just have to share this -- it's wonderful news!!

I just got word that the RTS research project with Dr. Didier Lacombe has been approved for public funding in France to the tune of $640,000 (450,000 euro)! This is in addition to the $380,000 raised privately in 2010 and 2011 (of which $100,000 came from the Wesley T. Helmbrecht RTS Foundation and C$30,000 came from RTS Canada), bringing the total to over $1,000,000 (720,000 euro), the amount needed to finance the project.

The project will consist of a 1 year clinical trial that we hope will begin within the year.

So much can happen when so many work together!



The Michigan Women's International Show was Fab!

Thousands of Women came out for the 4 Day Event that focused on what being a Woman in today’s world entails. We are multi-faceted, multi-talented and our collective interests...are multi-dimensional! The Girl Power in the convention center was exactly that—powerful!

Mom’s Mini Pageant for entry to the Ms. Michigan World International Pageant was a hit. Director Mary Hodge (Mom:) crowned Cindy Burke as the winner of the event. Cindy has chosen to represent Oakland County in the State Final this October. She received a free entry into the Ms. Michigan World International Pageant and a gift certificate from the Taj Cottage.

I'd like to thank Mr. Chris Wilmer of American Ego for allowing us the opportunity to work with him, and for helping us to land an interview with Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act. I was able to put out the word on Rare Disease, NORD and mainly The Ms. World International Adopt-a-Bear Program. Bringing a fuzzy friend to an ill child in hospital is something we can all support and I was happy to be able to share this. We are very proud of our program at MWI. The very unique aspect about Adopt-a-Bear is that our next queen will be able to take this charity and raise money for her cause throughout her reign; this is something that truly sets us apart from other systems in the industry. We embrace our Queen’s platform, by not only promoting, educating and informing, but also helping to fund it in some way.

The air date for the interview is June 1st -- hope you can make it.

Monday, April 25, 2011


It's time to strut your stuff!!  Here's the stage schedule for us at the Michigan International Women's Show.  Don't forget to pick up your entry form at our booth by 5pm on Thursday for the Mini Pageant that takes place on Friday at 6pm.  It's going to be fun and we hope to see you there.  Even if you don't feel up to trying out for the mini pageant please stop by and say hello.  Director Mary Hodge will be there, as will I as CEO of Ms. World International and we have a whole list of great events for you to enjoy.

Ms. World International Stage Show Schedule of Events

Thursday April 27:
11:00 Big Apple Fashion for The Motor City Presented by Bernadette Strickland
3:00 Scheer Gown & Crown Elegance Presented by Heidi Scheer & PAGEANT COUTURE
5:00 East to West – From New Delhi to Novi Presented by Tag Cottage

Fri:day April 28:
11:00 Work It, Own It, Love It! Presented by Catherine’s and Added Dimensions
3:30 Down the Aisle in Style – Your Own Royal Wedding Presented by Bella Salon

The Winner of this very special Mini Pageant will receive a free entry for the Ms. Michigan World International 2012 Pageant. Pick up your entry form at the Ms. World International Booth. There is a 20$ Registration Fee.

Saturday April 29:
11:00 The American Ego Sponsored by Chris Wilmer
3:00 Face It – Anytime, Anywhere Make-Up Presented by Sigal Levine
6:00 Hooray for Bollywood Presented by the Bolly Fit School

Sunday April 30:
11:30 Hooray for Bollywood Presented by Nrithyalaya School of Dance
3:30 Face It – Anytime, Anywhere Make-Up Presented by

Monday, April 11, 2011


We've got one week to go in the MORE MAGAZINE COMPETITION and I need your vote...and your vote...and your vote once a day till the 18th.  The top 150 Vote Getters make it thru to the next round of judging and I'd love to get there and take Rare Disease Awareness with me all the way -- here's the link again and thank you!!

Love Stephanie

Ms. World International @ The Michigan Women's Show

Ms World International Pageants will be on the scene at the Michigan International Women's Show April 28 to May 1, 2011 in Novi, Michigan

Don't miss your chance to compete for a FREE Entry Fee for the Ms Michigan World International 2012 Pageant. This Very Special Mini Pageant will include Interview & Evening Gown. Find out what it feels like to dress up as a Queen...and if you've got what it takes to win! Visit our booth for details!!

Special Guest Appearance by Nicole Palmer Ms. World International 2011

I'll be there as the CEO of Ms World International to answer all your pageant related questions.

Hosted by the Ms. Michigan World International Pageant

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Hi everyone,

I've thrown my hat...and sash:) into the ring and I need your vote to get thru to the second stage of voting.  You can vote once a day everyday up until April 18th.  This is a great stage to get the word about Rare Disease Awareness out there where it belongs -- heard by everyone.  I'd love to have you on my team of "voters"!  Here's the link:

Thank you!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Each year it seems like the next is so far away but before you know it it's time to celebrate and recognize this special day again.  Rare Disease Day is gaining momentum throughout the United States and the world and our hope is that one day it will be acknowledged by all as a cause to be supported by ALL.  If the theory of Six Degrees of Separation is to be believed and we are truly only six levels of knowing away from each and every world citizen then each and every one of us knows someone who suffers with, or supports someone with a Rare Disease.  How can we ever stop fighting for them, for their rights, and for continued research  and searches for causes and cures?  Even though this platform...and fight...was chosen for me, it's one that I am thankful to carry out.  The work continues to be the blessing.

Very recently we were able to add another Rare Disease Day Proclamation to our list:  Along with the State of Michigan, The City of Detroit, and Pittsfield Township, we can now add The County of Washtenaw.  So Proud To Be From Michigan as we lead the way on this!!

My thanks to everyone who hangs in there with me.  It's the little things that add up to big things and it's the big things that get things done.

Many Blessings

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's The Little Things...

...that mean the most.   During my reign as Mrs. United States 2007 I was invited to visit the Jack Hadley Black History Museum in Thomasville, Georgia.  I spent a few days celebrating Black History Month events in the community and at the museum.

 Now, four years later, and as my term as Mrs. Michigan America 2010 closes I am able to present the museum with an that I've treasured and am very happy to pass on for display.

Stephanie Hunt, Mrs. Michigan America 2010 wore this original Sherri Hill creation during the Charity Fashion Show at the 2010 Mrs. America Pageant. The gown itself was first given to Carole by Sherri Hill after Carole's successful quest for the crown of Miss USA 1990. Carole was the first African American to win the title of Miss USA and the first African American Miss Michigan USA. Carole passed this beautiful gown to Stephanie who then became the first African American to win Mrs. Michigan United States and Mrs. United States 2007. In keeping with the tradition of passing this exquisite piece forward Stephanie has donated it to the Jack Hadley Black History Museum where it will become part of a permanent display honoring African American Beauty Queens.



It is hard to believe that my journey as Mrs. Michigan America has come to a close.

I would like to thank Jody, my wonderful Director, you are a dynamo! Not only are you great at what you do but you are a beautiful and talented role model for the women of our great State. I am grateful to call you a friend. knight...Thank you just doesn't begin to say it! A day hasn't gone by that my mantel has not been graced with fresh cut flowers, it's not just this gesture but more so how you flower me with abundant love. You have made my dreams your dreams and your commitment to our combined happiness and success overwhelms me. To my children Jordan and Donnie, I know it was hard to share your mom sometimes but you always let me know that you were proud that I was making a difference and I thank you for your grace and generosity.

Representing our State at the National Pageant was an unbelievable experience. I floated across the stage in a Jonathan Kayne original evening gown provided by the designer himself. I also want to thank my Mom for her amazing costume design; bringing home the honors for Best Original Costume was the "icing" as they say. She’s my biggest cheerleader, personal assistant, babysitter, and best friend. It’s a privilege again tonigh to be wearing this beautiful dress and showing off your talents yet again. I know Dad would say, “Mary, job well done!”

To my special friends—my pageant sorority girls Heidi & Elizabeth—my wardrobe was fit for a Queen thanks to the additions and special touches you so generously offered. Our endless conversations, preparation sessions and just the opportunity to share the excitement of competing with you made for a truly wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing so much of your time with me and for being sounding boards for the pageant dreams we have together. Syndee thank you for your friendship, love & support! To my personal trainer and friend Michelle, I felt confident and looked amazing in swimsuit thanks to you.

My year as Mrs. Michigan America was one of achievement and affirmation. Being honored by the Bernstein Clinic as an Esteemed Woman of Michigan was a highpoint for me. To be included in the company of such accomplished and distinguished women was recognition enough—to have this honor bestowed for my Platform work on behalf of Rubenstein-Taybi Syndrome and Rare Disease Awareness is confirmation that we must continue to do everything we can do in the service of others.

To the beautiful woman crowned Mrs. Michigan America 2011, this is a moment to savor— soak it up like the sunshine it is. Do good works, and share your crowning success with as many people as possible.

Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude for everyone who has helped me along this journey.

I thank each and every one of you.

Thank You GOD for your Grace and your Mercy!
All My Love and Many Blessings

Stephanie Hunt

Mrs. Michigan America 2010

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending."
             -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


What a night to remember at the Mrs. Michigan America 2011 Pageant.  I was very proud to crown Teresa Tafoya as Mrs. Michigan America 2011.  I wish her all the luck and love in the world -- I can't wait to see her represent Michigan at the National Pageant.  Exciting things are coming her way!!!