I recently got some great news: the Miss America Organization is going to be supporting our upcoming Cocktails for the Cure event! But before I reveal that awesome info, I wanted to share a post I wrote back in 2014 when we first were introduced to the organization:
From my March 20, 2014 post:
Recently my family and the Foundation we co-founded (Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation) were honored with the “Spirit Award” at the Miss Philadelphia pageant, a component of the Miss America Organization. The award was given to our family because we “embody the very Spirit of Philadelphia and all our great, beloved city stands for”.
My family was so proud… but if you look at the picture of us with a few crown holders, my oldest son was perhaps the proudest of all. To folks that don’t know us, this picture looks like a 14 year old young man is so proud to be standing with beautiful young women… but the beauty he is proud to stand with is the best kind of beauty that everyone seems to talk about but little achieve: inner beauty.
My 14 year old blind son, as well as his 10 year old blind brother, cannot see facial features or details of perfect hairdo’s, clothes or figures… not even brilliant tiaras on the heads of beauty queens. What they can see is a person’s true features… through mannerisms, voice inflections, and other cues, my boys have a window into the souls of the rest of us.
From the time my guys were very little, they have been able to sense if a person is warm or cold-hearted, they can sense joyful hearts and sorrowful ones, and they know when to have their guard up with some folks and let it down with others. And they can do this in the first minutes of meeting and engaging with someone.
Sometimes I feel my guys have the advantage over us sighted people in that they make no judgement on outer beauty, just what’s on the inside… something so many preach to do but rarely can deliver.
We are so proud to be honored by the Miss Philadelphia/Miss America organization as they are teaching young women that outer looks are not what defines beauty: rather, it is the radiance of important soulful qualities like compassion, kindheartedness, generosity and confidence that render a person beautiful. When your soul radiates true beauty, the world, blind and sighted, sees a beautiful person.
That was just two years ago and my boys can still determine inner beauty from a simple handshake and a short hello. And they aren’t the only ones. I have been talking with several blind adults lately as I am am putting together my first book. When I ask about what they see as advantages of blindness, so many have talked about the perks of not judging “a book by its cover”… not having the distraction of the characteristics the sighted world has determined to be beautiful or not, but rather the inner self of everyone. Blind folks tend to have a window into true beauty that sighted folks cannot always access.
Stay tuned to my Eye Believe in Miracles blog and/or to the Cocktails for the Cure event for the big announcement of how the Miss America Organization will be supporting our cause in conjunction with one of their key components: service. When two great organizations partner together to further the great purpose of each, it’s a beautiful thing 🙂
**NOTE COCKTAILS FOR THE CURE IS ONE OF THE LARGEST FUNDRAISERS FOR THE CURING RETINAL BLINDNESS FOUNDATION. THERE ARE TWO OF THESE EVENTS: ONE IN BUCKS COUNTY, PA AND ONE IN LEBANON COUNTY, PA THE ONE I AM REFERRING TO ABOVE IS THE BUCKS COUNTY ONE TAKING PLACE ON APRIL 1ST 2016 AT THE SPRING MILL COUNTRY CLUB. PURCHASE TICKETS WHILE SUPPLIES LAST AT WWW.CRB1.ORG/COCKTAILS