Claire's #1 in my book

September 25, 2009

(photo emailed to me from Acres of Hope)

Wednesday, while I was trying to find a way to write about immigration or the new 9/11 construction project, my editor sent me a press release.

About Jr. Miss California International 2010.

If you've met me, you know I groaned.

So not the pageant writing, going, liking type. Really the only pageant I've ever voluntarily watched was the one Sandra Bullock was in...

But then I called Claire Wright's mom.
Claire grew up in Auburn, where I grew up.
She likes dirt.
She grew up with cows.
Her brother races bikes.
She loves taking care of children, and she only told one of her friends that she was even competing in pageants.

You want to talk about beauty?
She showed up to state in her family's old pick up truck with her mom, who squealed when I called.

Yeah, at that point? I wanted to write about Claire. And I did:

Teen Kept Her Pageant Interests Quiet

Thirteen-year-old Claire Wright was never the beauty pageant type.
“She grew up on a ranch with horses, cows, sheep and dirt,” said Claire’s mom Karen Wright. “She grew up going to mountain bike races in the dirt, camping on a ranch, and then she said, ‘Mom, I want to do this pageant.’ We showed up in our old pick-up truck, and she walked into that place and rocked it!”

keep reading...

What you can do: You can volunteer or donate to Acres of Hope, the recovery center Claire is advocating. I called and talked to them, and I'm a big fan.