• Derek Tokarzewski

Amanda Daley Director of Miss Spirit Organization


Amanda Daley Director of Miss Spirit Organization, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photo by M.A.P. Graphics

World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Amanda Daley Director of Miss Spirit Organization.


Name: Amanda Daley Title: Director Pageant systems: Miss Spirit Organization Country/State: New York  Number of Years directing: 5  World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about yourself. I am 29 years old and live in Upstate, NY. I am a teacher. I enjoy crafting (as my titleholders know well) and am always looking for something new to create. I have two rescue dogs, Pongo & Maggie, and am about to get married this summer. I am a published author, and enjoy a good Netflix or Hulu show binge when I have the time. I volunteer frequently at area charities. I recently started my own business "The Spirit of Teaching Box" which is a gift box with various items for teachers.  World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about  your pageant history. I started competing at 20 years old. My first was Miss NYUSA in 2012. I had no clue whatsoever what I was doing, wore a prom dress not at all appropriate for a pageant, probably came in last place, but I had an amazing time. Ever since I was hooked. In the years to come, I've competed in many systems to try them, such as Miss NY America locals, NYUSA, NY International, NY US International, IJM NY, and Captivating, to name a few. I also compete in glitz pageants on occasion and have won many supreme and mega titles. In my years I've won the titles of Miss New York American Nation, New England's Perfect Supermodel, and Ms. Altamont Fair. Last year, I placed first runner up at Ms. American Women of Service and hold the title of New York Ambassador for them. I am also the inaugural Ms. Military Star NY. My personal platforms are Adopt Don't Shop for rescue animal awareness, and Toys for Tots Foundation. World Class Beauty Queens: How competing impacted your life? Before competing, I was very shy and introverted. Competing in pageants truly changed my entire life. I lost quite a bit of weight and felt more comfortable in my skin living a healthier lifestyle, as well as grown more confident as a person. I have also been told by many potential employers that I interview very well and I owe that all to pageantry. I've done many area fashion shows from being a titleholder, there's nothing like being on the runway. In addition, it's brought me great friendships. Almost my entire bridal party is friends I've met throughout pageantry.  World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to decide to become a Director. I was competing for about 3 years and had tried many different systems. I realized I wanted to create the perfect pageant if I was competing. I had competed in some pageants where they didn't disclose who competed/lack of sisterhood, or catty systems, or pageants with questionable ethics. So I wanted to create my own, one that was built on sisterhood and community service. There were many positive directors I was under through competing as well, who inspired me (but throughout my time as a director, I have not taken the ideas of others, I've always tried to come up with my own original ideas for my pageant to be different). I also always wanted to be a Girl Scout leader, and realized being a pageant director focusing on community service was very similar to that. I give my girls pins for certain events and activities for their sashes. I sometimes refer to us as "Spirit Scouts." Also being a teacher, I always say I want to make an impact both inside and outside the classroom, and I am able to do that being a director doing events with my titleholders, both young or my age etc. World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the systems you are directing. I direct the Miss Spirit Organization. What started as Miss Spirit of New York in 2015, with local only contestants, grew into Miss Spirit of the USA in 2016, and adding Miss Spirit International in 2019. We started very small, with just three age groups (Junior Miss, Teen and Miss), then grew to 5 adding Ms and Elite, then adding Mini and Tiny and splitting Teen to have Junior Teen as well. We now have 8 age groups. Our first pageant happened in the basement of a local theater, I booked just a small room not knowing what to expect. That first pageant had 18 contestants. Then we grew to 25, 30, before blowing up in 2017 and having 60 contestants. The last few years have hovered at 80-90 contestants. Our local crowns are red, state crowns blue, and national crowns ab/silver for the "red, white and blue" Spirit of the USA. Our International crowns are gold. We have contestants all over the east coast/northeast, but also far out such as South Carolina, Colorado, and Canada. I'm very proud that Miss Spirit of New York is one of the largest multi-division state pageants in the NY.  World Class Beauty Queens:  There are some competitions coming up.  Tell us about them. When, where, why and how to sign up, etc...Spirit 2020 is July 31-August 2 and registration is closed for this year since it is rapidly approaching. This will be a very different and interesting year as we navigate a pageant weekend with social distancing in place. Interviews will have clear panels between contestants and judges, opening number will be modified to adhere to distancing, and guests will be limited. But all the contestants have been understanding, to ensure the pageant can take place. Spirit 2021 is set for August 6-8 so anyone interested can send an email requesting information; next year is open so anyone can compete for any title. We also have an annual fundraiser pageant, Miss Spirit of Toys for Tots which will be in its 5th year running, which benefits Capital Region Toys for Tots each winter. This pageant is November 22 and is great practice for any pageant girl. All of my pageants take place in Troy, NY and anyone can email MissSpiritOrg@gmail.com for information or check out our facebook page www.facebook.com/capitalregionpageants World Class Beauty Queens: What are the categories girls will be competing in. All contestants compete in a one on one interview with judges, it is 3 minutes for Mini & Junior Miss and 4 minutes each judge for Junior Teen and older. Questions come from fact sheets submitted, no political or religious questions allowed. All contestants also compete in runway fashion and evening gown, and junior teen and up also have fitness, which can be a swimsuit or aerobic wear. The top contestants in junior teen and up will have a final question. Prior to the pageant, all contestants are also required to complete at least 5 appearances with their local titles, which counts toward their scores as well. It is not judged but automatically added in if completed. Since we are a service based competition, it's important I see who is committed before the pageant even happens. We also have many optional competitions, such as talent, casual wear, outfit of choice, patriotic wear, and photogenic. We have three really fun optionals. First, costume, based on each person's title. Second, platform fashion, based on contestant's platform. Third, Spirit Fitness; I personally create and make each outfit for this phase, custom sport bras, tank tops, capri leggings, and crown leggings for everyone, it's like my own fashion show of Spirit attire.  World Class Beauty Queens: What are you looking for in winners. I tell my judges to look for girls who see having a Spirit title as a job. Spirit is not the type of pageant where you win the title and put the crown and sash on a shelf to look at; it's about going out and making a difference. I also tell them to see deep down who is truly passionate about the missions of the Miss Spirit Organization, who embodies the sisterhood, who wants to use their title to help others, and who wants this title for the right reasons and not just to say they won another pageant.

World Class Beauty Queens: Does the system has a charity or a cause it supports and requires Queens to be involved in? Spirit itself does not have a specific charity, however, each girl is recommended to have their own platform as we are a service based pageant organization. Girls help each other throughout the year with each others' platforms and causes, from fundraising, donating supplies, going to events, and helping at events put on by other titleholders. With almost 100 active titleholders there's at least 60 different platforms circulating throughout Spirit.  World Class Beauty Queens: Who would you recommend to compete in your systems and why. Anyone who would like a sisterhood with service should join Spirit. Upon joining, you receive a local or state title to promote your platform and get into the community, and everyone is introduced on our facebook page and many titleholders will "friend" each other to get to know each other or do appearances together throughout the year. Spirit is a pageant, but the community and sisterhood aspect is what draws many to compete. We also attract many families so if you're looking for a family oriented pageant, we have mother/daughter duos, sisters, and cousins who compete together.  World Class Beauty Queens:  Who are your sponsors? I have many sponsors over the years when Spirit was smaller but the biggest ones that continue to remain are;  Fantasy Floral Designs/Robin Questel; she has donated winner flower bouquets to every single Spirit winner since we started M.A.P. Graphics: Mike has been our official pageant photographer for the last 2 years, he gives discounts on headshots and photoshoots to contestants and takes photos of all pageant events and some appearances  Jennifer DeCaro Photography: Jen has done our new queen photoshoot and various shoots for the court for the past 3 years Capital Region Digital: Art has generously donated his time and equipment this year to live stream our pageant for everyone, given capacity restrictions to have a live audience

World Class Beauty Queens: What legacy would you like to leave behind? I would like to be known as the director that really cared and did everything for the titleholders and contestants. From knowing everyone's name (I've been to come pageants where I was a past winner and the director didn't know who I was) to building personal relationships with every contestant near or far, to going above and beyond for everyone no matter what. A legacy of kindness and respect. I would also like to be known as the Craftiest Pageant Director out there because I craft almost EVERYTHING for the pageant for prizes. Logo items, custom items, I even designed Spirit crown leggings which is our signature item. In addition, known for being the director that could do it all. I have an amazing team that helps me execute during the weekend, but 100 percent of the planning for the pageant, prizes, trips etc I do completely by myself; I am the sole director of Spirit and am proud of what I can accomplish for everyone. Finally, I want everyone to remember to always "leave a little Spirit wherever you go"  email MissSpiritOrg@gmail.com facebook page www.facebook.com/capitalregionpageants World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.

Amanda Daley Director of Miss Spirit Organization, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photo by M.A.P. Graphics

Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org

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