Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Autozone Liberty Bowl Parade

World famous Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee was the setting for the 2010 Autozone Liberty Bowl Parade on December 30, 2010.  Tons of people lined the street, and the atmosphere was filled with fun and excitement.  Fans from Georgia and Central Florida were enjoying downtown Memphis and cheering for their teams.  I was honored to be included in the parade, and I had a wonderful time.  Everyone was kind, upbeat, and happy.  Hopefully Georgia will represent the SEC well today and go home with a win!
Me with Miss University of Central Florida before the parade in front of my beautiful parade car from Mercedes of Memphis.        

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Came Early to Georgia Avenue Elementary!

Today was a simply wonderful day.  It was a day that not only made me smile; it renewed my hope and belief in the fact that there are wonderful people in the world who are willing to give of themselves to make a needy and at-risk child's dreams come true.

I have had a longstanding presence in Georgia Avenue Elementary School.  Georgia Avenue is located in the 38126 zip code in Memphis, and this area is not only the most impoverished area in Memphis, it is the third most impoverished zip code in the United States.  An overwhelming number of the households in this area are single family, and the children in these households are in need of some of the basic essentials many of us take for granted.  When asked what they would like Santa to bring them this Christmas, it is not unusual to hear, "a Christmas tree, clothes, or shoes."  These kids are not asking for bikes, gaming systems, and trampolines.  They are asking for things most children take for granted.

Two years ago, I approached a group of my most kind-hearted friends and asked them to join me in "adopting" a classroom at Georgia Avenue.  Six wonderful people joined my husband David and me, and we have thrown quarterly parties for our adopted class.  Today was our second annual holiday party, and we had an amazing time bringing holiday spirit to kids who may not have otherwise had a visit from Santa.  The excitement and appreciation these children exhibited today was heartwarming.  These children are beautiful and intelligent, and they deserve the opportunity to follow their dreams.  Please reach out to children in need.  I assure you that not only will you enrich the life of the child you assist, your own life will be enriched exponentially.

I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the following people who helped make this amazing day possible:  David Riley, Brandy Parrish-Wade, Melody Usdan, Tameka Perry, Keisha Richardson, LaQuange Watkins, Carly Knight, Richard Glassman, Sarah Coleman, and Edith Hurt.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Enjoy the photos from the party!

God Bless,
Mary-Marsha Riley
David and me with my sweet Devon.

The kids loved their toys from Santa!  Look at the girls cuddling their Baby Alive dolls.
Jamal, Devon, and Jaylin.  Devon loved his new New York Giants gear!
All the goodies ready to go before the party!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2010 Autozone Liberty Bowl Parade

I am super excited that I will be riding in the 2010 Autozone Liberty Bowl Parade on December 30!  I am a huge SEC football fan, so I am honored to be part of this SEC bowl event.  Although I am an Arkansas fan, I will be cheering for Georgia in the Liberty Bowl.  I am thrilled that Mercedes of Memphis has donated the use of a Mercedes convertible for the parade, so I will be riding in style.  Thank you Mercedes of Memphis!

And, I just want to say... Go Hogs!  Beat Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl!!  Woo Pig Sooie!

Mary-Marsha Riley
Mrs. Tennessee International 2011      

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Happenings

David and I kicked off the holiday season with a trip to the Memphis Zoo this week with our good friends Melody and Greg Usdan to attend the Chef's Dinner.  A trolley ride through the zoo's holiday light display was followed by a delicious dinner by Felicia Suzanne's in the new Teton Trek building.  The proceeds benefit the many wonderful programs of the zoo and of course the wonderful animals who call the zoo home.

I am currently busy planning the 2011 Holiday Party for the kids at Georgia Avenue Elementary which David and I will host on December 15.  Thanks to the generosity of several of our dear friends, each child will receive a gift they specifically requested on their "Wish Lists."  I can hardly wait to see their faces as they open the gifts!  Without the kindness of a few fine people, these children may not have had any holiday magic.  Thank you in advance to Brandy Parrish-Wade, Melody Usdan, Keisha Richardson, LaQuange Watkins, Carly Knight, Tameka Perry, and Sarah Coleman.  I can't wait until party time!