Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

On Friday, January 28, I was interviewed and photographed by Skirt! Magazine, a fabulous Memphis publication which celebrates all it means to be a woman.  I am honored to have been chosen to be included in their upcoming March issue which will feature several female "Community Change Makers."  I am always pleased to be granted an outlet to share my passions for Go Red for Women, Streets Ministries, and the many wonderful animal rescue organizations which work tirelessly to save homeless animals.  I also enjoyed talking about the Mrs. International Pageant which allows women like myself to amplify our voices to achieve positive change.  If you live in Memphis, don't forget to pick up a copy of Skirt! in March!

On Saturday morning, January 29, I had a wonderful time meeting and speaking to the many mothers and daughters who gathered together at St. Louis School here in Memphis for the Mother Daughter Tea and Fashion Show.  My friend Gena Wolbrecht organized this first class event, and again, I was so excited to be able to share my story and encourage the women and girls gathered to make a difference in our community.  There is nothing a determined group of people cannot accomplish.
        It was such fun to spend the day with such sweet girls.
Me with my friend Gena Wolbrecht

On Sunday, January 30, I was so excited and happy to be able to witness the crowning of my dear friend Melody Usdan as Mrs. Tennessee America 2011!  I am so happy her dream has come true, and I'm so excited that we are able to represent Tennessee in the same year.  It was also so much fun to see tons of my pageant friends, including my predecessor, Mrs. Tennessee International 2010, Cydney Miller.
Mrs. Tennessee International 2010 Cydney Miller and
Mrs. Tennessee International 2011 Mary-Marsha Riley

Friday, January 7, 2011

American Heart Association Go Red for Women

I am honored to announce that I was asked and have agreed to serve as a member of the Memphis Area Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team.  Along with nine other dynamic Memphis women, I will be planning and acquiring sponsors for the 2011 Memphis Area Go Red for Women Girls Night Out which will be held on May 10, 2011.  I am so excited about my participation on this team.  Promoting awareness, education, and research of heart disease is very personal to me as my dad, Bernie Porter, is a heart attack survivor.  His heart scare, although extremely scary to him and my family, inspired him to stop smoking and commit to heart health.  I want to encourage women and men to make this same committment to change their health and lives for the better!  Go Red for Women!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Heartwarming Honor

I've been blessed in this life to receive several wonderful honors, but yesterday Linda Money, the director of the MidSouth Animal Rescue League, touched my heart when she named a sweet little rescued puppy who is now up for adoption "Mary-Marsha."  For those of you unfamiliar with the MidSouth Animal Rescue League, it is a no-kill rescue organization committed to finding safe, loving, forever homes for the forgotten animals of the MidSouth.  Our sweet puppy, Jude, came to us from the MidSouth Animal Rescue League, and it was through the process of adopting him that David and I came to know Linda.  She works tirelessly and passionately to save animals and provide them with happy and healthy futures.  I am touched that she sees in me the same passionate love for animals that she feels in her own heart.  Below you will find photos of little Mary-Marsha along with the facebook address for the MidSouth Animal Rescue League.  Please "like" the facebook page and support the MidSouth Animal Rescue League.

Little Mary-Marsha


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Protecting our animals and the dreams of our children...For Jordan.

Those of you who know me know my heart was broken on October 20, 2010, when my sweet dog Jordan went to Heaven.  Jordan was more than a dog.  He was my best friend, companion, support, and my partner in crime.  We were together for almost 15 years; my entire adult life.  Through the good times and the sometimes very bad, Jordan was my constant; my place of peace.  A very large piece of my heart went to Heaven with him in October, but his memory and his unique and beautiful spirit will forever live in the portion of my heart that remains.  What I do and who I am is in his honor.

The innocent spirits of children and animals are precious and to be protected.  The work I do to provide children with the abilities, skills, and most importantly, the belief that they can achieve their dreams, is incredibly fulfilling.  And, my passion for animal rescue is extremely close to my heart as I believe animals are truly the purest form of life and should be treasured and protected, not neglected, abused, and forgotten.  As Mrs. Tennessee International 2011, I reaffirm my committment to protect at risk children and animals.  I do this for Jordan.

God Bless,
Mary-Marsha Riley
Mrs. Tennessee International 2011