Sunday, July 31, 2011

Behind the Scenes at the United States Pageant!

Slowly but surely, I'll think back on our days in Las Vegas leading up to the United States Pageant! Here is day one... 

Thursday, July 7, 2011:
5:30am Sleepless night since I packed and moved out of my apartment, I went for a morning jog
7:30am Finished packing my bags for Vegas
9:00am Nail appointment
11:30am Tanning appointment
1:00pm Repacked my bags for Vegas after realizing they were too stuffed. What had to stay home: 8 cans of tuna, can opener and ranch dressing, a Coach purse, hair dryer. What came along: low sodium tortillas, 8 pairs of shoes, a jump rope and resistance band, 3 gowns, gifts for my fellow Ms delegates, my laptop, 7lbs of jewelry, and more (obviously - see photo to the right).
3:00pm Boarded plane to Las Vegas!
5:30pm Ran into my sister queen Ashley Greenfield, Miss Teen Virginia United States, and her family in the Atlanta airport
7:00pm Gained 3 hours and landed in Las Vegas! Took a limo to the Orleans Hotel, where we met Miss Virginia United States Ashley Smith, my roommate for the trip!
8:30pm Dinner with the Virginia Queens at TGI Fridays inside the hotel
10:00pm Unpacked
11:00pm Realized we had forgotten a few things, walked to CVS on Tropicana Avenue. Came home with nothing.
12:00am Ironed clothes for the next morning's orientation, off to bed!

Stay tuned for day two ... which includes a morning run to the Palms Hotel, introduction to the 2010 Ms United States Tristan Topps, my first Fuddruckers salad, and bowling in an evening gown.

Some of My Favorite Things

Taking a Material Girl break, because I have to share some of my favorite new products.

1) My new "Barbie" brand shoes from Miko Mikai. Makes me want to be a blonde ... for a minute or two max.

2) MAC cosmetics "Nude" eye liner. While preparing for the pageant, I visited Face Value Salon in Crozet, Virginia. My stylist Lucinda Riley recommended that my facial features called for eye-opening products, including this amazing pencil. I put it on the lower inside of my eyes, and WOW! I'm a new woman. :)

3) Venus razor. This is an oldie but a goodie. I clearly remember the first time I used a Venus razor. I've never gone back, and I've convinced multiple friends to use them. That's product loyalty!

4) Sugar-free jello. This is my saving grace while staying in shape. I eat about 6 or 8 of them a day. Usually in one sitting. At 10 calories each, do the math - that's less than 100 calories!

5) Everlast interval timer. Speaking of staying in shape, I love working out with this little timer that lets you mindlessly workout until the bell rings! Interval training is one of the best ways to burn fat in a fraction of the time. You can try out a similar workout style using an online timer.

6) Zebra print tiara case from Southwest Trading. 2 cases for only $12.00 -I use one as a lunch box! They have luggage, computer cases, flip flops and several other prints.

7) Anything Wonder Woman. I own a pocket mirror, planner, bag, 2 t-shirts, book, 2 costumes, a bracelet, and hopefully more soon. Did you see MAC's Wonder Woman display? I broke out in tears when I saw it. Simply breathtaking.

Ah that was fun, almost felt like a shopping spree without leaving my cozy bed. Time to go back to work and service! ~ Laura

Clean Out the Closet and Help Local Families!

Those of you near Richmond, Va, please consider donating your clothes, especially athletic clothing and shoes, to the Giving Heart organization for this week's Got You Covered clothing drive. I got involved with this organization as part of the "Let's Move in Schools" campaign to help kids get active. One branch of their program collects new or gently used children's athletic shoes. This weekend's drive will accept shoes as well as many other types of donations.

Saturday, August 6, 2011 - Distribution of Clothing
Richmond Raceway Complex - Colonial Building, 600 E. Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, Va.

Invited Guests:  1 pm to 3 pm | Public Hours:  3:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Meet me on Tuesday, August 2 from 1:30-3:30pm as I assist in collecting donations at the drop off location (see below) and again at the Raceway for the distribution from 3:30-4:00pm.

DONATE: New and gently used clothing, shoes and accessories are accepted. This year we are especially interested in clothing
to benefit the youth of our community. Please consider making donations of items that can be worn with pride. If in doubt, throw it out. Items should be clean, in good condition, classy and/or current in nature. We greatly appreciate your efforts in keeping your donated pieces together to ensure that they are given out in their entirety. We welcome suits, ensemble pieces and dresses on hangers to properly display them to our guests.

Donation Drop-Off Locations:
Monday, August 1st through Thursday, August 4, 2011: Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, (Virginia Hall), 3400 Brook Road, 1st floor. Donations will be accepted from 10 am to 3 pm. Please ask for a Giving Heart representative - DO NOT leave clothing outside this facility.
Friday, August 5, 2011: Richmond Raceway Complex, Colonial Building (1st building on the left).  Donations accepted from 10 am to 3 pm. Do NOT leave clothing outside this facility.

Call The Giving Heart at 804-749-4726 or visit the Giving Heart website for additional information.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Press Release: Face Value Salon - Face Value Welcomes United States Pageant Winners

Come see Newly Crowned Ms. & Miss Teen United States at Face Value this Week!
CONGRATULATIONS to Laura Eilers, Ms. United States, and Ashley Greenfield, Miss Teen United States as Virginia takes its first National crown ever from the United States Pageant system for the Commonwealth.
Join us at Face Value Salon as Laura (left above) appears from 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Friday, July 29th and again on Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 pm as Ashley (on right) appears at FaceValue. Come get your photo taken and speak with Laura and Ashley about their success in winning national crowns in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Laura and Ashley both came to Face Value to prepare their skin, hair and makeup for the pagent in Las Vegas.  We are very proud of both of them  and their accomplishments.

Located in the Old Trail Village Shops
1015 Heathercroft Circle   Suite 200
Crozet, Virginia 22932

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This Week's Appearance Schedule

Catch me if you can! What a media tour this week ....

Thursday, July 28, 9:00-10:00am
Virginia This Morning on CBS-6 Richmond

Friday, July 29, 3:30-5:30pm
Hardly Working with Greg Burton on ESPN 950AM Radio Richmond (pre-recorded)

Friday, July 29, 4:00-6:00pm
Face Value Salon & Studio, Old Trail Village Shops
1015 Heathercroft Circle, Suite 200, Crozet, Virginia 22932

Saturday, July 30, 12:00-1:00pm
National Dance Day at J'adore Dance Studio, 5000 Commonwealth Centre Parkway, Midlothian, Va, Coverage by FOX TV - Richmond, Hot 100.5 and 103.7 the River

Check back for photos!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

On the Road: Dubuque, Iowa

With my Grandmother in her hometown of Dubuque, Iowa
I knew that post-pageant time was the perfect opportunity to visit family and friends in the Midwest. I just don't get to see them often enough! They were incredibly supportive during my journey to the national title. I couldn't be more blessed with loving parents, family, friends and my boyfriend.

Dubuque is very special to me because I spent nearly every summer there visiting my grandparents. There is just something family-oriented and calming about people in Iowa. I believe that even though I've relocated to the east coast, my Midwestern roots are incredibly prevalent. I say hello to strangers. I return phone calls and emails. I'm very laid back and open-minded. And of course, I love those Chiefs, Rams, Royals and Cardinals!

This photo is with my grandmother in Dubuque. I admire my grandmother so much. She is an incredible listener, a great cook, and remembers every birthday - even with nine children and 12 grandchildren. She has a strong will and is always smiling! Love you gramma, and hope to be back soon.

Cheers! - Laura

Motivational Monday: The Few Things You Really Need to Remember

Happy Monday! I am rounding out my Midwest trip!! I'm so blessed to know people across this country. One of my favorite motivations on Monday is Dale Smith Thomas's e-newsletter. Just wanted to pass along what she shared today. 

I love reading blogs and books by Dale Smith Thomas!
So motivational. Please visit
The Few Things You Really Need to Remember

Remember that your presence is a present to the world.

Remember that you are a unique and unrepeatable creation.

Remember that your life can be what you want it to be.

Remember to take the days just one at a time.

Remember to count your blessings, not your troubles.

Remember that you’ll make it through whatever comes along.

Remember that most of the answers you need are within you.
Remember those dreams waiting to be realized.

Remember that decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Remember to always reach for the best that is within you.

Remember that nothing wastes more energy than worry.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Remember that the longer you carry a grudge, the heavier it gets.

Remember not to take things too seriously.

Remember to laugh.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.

Remember that a lot goes forever.

Remember that happiness is more often found in giving than getting.
Remember that life’s treasures are people, not things.

Remember that miracles can still happen.

Cheers! - Laura  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

First Stop: Kansas City

I live in Virginia now, but my hometown is Kansas City, Missouri. After leaving Las Vegas, I had the chance to make a quick trip home to see friends, and of course, experience my favorite midwest pasttime: A Kansas City Royals baseball game! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge sports fan, and you can't beat Kauffman Stadium, even in 100 degree July heat! I'm very thankful that the Royals have asked for me to return to the stadium in September to throw the first pitch during a home game. I can't thank my friends and family enough for such a wonderful homecoming and all the support they have provided as I've prepared for the national contest. You all are my heart and soul, and I pray that my year as Ms. United States brings me home to the heartland as often as possible. And gooooo Royals!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alumni Cheerleaders Press Release: Special "Cheer Out" and Congratulations to Laura Eilers - Ms. United States 2011!!

By Mickey Crawford-Carnegie,

Here's a special BIG "Cheer Out" and Congratulations to Laura Eilers (former St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs  Cheerleader) winning the 2011 Ms. United States Pageant!!!  Laura won this coveted title on July 14, 2011 at the pageant being held at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.  We are so proud of our Alumni Cheerleaders member and friend.  Way to go!!

2011 United States Pageant winners appear just after the
crowning at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on July 14, 2011.
 Laura was crowned 2011 Ms. Virginia United States at the March 19, 2011 Southern Women’s Show in Richmond, Va. Laura was raised in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and moved to Virginia in 2009. Laura earned a bachelor of arts in public communication from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. She was an NFL Cheerleader in two cities, performing for five years with the Kansas City Chiefs and one year with the St. Louis Rams. During her six years with the NFL, Laura visited seven foreign countries and five U.S. states supporting the military. She appeared in three NFL Cheerleader swimsuit calendars, Lindy’s Sports magazine, CMT’s 2009 “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team,” as well as multiple local television and radio programming. Laura’s modeling background includes photography and commercials in the industries of dance, bridal and fitness. Today, she is a certified personal trainer, group fitness and dance instructor in Richmond. She directs the dance team, mascot and community promotions for the Richmond Raiders arena football team and can be seen as the field emcee on Raiders game days at the Richmond Coliseum.

Laura is one of Going Pro Entertainment’s elite pro cheer alums providing audition consulting, team services and available for talent castings. Pro Cheer All Stars Events and GPE services are available in several U.S. markets. Contact Laura today to get started with audition coaching or to enhance your dance and cheer team’s program!
Laura's other contributions to the industry of cheerleading and dance include national sales director for Angela King Designs Go Wild! Wear, creative direction and choreography for the Science Cheerleaders, choreographer for the University of Richmond SpinURs, judge for the 2011 UFL Virginia Destroyers  Cheerleaders, and choreographer for multiple dance conventions including Philadelphia 2010 and Chicago 2011.
For more information on successful NFL and NBA cheerleader alumnae, visit

Richmond Raiders Press Release: Raiders Dance Team Coordinator is Ms. United States

Ms. United States 2011 Laura Eilers
is the director and choreographer of the
Lady Raiders Dance & Cheer Team
in Richmond, Virginia.
Laura Eilers was crowned Ms.United States July 14 during the national United States pageant in Las Vegas. Laura has served as the Raiders Dance Team, Mascot and Promotions Coordinator since the team's first season. She is also the game day field emcee at the Coliseum. The two day pageant included judge's interview, opening number, swimsuit, evening gown, and on-stage question.

Laura can now bring her platform of "Let's Move in Schools," encouraging health and wellness for our youth to a national stage. A certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, Laura has appeared at local schools facilitating fitness activities and participating in races such as the St Jude's Run. In August, she will support the "Soles for the City" campaign to collect athletic shoe donations for local kids and their families. To make a donation or request an appearance, visit the Ms. Virginia US website.

The Lady Raiders are known for their incredible community achievements as a group as well as individuals. In 2010, Lady Raiders Dance Team member Brittany Gordon held the title of Miss Virginia United States. Lady Raider Stephanie is a third-year ambassador for the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. Lady Raider Meagan was named to the Cystic Fibrosis "Finest of 2010." Join the Lady Raiders Fanpage on Facebook to get the scoop on these talented women!

Discover Magazine Online: Update: The newly crowned Ms. United States [hearts] science.

by The Intersection. This is a guest blog post from Darlene Cavalier,  founder of and
Ms. United States 2011 Laura Eilers (far right)
choreographs for the Science Cheerleaders,
including performances in Washington, DC,
Philadelphia, and coming soon in Las Vegas!

Last night,  Laura Eilers, AKA Ms. Virginia, was crowned MS. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! The Science Cheerleaders–current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and engineering careers–are very fortunate to have Laura as our extremely talented choreographer and creative director.
In addition to being a former cheerleader for the St. Louis Rams, cheerleader and choreographer for the Kansas City Chiefs, and an NFL Hall of Fame Game Cheerleader, she’s also the creator of  Going Pro Entertainment, LLC, a network of professional cheerleading and dance alumni.

In school, her favorite science projects included “creating an amoeba structure out of cookie cake and icing, researching anthropologist Dian Fossey and her work with gorillas, as well as engineering a balsa wood structure that could withstand heavy weights. My team and I tested the structure repeatedly and competed with other schools for the strongest balsa structure.”

And, yes, she “most definitely believes evolution should be taught to our children.”

Congratulations, Laura!

And now, I’d like to turn your attention to a recent blog post written by Joshua Rosenau at Thoughts from Kansas. Following up on all the chatter surrounding the Miss USA contestants’ answers to the question of whether evolution should be taught in schools, Josh writes:
I’m glad to see professional cheerleaders and pageant contestants stepping up and talking about science. It has to have been nerve-wracking for the Miss USA contestants to be asked about the question without time to prep, and I think the awkwardness and “ums” and “likes” and “you knows” in the transcript mostly just reflect how people actually talk, especially when we’re nervous. The substance of the Miss USA pageant answers wasn’t at all impressive, but the fact that the pageant thought Miss USA should be able to speak about science education is impressive.
Ms. Virginia, or “huge science geek” Miss California (now Miss USA), can go into rooms and connect with audiences that just don’t care to listen to anything said by me, or PZ Myers, or Richard Dawkins, or Eugenie Scott. So can a professional cheerleader. And if the goal is to make a more science literate society, it behooves us to make sure that women waving pom poms or wearing a sash with a state name on it are just as ready to talk about the joys of science as a doctor in a white coat or a geologist in dusty jeans.
And at the end of the day, I smile every time I see Cavalier play this video. Because why shouldn’t a little girl at a massive science festival want to be a doctor and a teacher and a cheerleader? How better to encourage all of her dreams than to chat with a former professional cheerleader who is now a doctor and cheers for science? Someone else might see that you can call yourself a science geek and a history geek and still be chosen Miss USA, and decide to take her schooling more seriously. And that’s for the best.
Read Josh’s full post here.

Learn about the Science Cheerleaders at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Like the Ms United States page on Facebook!

Press Release: Virginia woman earns title of Ms. United States 2011


Virginia woman earns title of Ms. United States 2011

Richmond, Va. – Monday, July 18, 2011. Laura Eilers has been crowned Ms. United States 2011. The pageant was held July 13-14 at the Orleans Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. The Ms. division requires a woman be an unmarried American citizen between the ages of 25-50. Judges were top professionals in the business, fashion, and performance industries.

Laura Eilers is crowned Ms. United States 2011
by the 2010 titleholder Tristan Topps.

Eilers will dedicate a year of service in support of “Let’s Move in Schools,” a campaign to motivate children to be active and make healthy choices. She will also support the United States Pageant’s national platform to reduce distract driving. As part of the national prize package, Eilers will be featured in Supermodel Unlimited Magazine and V Magazine for Women.

A resident of Richmond, Va., Eilers received the Virginia state title on March 19 at the Southern Women’s Show. Eilers was raised in Lee’s Summit, Mo., where she attended Lee’s Summit High School. She earned a bachelor of arts in public communication from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. and a certification in personal fitness training from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Eilers was an NFL Cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs and the St. Louis Rams. She has established a career as a fitness, nutrition, dance and cheerleading consultant. She appears as the game day emcee and dance team coordinator for the Richmond Raiders arena football team. Eilers is a member of Delta Zeta Sorority and Network of Enterprising Women.

The 2011 United States Pageant named three additional national title holders in separate age divisions. Ashley Smith of Virginia Beach, Va. was crowned Miss United States, Ashley Greenfield of Blacksburg, Va. was crowned Miss Teen United States, and Olivia Caputo of Tampa, Fla. was crowned Miss Junior Teen United States.

Contact Information
For more information, email or direct mail to Ms. United States 2011, PO Box 6683, Richmond, Virginia 23230.