First month a busy time for Miss SNPJ 2019

August 27, 2018 - by ELIZABETH SMRDEL (158), Miss SNPJ 2019

Miss SNPJ 2019 ELIZABETH SMRDEL (158) at the podium following the announcement of the new Miss SNPJ.

EUCLID, Ohio — It’s hard to believe that it’s already been over a month since I was crowned Miss SNPJ 2019. Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be Miss SNPJ. I never thought that when I sent in my entry form in May, I would actually accomplish that dream. When I heard my name announced as the winner, I had so many thoughts going through my head and so many people I wanted to thank, but I was so overwhelmed I was unable to put those thoughts into sentences. My parents will tell you this is the first time they’ve ever seen me speechless! Now that the shock has worn off, I want to thank those people.

First off, thank you to every single member of Lodge 158, the Loyalites, especially President Pat Nevar. Thank you for supporting me ever since I announced I was running. I would not want to be a part of any other Lodge.

To the women I competed with, thank you for making the weekend one I will never forget. Each and every one of you deserves to wear the crown. You are some of the kindest and most talented women that I know.

Thank you to my extremely supportive parents, Gary and Janet. Thank you for getting me involved at such a young age and showing me how incredible the Slovenian culture is. Thank you for making sure I triple-checked my bag before Slovenefest so I wouldn’t forget anything (which I almost did) and for never once doubting me.

A huge thank you as well to my boyfriend, Derek, for being with me all weekend, holding my purse whenever I had to take a picture or polka, reminding me to drink water, and especially for keeping me calm from the moment I turned in my entry form until I was crowned.

Last but certainly not least, thank you to all my friends and family for coming out to the SNPJ Recreation Center and supporting me all weekend. I would not have wanted to share that experience with anyone else. I love you all!

As soon as I was crowned, the invites started pouring in and I was ecstatic! My first event was the annual Duck Race hosted by Strabane, Pa., Lodge 138. I can’t decide which I loved more, seeing all the ducks coming down the creek or the airbrush tattoo artists! I couldn’t have asked for a better event to begin my year. Everyone was so friendly and I had such a great time!

My next stop was the SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. I have always loved going to my own Lodge picnic, so it was really fun for me to be able to go to the other Lodge picnics and meet all of their members. Nothing beats the music, food and atmosphere at the Farm! Each and every Lodge has welcomed me with open arms and treated me and my family like gold. I am very excited to be able to go to more events before the picnic season ends.

I’m looking forward to all the upcoming events, especially a visit to Chicago, which, as I’m writing this, is coming up this weekend. Being able to represent SNPJ at all of these events is a dream come true. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for giving me the experience of a lifetime. I hope I will be able to make you all proud!