I’m a 31-year-old woman running for prom queen. Here’s why:

promYou couldn’t pay me to go back to high school.

It’s not that I was bullied or the nerdiest teenager, but I spent my high school years feeling completely out of place. I wasn’t part of any cliques. I didn’t play sports or join extracurricular activities. And while I did go to prom, I recall it as an anxiety-inducing experience where my hair, make-up and dress selection seemed like the most important life decisions I would ever make.

So when I got an e-mail from Center for the Visually Impaired Development Director Jessica Melakian announcing that I was one of a handful of “community leaders” nominated to CVI’s prom court, I briefly reverted back to my awkward high school self.

As prom court nominee, I have been tasked with raising funds for CVI through an online fundraising page. The prom court nominee who raises the most funds by June 25 will be crowned king or queen at the CVI’s prom that night at the Shore’s Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores.

I am all about creative fundraising strategies that think outside the box for a good cause and while I might have my own hang ups about proms of the past, I’m hoping that by participaing I’ll get a shot to create the prom experience I never had. (For me that would be big hair, puffy dresses and a date who can dance like Kevin Bacon).

I have a rule of thumb I try to live my life by: If I am in a position where I can help others, and I am asked to help I will always say yes. I may not follow this rule 100 percent of the time, but it’s how I try to live my life. I firmly believe that when you step up to help others, it comes back to you tenfold.

The Center for the Visually Impaired in Daytona Beach serves over 500 blind and visually impaired individuals through programs that promote independent living and help build confidence. CVI embraces cutting edge technology that helps these individuals find meaningful careers and perform day-to-day activities. I think it’s important that as a community, we help everyone reach their full potential. And this is a mission CVI exhibits every single day.

A few years ago, while working as a reporter at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, I wrote a story about a 61-year-old woman named Jennifer who lost her sight due to a degenerative eye condition. After traveling for her job as a medical sales representative for years, Jennifer lost the ability to drive, cook or perform daily tasks on her own. But after a doctor referred her to CVI, Jennifer was able to rebuild her life with the help of rehabilitation and vocational classes. She was eventually hired to work at CVI.

“I went from being completely dependent on others and not knowing what to do, to learning how to adapt my skills and live a normal life,” Morgan said when I interviewed her in 2012.

The nominees have been broken into teams and I have the honor of being teamed up with Jenelle Codianne, director of marketing and public relations at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, who has already raised $1,205 for the cause.

Photo by Luisa Alvarez Photography/ courtesy of CVI
Photo by Luisa Alvarez Photography/ courtesy of CVI

Jenelle and I sat down and hashed out some fun and creative ideas to fundraise in the community and by doing so we hope to raise not only funds but awareness about CVI and these inspiring individuals in our community.

How you can help

Donate to Lacey’s fundraising page here.

Donate to Jenelle’s fundraising page here.

Pancakes & Mimosas Breakfast

June 11 at Dunn’s Attic in Ormond Beach 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Tickets for all-you-can-eat pancakes are $5 and are available in advance and a limited number will be available at the door. Mimosas will also be offered for $1. To get a ticket in advance, e-mail laceyemc@gmail.com.

Raffle at the Daytona Beach Tortugas Game

A 50/50 raffle for team Lacey & Jenelle will be held at the Daytona Beach Tortugas game on June 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets to the game are $8.

Tip for a Cause

On June 18 from noon to 9 p.m. I will donate 100 percent of my tips while bartending at Tomoka Brewery in Ormond Beach. Come have a beer or pizza!

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