Vote for the April Beautiful Women!

Posted by on Mar 27, 2012 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Vote today for the April Beautiful Women!

Wendy Cowan Wendy is an amazing person who started Jazzy and Mumbos animal aid thrift store. In the last two years she has been able to help animals and families. Her biggest saying is that just because things come up and we can’t always foresee everything the animal should never have to suffer. Wendy has the biggest heart when it comes to animals and helping people and everyone should shop at the store because as Wendy says, “They more you shop, the more we can help!” Wendy loves her animals and would do anything to help anyone in need even if it comes right out of her own pocket…

Joan Cudworth Joan, my mother, is truly a hero in every sense of the word. She is the most beautiful woman inside and out and has always been a rock for others in life. In fact, she always puts other people’s needs before her own and wouldn’t have it any other way. She focuses on the positive and all of her daily blessings. The theme in this message is my mom’s choice but also unconscious desire to be happy, content, and hopeful about life. Her mother and my dear grandma just passed away this last week at the age of 84. For almost six years she has taken care of her as signs of aging and limited short-term memory begin to set in. While still working her day job when she would get home the first thing was to run over to grandmas and make sure she was okay. Then start preparing dinner usually followed by a drive or some sort of nightly activity. This happened every night and I can only imagine it began to become more challenging over time, although mom would never have complained. Truthfully, she never would have had it any other way because grandma did this for her mother-in-law among continuously exuding a generous aura for others. Mom continued to show unending patience and love to her mother as well as always finding time for the rest of her family. While there will be a void in mom’s heart without grandma here on earth, we all know she is in a much better place.

I know I take from mom far more than I ask her if she is doing okay or needs anything. She would never say this but I need to show her more of how much I care and value her on a daily basis. With all of her daily work obligations and other life responsibilities, mom always has more affection, patience, and kindness for her family. I know I can always call and she has the time to listen or offer advice and for this I am very thankful as her guidance is always correct. I never thought of how much she is continuously there for others and always helping out. As I’ve gotten older and realized how much time goes into living life this way, I know how much I’ve taken her existence for granted. Mom makes an effort each and every morning she wakes up to live life to the fullest and I may even argue to impact at least one individual in at least one way or another. She is the best mom, and best friend a daughter could ever have and I want to say thank you for everything you do. She is the best and someone that deserves the spotlight for a day as she always is putting others in the bright lights to make sure they are okay, happy, and well taken care of. I love you so much mom and thank you for all you do.

Melanie Popejoy Melanie Popejoy has been teaching vocal music to singers from grade school to university ages for over thirty years. She began her career in St. Louis. then moved to Waco, TX, and has been teaching middle school children in Grand Forks about music and life for the past thirteen years. Melanie has been “Teacher of the Year” in every school, city and state that she has lived in. She has been honored by the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce for her contributions to community betterment and is a recipient of the “Athena Award”, which recognizes individuals who have contributed to the enrichment of women in the community. She currently teaches vocal music at Valley Middle School in Grand Forks, in addition to giving private voice lessons in her home, and is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Grand Cities Children’s Choir. The Children’ Choir is celebrating its tenth year of teaching vocal excellence to students and annually averages 200 singers and 30 student mentors in grades 3-12. When Melanie isn’t teaching or giving lessons during the day, or directing the Children’s Choir on Thursday nights, she is taking her students to state and regional music conferences, many times at her own expense, in order to gain recognition for the outstanding performance efforts of her students. In the past two weeks alone, she has traveled with almost 100 students to Minneapolis and Milwaukee for student performance events. Often, in the evenings and on week-ends, you will see Melanie, and her husband Dr. James Popejoy (Director of Bands at UND), out in the community at other arts, athletic and academic events, to support her singers in some of the other activities that they are involved in, especially when she knows that there is little or no support coming from the students homes. Melanie and her husband Jim have no children of their own, except for their dog “Mozart”. I have worked with Melanie in the Grand Cities Children’s Choir for 10 years and often I will hear parents come to her, asking advice about a school or home problem with their child. Melanie will often say, “Well, I don’t have any children of my own. but if I were you I would…..” If you were to ask any one of the singers in any of Melanie’s Choirs, each and every one of them would be happy and proud to call her “mom”. When students are asked why they like singing in Melanie’s Choirs, they say that she encourages them to be better singers, gives them a safe and nurturing place to practice and perform, makes them feel that they are an integral part of the “choir community”, and helps them to feel that they are important to someone. In short, Melanie Popejoy is a “Beautiful Woman” who encourages children to do their very best, positively recognizes their efforts, and makes them feel that they are an important part of the community; all of which help to make them “Beautiful People”.