Since 2013, mother-daughter teams have vied for the crown to become official My Princess and Me Royalty! This year, our teams are working hard to raise the most funds for the children of St. Peter-St. Joseph Children’s Home. Every dollar they raise through ticket sales, donation pledges, and fundraising events is worth one point toward the crown. This year’s group of compassionate, dedicated mothers and their precocious princesses are poised to make My Princess and Me 2016 a very successful event! Thank you to our Royal Court for your efforts and service to the children of St. PJ’s!

My Princess & Me
2017 Royal Court Members

2017 Team Vu
Mai Le-Vu and her daughters Annabella & Isabella

TEAM VU - use code 'ROYALA'

 

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Annabella & Isabella Vu, 5 & 2 years old, both like cooking and doing arts & crafts with their mom. They also like to go grocery shopping with mom and “most of all we love nap time and cuddling with mom.” They wanted to be part of the My Princess and Me Royal Court to help their mom raise money for the children at St. PJ’s and to learn to work hard. Annabella and Isabella believe that a princess should be kind and loving, they also wear pretty dresses and have beautiful hair. If they were real princesses they said they would “cook and bake cookies for everyone and have a big party and invite everyone to come.”

Mai Le-Vu believes the presence of strong female role models in her daughters’ lives is very important. She says, “Young girls in this day and age are heavily influenced by the media to define themselves and their worth by many external, superficial ideas—for example, how you look and how much you have. Strong Catholic mothers and women need to be recognized, so girls grow up understanding that their true beauty and worth is defined through their actions and decisions they make every day, by the life they lead and live.” Mai wanted to be part of the My Princess and Me Royal Court to share their time and talent to the community and help raise awareness and money for St. PJ’s. Mai explains, “I also want to teach my girls the importance of giving of ourselves in order to make the world a better place for all.”

Her favorite example of these strong women who inspire her calling to advocate and serve is St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower). She is Mai’s patron saint and has always looked up to her. “Everything she did, including simple tasks, she did with love. Even though she passed away at an early age, she had a large impact on so many people. St. Therese’s life is a reminder to all of us, that God works through us each in his own way, and that even the little things, if done well and with love, can change our world.”

In their spare time Mai, Annabella and Isabella love to cook and try the different foods they make. They enjoy grocery shopping and visiting HEB Buddy at the end of their shopping trip. They “love to sing and dance, and definitely love to karaoke!” They love to learn by reading and playing board games and puzzles, doing arts & crafts and making floral arrangements and playing outside. They “also will take time to go to Adoration Chapel and spend time with Jesus, as well as going to Mass.”

 

2017 Team Torres
Maria Torres and her daughter Valentina

TEAM TORRES - use code 'ROYALB'

 

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Valentina Torres, 7, likes to read, swim, ride her bike and go on nature walks. She wanted to be a part of the My Princess and Me Royal Court to spend time with her mommy and learn how to help children in need. Valentina believes that a princess is a very special person. She says “little girls look up to princesses and want to be just like them.” She believes that dressing up and feeling confident on the outside helps to build confidence on the inside. According to Valentina “some princess can be admired for their kindness, positive attitude, and hard work.” If she were a real princess she said she would “help children to be independent, happy, courageous, loving, to be confident and have self-worth.”

Maria Torres says it is important for mothers to be a good role model for their daughters. They should lead by example, keep open communication and help their children make healthy choices. Maria wanted to be a part of My Princess and Me Royal Court because she saw it as a great opportunity to raise money for the children of St. PJ’s and to demonstrate to her daughters how important it is to help others and show compassion.

Her favorite example of a woman of power is Michelle Obama. She says she is “intelligent, strong, and outspoken about her passion for education.” She also loves that through her Let Girls Learn Program, Michelle Obama has “helped increase resources to improve the lives of adolescent girls worldwide.”

Maria and Valentina like to go on nature walks, read, cook and bake, ride bikes, go to the park and enjoy outdoor activities together.

 

Team Sutherland
Sharon Sutherland and her daughter Ashley

TEAM SUTHERLAND - use code 'ROYALC'

 

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Ashley Sutherland, 12, likes to swim, ice skate, cook and spend time with her pets. She wanted to be part of the My Princess and Me Royal Court because she felt it was a huge honor and that “these girls that are gathering on October 1 are the most amazing girls [she] can think of.” She says that being a princess isn’t all glitz and glam she understands that being a princess “is about working for others trying to make the world a better place and [doing] all that in 5” heels.” She explains that there is responsibility that goes along with being a princess especially when a crisis occurs and princesses sometimes need to have a “logical solution to world hunger or 3rd world problems.” If she were a princess, Ashley would “make a plan in case the kingdom ran into financial difficulties or the stock market crashes because you never know what’s going to happen.” She also says that “everyone in Magical Land would have above average wage and everyone would be considered the smartest of the smart.”

Sharon Sutherland “believes mothers should be strong role models for young girls as well as young boys. Girls look to their mothers for information, answers, moral support, and guidance. Girls see their mothers as leaders of the home, leaders in their community, and leaders in their profession. Perhaps they admire their mothers for the way they lead a value driven life and a life of faith. Girls look to their mothers to learn how to respect their boundaries and their body. She learns what it means to love with all her heart and soul and just how much strength of character it takes to do the right thing, especially the strength it takes to fail and to try again and perhaps again. A mother holds her tears when necessary, smiles and applauds at every opportunity and gives without a second thought. A mother’s love is a reflection of God’s love. A woman’s influence is beautiful and necessary when raising daughters and sons.” She wanted to be a part of the My Princess and Me Royal Court because she believes in the mission of St. PJ’s and raise awareness about child abuse and neglect. She says she was fortunate to grow up "with two loving parents, a warm bed and a full belly” and has been able to offer the same for her children and believes every child should have those same blessings.

Her favorite princess is Tiana from the Princess and the Frog. She describes her as self-assured, and that she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it. That although she has a love interest, it is not something that defines her. She says, “Historically I admire women of courage, most are nameless. Women who have stood up for the oppressed at great personal risk. I have the greatest admiration for women who have taken risks during World War 11 to save Jews from Nazi Germany or helped runaway slaves during the Civil War era. Women who work today in war torn countries and 3rd world nations to bring aid and comfort to so many in need have courage and strength beyond measure.”

When Ashley and Sharon aren’t volunteering at various charities and organizations, they love to go swimming, working on their photography skills, loving animals, being silly and laughing together. Sharon says, “As long as we’re together, we’re in a happy place!”