Five questions with Billie Jo Wilson, proud mother
Today we chat with Citrus Park resident Billie Jo Wilson, whose 3-year-old daughter, Isabella, recently captured voters’ choice and judges’ choice awards in Tampa Bay’s Most Photogenic Babies contest in February at University Mall. The event raises about $10,000 annually for All Children’s Hospital Foundation. Voters’ choice is determined by donations, earning Isabella one vote per 50-cent charitable contribution. Judges’ choice is determined by a panel of modeling professionals who view contestants’ photographs. Isabella will be competing in America’s Most Photogenic Baby, a nationwide Children’s Miracle Network event that has raised more than $3 million since 1993.
How and when did you and Isabella get involved with this charitable competition?
Isabella was born in February 2010, and after having her I started reading Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine to see what events were going on for families. In one of the issues was an ad for this contest. I loved that the money went to benefit All Children’s Hospital, so I decided to enter her! It’s kids helping kids!
Judging from her competition photo, she enjoys the limelight. Briefly tell us about her.
Isabella LOVES the camera! She is very smart for a 3-year-old. She memorizes songs and movie lines and loves to repeat them and sing. She also enjoys dancing, saying her ABC’s, counting and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. During her photo shoot for Tampa’s Most Photogenic Baby they took 290 pictures of her and afterward she actually said, “I want to take more pictures!”
Describe your campaign to raise donations for All Children’s Hospital and votes for Isabella.
I start early to raise money for this contest. I know each year our total turned in has made a big impact on the total amount raised for the contest. I also aim to give more than the year before. It has been very easy for me to ask friends, family and co-workers for money for Isabella votes and to help All Children’s Hospital. They love helping a good cause and being able to vote for Isabella!
This is a competition for infants through age 5. Will Isabella hang up her tiara in two years, or are there more competitions in her future?
In this contest the winners win trophies. She has won a lot of trophies the past three years and I plan to continue with this competition until she is 5. I then hope she wants to follow in my dreams of being an actress, singer or dancer. So hopefully you will see her in commercials, movies, etc.!
What activities does Isabella enjoy when she’s just being mommy’s little girl?
Isabella loves to swim and be outside; we love going to theme parks in Tampa and Orlando. She started gymnastics at 15 months and loves it. I am currently looking into starting her in dance. At the company I work for I run the community volunteers for over 3,000 associates, so I plan to teach her how to give back by volunteering.