Queen For A Saturday

Viewers of The Saturday Early Show have sent hundreds of e-mails, nominating wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to become Queen For A Saturday, and it's always difficult to pick just one.

The choice for January: Rene Prewett of Bryant, Ark. On the show, she was presented with the promise of a royal New York weekend, including tickets to the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of "The Apple Tree," a Broadway musical starring Kristin Chenoweth; dinner at the restaurant The Harrison, and a stay at Le Parker Meridien.

Do you know a special woman who deserves to be treated like royalty?

If only for one day, The Saturday Early Show would like to give her the celebration she deserves. It's time for you to write to us and tell us about her. Just send us an e-mail at The Saturday Early Show.

We'll go through the letters we receive and pick someone to fly to New York for a good pampering.

Please put "Queen For A Saturday" in the subject line and make sure to include a phone number where we can reach you during the business day.

Is she a relative? A friend? A co-worker? Is she a favorite teacher?

Give it some thought and drop us a line with her name and the reason she deserves to be our Queen For A Saturday.

Who knows? She might be the one to wear our crown.

Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007

Rene Prewett, the choice for January, was nominated by her friend, Penny Baker. Here is the letter Penny wrote to nominate Rene:

I would like to nominate my friend, Rene Prewett, for Queen For A Saturday. Rene started working with special needs kids in our local public school approximately 10 years ago. She works with the junior high and high school age children.

A short time after she started this job, it was very evident that she had fallen in love with these kids. They know they are unconditionally loved by "Ms. Prewett." She drives the school bus each morning to pick up some of these kids, stays with them all day, and drives them back home. Most days, she has one or two kids come home with her to eat dinner with her family or just to "hang out."

Many, many weekends, she has kept one to three of these kids all weekend. She will take them to water parks, movies (making sure each of them have their own popcorn and Coke, at her personal expense). She works on the local Special Olympics programs. She will take these kids to out-of-state Special Olympic programs. She takes them to weeklong summer camps. She brings them to Sunday morning services. She will take them to a doctor's appointment when their own parent is not available.

She will have a dozen special needs kids over for a New Year's Eve party at her house, staying up with them 'til midnight, bedding the girls down in her room and the boys down in the den for the rest of the night. Get up, cook them all breakfast and then take them home.

About two years ago, one of her student was old enough to graduate from high school and when his parents were looking for a place for him to live, she and her husband took Cody in to live with them and he is still in their care.

One of her former student was placed in a home about 1 1/2 hours drive away. Rene will go pick her up and let her stay for a weekend every three or four months. This is so this girl can stay in touch with her former friends from school... She has a lot of fun with her kids. But it is also a lot of hard work... Rene does get a lot of help and support from her husband and her own children who are about 21 and 22 years old. But Rene puts in a lot of hours and love.

Rene's son-in-law will soon be sent to Iraq; he may already be there.

This is one woman who deserves to be Queen For A Saturday.

Thank you for considering her.

Asked on The Saturday Early Show whether there was anything she would like to say to the young people for whom she cares, Rene replied, "I wish y'all were all here with me!"

And co-anchor Tracy Smith also wanted to know if Rene had any pointers for aspiring Queens For A Saturday.

Said Rene, "Just focus on other people. Do things for other people and
don't focus on yourself."

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006

The choice for November: Raquel Anderson from Silver Lake, Kan. She was nominated by her lifelong friend and current neighbor, Jennifer Morgan. Raquel enjoyed a weekend that included a performance of the Broadway play, "Butley", starring Nathan Lane; dinner at Rosa Mexicano, and a stay at Le Parker Meridien.

The two women have known each other since elementary school and went to high school together – that's 31 years all together! They live across the street from each other, they each have four children, each of them has a set of twins, and they are both the oldest of three sisters.

Two years ago, in March, Raquel organized a trip for Jennifer and herself, and they went to Florida for a vacation together. They've also been to Las Vegas, but neither woman ever has visited New York City before.

Here is Jennifer's letter nominating Raquel:

I would like to nominate a dear classmate and friend who just happens to be my neighbor.

We went to school together at the same school our parents graduated from and now our children go to that same school. Her name is Raquel Anderson.

We live in the rural part of a small town outside of Topeka, Kan. She is the epitome of tradition and is raising her beautiful family with the grace and morals and respect that so many others should strive to model after.

Raquel married her high school sweetheart. She has a beautiful teenaged daughter that is in eighth grade, an 8-year-old son who has cerebral palsy and needs total care, and has two "adventurous" 6-year-old twin boys to keep her on her toes. She is always ready to host or entertain. She will stop on a dime to go to someone in need. She operates a daycare from her home and always has a waiting list because she is so wonderful with kids.

She is currently going back to school so that she can finish her degree and be able to teach in the future. There isn't a lot of time in an everyday schedule but somehow she manages to raise her kids, take care of so many other children, keep an immaculate home, provide all the nursing care for her son, visit her neighbor and be active in the school while continuously being a supportive and energetic wife.

She does so much for others and truly seems satisfied to know that others are taken care of. I'm nominating her for Queen for a Saturday because it would touch my heart if she could take a day off from her rigorous schedule and be pampered.

Raquel has a lot on her plate with her active children. A teenager can be demanding but Raquel is able to use every occasion as a learning experience with her daughter. Her son can respond to her and is learning to use a computer to communicate but she has to feed him through a tube and give medications at regular intervals. It is so demanding but she handles it with such grace. And, two 6-year-old boys … what more can I say? What one twin doesn't think of, the other one does. They are very much "all boys". Another person would need skates to keep up with them but she has the patience of Job.

My husband works for Goodyear and I am a nursing student. I haven't been employed for three months since I'm going to school full time. Goodyear went on strike two weeks ago and my husband is doing some odd jobs for local people until the strike is over. Raquel has given him leads as to who might need some work done. She has brought supper to my family on several occasions in the past few weeks just to take the burden off of us.

Last night, Raquel hosted a "girl's night" at her home with several of my other classmates that are still in the area, and my sisters, and her sister. We enjoyed the evening together. When I came home, my garage was overloaded with supplies and groceries and items that anyone would normally use, such as soap, detergent, trash bags, etc. and several gift cards to help us with groceries.

Raquel organized this whole occasion and somehow managed to keep it a secret from me and my family. She has a big heart and she is truly deserving of an honor. She is a queen in my eyes. She is a fierce friend, great mother, humble wife and worthy of royalty.

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006

Jane Van Boven was selected as the very first Queen For A Saturday after her daughter, Karen Taylor, wrote the following e-mail:

"It would be my pleasure to nominate my mom, Jane Van Boven, to be Queen For A Saturday.

"My mom is one of the most phenomenal, interesting people I know. She lives her life in a true humanitarian way, always thinking of other people's needs and desires and selflessly obtains these goals.

"While she lives on a "shoestring" budget, her very small apartment reflects her personality with the flare she has for life, design, and fashion.

"She is diabetic, yet does not take medication, because of the strong will power to eat properly to remain living independently. She lives in constant pain with motor sensory neuropathy but never complains. Although she must wear leg braces to walk any given distance to maintain her balance, the daily regime of either working or volunteering never slows her down.

"She directs her energy toward helping someone each day. She believes if you take the focus off of yourself and help someone else, you not only will be happier and healthier, but you are pleasing God as well as enriching the lives of other people.

"She has a passion for helping seniors live independently, healthy, and happy. She has helped many seniors remain living independently in their apartments, getting them the help they need albeit financial or medical assistance, rides to their doctors or to the hospital for chemo or radiation, rides to the grocery store or pharmacy, providing planned meals for the ill, getting them involved in their own community, encouraging them to be active in some sort of physical way, encourages them to remain socially active, and last but not least, just good ole plain company by spending time with them, just listening.

"The legacy my mom leaves her children is the example by the way she fully lives her life by doing the very best she can for herself and the lives of others."

Jane has been living in an apartment complex for senior citizens for about 10 years. Says daughter Karen, "She helps everyone there with everything," adding, "She has made that little senior citizen complex a family."

In addition to what she does for her friends and the seniors who live near her, she works four days a week for Connections to Success (CtS), a regional nonprofit organization providing services and programs designed to break the cycle of poverty, one family at a time. The mission of CtS is to guide individuals and their families with a plan and necessary resources needed to rise to a level of independence and economic self-reliance. From its inception, CtS has focused on helping women and families in the welfare system overcome the many challenges and obstacles to achieving the quality of life they desire.

Jane watches The Saturday Early Show every week. (She's a big fan of the Second Cup Café.)

"I just so happened to be at her place, watching the show with her, when the announcement for (Queen for a Saturday) was made," Karen recalls. "I immediately thought about writing in and nominating my mom. After the show, I rushed home and sat at the computer and typed up an e-mail."