Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Elder beauties gather for pageant

Ms. Senior Idaho competition comes to Community Campus in Hailey


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Hailey will play host to the Ms. Idaho Senior Pageant this weekend, featuring 10 elder beauties from around the state in a competition that could land one of them in Atlantic City or Las Vegas for the final Ms. Senior America Competition this fall.

Four ladies from the Wood River Valley will compete in the competition.

Unlike the Miss America pageant for younger gals, the Ms. Senior America pageant calls for contestants to share their wisdom, beauty and talents during "The Age of Elegance."

The pageant, which is open to women over the age of 60, is designed to "promote the dignity and value of America's seniors," according to the Ms. Senior America Web site.

"When you get older it's time to do the things you always thought would be fun," said Betty Grant, who raised four daughters in Hailey. She will sing "God Bless America" in the talent competition.

"I also have the gift of gab, but I don't think they let you compete at that," she joked.

Hazel Mountain is originally from England and has lived in the valley for two and a half years. She will represent the Senior Connection with a performance of country line dancing.

"I really can't believe this is happening. I am more nervous than excited," said Mountain, who was encouraged to participate in the pageant by her boss, Senior Connection Executive Director Kimberly Coonis.

"I am not used to being up in front of people," said Mountain, who along with the other pageant contestants, will share her life philosophy, and dress to the nines for the dining gown competition.

Aysa Armitage is a certified graphologist (handwriting analyst) raised in Jerome. She has been practicing yoga for 10 years and will incorporate some of her dexterous moves into a rock 'n' roll anthem.

"Life can be a kick at any age, " she said. "I may not be kicking as high, but I am still kicking."

Patricia Dugan writes, paints and dances. She is from Atlanta, Ga., and has been in the valley for two years, volunteering at the Senior Connection and making friends.

"It should be a lot of fun," she said. "I am reading a poem of my own, but it has a surprise ending."

The Hailey Chamber of Commerce and the Blaine County Senior Connection are hosting the event at the Community Campus in Hailey on Saturday, May 2, from 2:30-4 p.m.

For more information call the Hailey Chamber of Commerce at 788-3484

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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