Jacqueline Elliott of Midlothian, Texas won the title of Ms. Senior World 50s; Tammy Little Haynes of Section, Alabama won the title of Ms. Senior World 60s; and Mary East of Oxford, Mississippi won the title of Ms. Senior World 70s.
“I was pretty confident this year,” said East. “Practicing and I prayed. I just prayed to God saying, ‘Use me to speak how you would have me to speak and use my feet to move how you would have me to move,’ and I was never nervous at all. He was cheering me right through it all. I also had a lot of supporters, people who supported me and I want to thank every last one of them.”
Ms. Senior World executive producer Sherry Strother designed the event specifically for senior women aged 50-79 who want to participate and show the world what they have to offer. The women get together to boost confidence, have fun, make new friends, and allow them an outlet to share platform issues that are important to them with the other delegates and the world.
“We believe in women empowering women and we love to give back to others,” said East. “Helping others, doing for others, servicing others– that’s that this pageant is all about.”
East said her first heart is for senior citizens and she advocated for them during the pageant.
“I worked in nursing many years ago and when I was a younger woman I fell in love with senior citizens,” she said. “There are so many who are in nursing homes that are homebound and just don’t have family. I love to give back to senior citizens who really don’t have anyone.”
These senior ladies are very active in serving others and Ms. Senior World affords them a venue to share in a fabulous event where they are the center of attention. Ms. Senior World allows participants to show the world the value senior women bring to their communities and their states.
As a member of Oxford’s Silver Steppers, a line dancing group, East and her peers often perform once a month at nursing homes for the senior citizens.
MS Senior World Delegates underwent a 10-minute scored interview with judges from around the country. A
Delegates competed on stage in active lifestyle wear, fashion vogue, and evening gown. Finalists were ranked based on a tally of those scores along with the interview score. East won overall in the active lifestyle category in a pink fishing outfit– fishing rod and all– and won overall in the evening gown category. But, the organization decided not to include a talent show in this pageant.
Delegates for the Ocean Springs-based pageant, which highlights accomplished senior women in their 50s, 60s and 70s, also sought online votes through the “People’s Choice Award.” The competition allowed the public to vote for their favorite delegate by donating to the pageant.
The winner received a guaranteed spot in the Semi-Finals in the age category the contestant represented. Organizers stated a total of $12,000 was raised during the month-long campaign to purchase cases of outreach bibles that will be shipped locally or to various countries around the world, which is quadruple last year’s funds of about $3,000.