Even in her 70s, Autryville’s Judy Summerlin loves competing in pageants.
Summerlin will be participating in the Ms. North Carolina Senior America Pageant April 22 at Owens Auditorium on the campus of Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst. In addition to Summerlin, there are nine other ladies vying for the title.
“I heard about the pageant and I thought it would be fun to do it,” Summerlin said. “So, this will by my third time competing.”
In 2011, Summerlin competed for the first time, and then again in 2012. For the last five years, she has taken a break, but says she is ready to get back into the competition and is looking forward to bringing home a title.
“I have learned that this is a great organization,” Summerlin shared. “I have been able to meet many wonderful people. Each and every one of the ladies are just such a delight to know.”
During the competition, Summerlin said contestants are judged on interview, philosophy of life, evening gowns and talent. For her talent, the Autryville resident says she will sing.
“We get the opportunity to entertain all over the state,” Summerlin explained. “This pageant really is a chance for us to celebrate being an older woman. It has been fun getting to bond with the other ladies.”
Current title holder is Rebecca Ann Taylor, who will crown the winner at the upcoming pageant.
According to Sarah Daffron with the organization, the North Carolina Senior America Pageant is a non-profit organization. The Ms. Senior America Pageant philosophy is based on the belief that seniors are the foundation of America, and our most valuable treasure. It is upon their knowledge, experience and resources that the younger generation has the opportunity to build a better society.
Summerlin says the pageant is “America’s best kept secret.”
The Ms. Senior America Pageant is the world’s first and foremost pageant to emphasize and give honor to women who have reached the “age of elegance”, 60 years or better, according to Daffron. This is the eighth statewide pageant. The ladies, from all over North Carolina, will show their best dignity, maturity and inner beauty to obtain the title of Ms. North Carolina Senior America 2017. Ms. NC Senior America 2017 will represent the state at the National Senior America Pageant, in Atlantic City, N.J., Oct. 15-20, where she will compete for the title of Ms. Senior America 2017-18.
The candidates for this year’s title are Frann Griffin, Winston-Salem; Barbara Jordan, Kernersville; Carolyn Culbreth, Fayetteville; Paula Johnson, Vass; Janet Wagner, High Point; Rosa Reico, Pinehurst; Summerlin, Autryville; Rebecca Handley, Grimesland; Gaye Willard, Trinity; and Sherri Raeford, Pleasant Garden.
Tickets are available by calling the director, Beverly Wetherbie, at 910-944-8171 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Doors will open on April 22 at 6:15 p.m., where tickets will also be available. Information on Senior America can be found on the national web-site www.senioramerica.org and state web-site www.ncsenioramerica.com.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.