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Sulphur Springs News Telegram

Massey crowned Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic

By Faith Huffman Assistant Managing Editor,

Massey crowned Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Image
  • THE WINNER — Wilma Thompson, Ms. Hopkins County Senior Class 2021, crowns Jan Massey the 2023 queen. Pageant Director Dawna Pryor presents Massey with a certificate, trophy, a sash and flowers. See more photos on pg. 12. Staff photo by Faith Huffman
Faith Huffman Assistant Managing Editor Wed, 06/07/2023 - 06:32 Subhead

Contestants change face of aging, show 'age is just a number'


Jan Massey went home Saturday night from the 2023 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant with the crown, presented by 2021 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Wilma Thompson, filling in for the ever energetic Ms. Hopkins County 2022 Kylene Claypool, who was reported to be under the weather Saturday evening. Senior Citizens Center Director Dawna Pryor also presented Massey with the winning trophy, a sash and certificate designating her as the 2023 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Queen, as well as spray of flowers.

Saturday was Massey’s third time to compete in the annual pageant. She said while it was amazing to be named this year’s queen, she has had so much fun each time she’s participated. Massey, who was 80 years young Saturday, encourages all ladies to become involved in the pageant.

The Ms. Senior Pageant is designed to change the face of aging, by showing the various talents and beauty of women age 60 and older, and the 2023 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic did not disappoint. The pageant, as is always the case with any live event, featured a few surprises, but certainly showcased the vitality, talents and both inner and outer beauty of the ladies participating. Most of all, it built friendships and rewarded all involved, enriching their experiences and acquaintances, provided a fun and entertaining evening for all.

“If you had the chance to observe the activities on Friday and Saturday, you would have heard lots of laughter and see that ’age is just a number’ when it comes to having fun and helping each other get ready,” Massey said of Friday’s contestants’ tea and dress rehearsal, and Saturday’s pageant.

Not only did each contestant let her inner queen shine (as 2019 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Vender Wright notes) during the pageant, everyone went home from the Sulphur Springs pageant a winner.

Named first runner-up in the 2023 pageant was Joanne Tully, and second- runner up was Barbara Darity. Each received a bouquet of flowers, a sash, certificate and a trophy.

Debbi Sutton was named Miss Congeniality, for her bright spirit.

Recognized for having the Best Evening Gown, a sparkly black number with a sheer ruffle bottom, was Sharon Baker.

Barbara Grubbs, whose monologue and skit was about retirement and when asked during the interview portion of the contest the advise she’d give her younger self said it would be to spend more time with loved ones, won the award for Best Philosophy of Life.

Marjean Allen was named Most Talented. For the talent portion of the pageant, she described her crafting of scrappy cards, showing and talking about a few Christmas cards she’s made.

Teresa Rocha gave the Best Interview during the portion of the contest when each contestant draws a question which they then answer. When asked her greatest accomplishment, she noted two distinct moments: delivering a baby which required administration of CPR and when she became a Christian.

Best Personality went to Nola Tadlock. She said during the interview portion of the pageant, one thing she’d change about her self, which she is looking forward to soon, is getting new teeth. Her talent was singing.

Each of these ladies also received a sash, certificate and at least one flower along with recognition during the pageant.

Pageant Director/Senior Citizens Center Director Dawna Pryor said the pageant would depart from convention a bit to present two additional awards.

The pageant had a 10th contestant, 92-year-old Mary Jane Buse, a very spirited woman who attended the other events up to but was unable to be at the Saturday evening event. Pryor presented the Spirit Award to Buse’s friend to give to her.

One special award, the Clydene Fielden Memorial Leadership Award, went to Desi Pharis. The award was started by Nancy Bolton in honor of her sister, a special person, who had a positive impact during and after serving as Ms. Hopkins County Senior. Pharis, Pryor dubbed as an honorary senior, a caregiver who is wonderful with the seniors, leading events and bring a ton of energy and ideas to the senior citizens center and community, and who provided invaluable help throughout the pageant.

Judges for the 2023 pageant were Charlotte Baxter of Carriage House Manor, Stacey Wetzel of Sulphur Springs Health & Rehab, Stacy White of Heritage Home Health & Hospice, and Richelle Johnson of True Heart & Hands Hospice. Bea Rasmussen served as auditor.

Gary Spraggins provided sound and Jerry Maynard of the City of Sulphur Springs served as an usher for contestants.

Providing special entertainment while the judges completed voting and Rasmussen tallied scores, and serving as dignitaries were Ms. Hopkins County Senior 2021 Wilma Thompson, Ms. Hopkins County Senior 2019 and 2020/ and Ms. Texas Senior Vender Wright, Ms. Texas Senior 2021 Wilma Burke, Ms. Texas Senior 2015 JoAnne McMeans; and Mrs. Texas Senior 2019 Regina Money. Money and McMeans also serve as Ms. Texas pageant officials, and invited the winner of the Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic to continue the camaraderie and fun by becoming involved in the Ms. Texas Senior Pageant.

Instead of holding a raffle this year to help raise funds for the new queen to compete at the state pageant, this year, pledge cards were made available for those attending who wished to contribute to provide their information so that the new queen can contact them directly regarding the funding.

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