Donna Harris wins first Ms. Senior Davie pageant

Published 9:25 am Thursday, October 6, 2016

Donna Harris had the sold-out crowd for the first Ms. Senior Davie County Pageant sitting, then standing, shouting, and even a little wiggling.

But most of all, she had them smiling and laughing.

And after modeling a long, blue evening gown and doing a comedy routine, the Advance woman made history, and will represent Davie County Senior Services and other senior citizens at events throughout the year as Ms. Senior Davie County 2016.

“I’m truly blessed,” she said, calling herself a life-long student who respects all people.

She’s also thankful for the senior center where older adults can go to expand their minds, bodies and spirits in a welcoming environment.

Diana “DJ” Stine of Mocksville was runner up. She played the dulcimer during the talent portion.

“I believe we are placed here on Earth to make a difference in someone’s life,” Stine said, who takes advice from her grandmother. “When you get older, you’ve got to move it or lose it.”

All contestants entered wearing their evening gown, walked onto the stage and gave a brief “I Believe” statement.

They came back on stage to perform their talent, and back again as the winners were announced.

Tricia Hardy, an award-winning ceramic artist, showed painting techniques for her talent. “I believe in the inner goodness of people,” she said. “Diversity is a good thing … “and if we all worked together, the world would be better.”

Carol Yow played the tin whistle for her talent. “I believe first and foremost in God … and the power of prayer,” she said. “With God, all things are possible.”

Mary Garcia described her skills at hunting, bringing a mount of an eight-point buck she bagged in Davie County last year, as well as a grilli suit. “I believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” she said. “We need to fight for freedom and integrity in our country.”

Caldonia Evans, a member of the Senior Services Boogie Brigade, danced for talent. “I believe in God and I know the power of prayer,” she said, giving credit to dance and exercise classes at senior services for making her more mobile.

Phyllis Gough performed on the piano. “I believe as I’ve matured I’ve gained a deeper understanding of what it means to have an attitude of gratitude,” she said.

“Every lady has her own sense of style,” said Emcee Gary Snow. At every chance, he put in a plug for senior services.

He is a homebound meals driver and member of the advisory council, and said there’s an opportunity for everyone at the senior center.

Senior Services Director Kim Shuskey said the idea of a Ms. Senior Davie pageant had been in the back of her mind for a long time. When Sharon Allard joined the staff as events coordinator, she noticed she had that same twinkle of excitement at the mention of a pageant.

“I knew it was time for this pageant in Davie County,” Shuskey said.

Along came Sarah Daffron, a former state pageant winner and promoter of pageants. Her goal is to have one in every county. She has 96 to go.

The pageant was a conclusion to the month-long celebration of senior citizens month. “It celebrates keeping older adults active, healthy and engaged in the community, she said. “This pageant highlights everything that is positive about aging.”