Ms. Senior Davie pageant seeking contestants

Published 8:57 am Thursday, August 3, 2017

“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Challenge yourself and have confidence.”

There’s some advice from Donna Harris, Ms. Senior Davie County, 2016 has for women everywhere, young and old. As she wraps up the final months of her reign, Donna reflected on her experiences over the past year.

In doing so, she was reminded of her “I Believe” statement that she presented in the pageant.

“I believe I am truly blessed. I pride myself in being a life-long student. My greatest asset is my family. I believe in respect to all, honoring our heritage, country, flag and natural resources. I am very thankful for Senior Services where I can exercise mind, body and spirit in an open, diverse and welcoming environment.’”

Donna has certainly lived up to the beliefs she presented. Although she had only been a member of Davie County Senior Services for four months when she became Ms. Senior Davie County, she has since immersed herself in the programs and activities.

Donna attends many of the events, always greeting and encouraging others.  She is a regular in several fitness classes and has taken on leadership roles at the center by conducting two seminars – one on healthy living and the other on women’s history – and spearheading a new adult coloring group that meets each month.

In fact, her love for Senior Services is what inspired her to enter the pageant.

“I was impressed by how welcoming everyone was,” says Donna. “The center provides a great opportunity for people to come and take part in so many programs and classes without fees.  When I decided to compete in the pageant I was very uncomfortable and felt I had no talent.

“New friends at the center overwhelmed me with their kindness.  People loaned me clothing and jewelry and fixed my hair. I was touched by more support and assistance than I ever expected. I was the new person and will never be able to repay the love they showed me.”

Donna says it has been a fast year. Some highlights have been dancing with a gentleman during the Senior Health & Fitness Day celebration, greeting guests at the Rock-a-Thon dressed in a vintage formal gown and meeting a group of Girl Scouts who referred to her as Ms. America.

She has always enjoyed people and helping others and has cherished meeting so many new people during her reign.

One challenge that Donna faced was stage fright.  Her time on stage during the pageant and her presentations at Senior Services have helped her to overcome this issue.  She has also enjoyed being able to use her time as Ms. Senior Davie County to encourage others to stay active.

“When we decided to have this pageant, we wanted it to showcase aging in a positive way by focusing on the inner beauty, style, poise and talent of ladies 60 and older,” said Kim Shuskey, director of Davie Senior Services. “We could not have asked for a better spokesperson for Senior Services and role model for women than Donna. She has certainly set the bar high for future pageant winners to follow. Not only is she active and engaged in what happens at Senior Services, she has gone out into the community, thanking business for their support of our organization, meeting the county commissioners and encouraging others to get involved. She has helped to get ready for the 2017 Pageant, securing sponsors and organizing a pampering day for the contestants. She is truly a beautiful person, both inside and out and we have enjoyed partnering with her over the past year.”

Now, other women in the county have the opportunity to compete for the title in the 2017 Ms. Senior Davie County Pageant on Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Mocksville.  Contestants should plan to attend two rehearsals – Sept. 7 and Sept. 11 from 2-4 p.m. Contestants must be 60 or older and a resident of Davie County.  There are four areas of competition – talent, evening gown, “I Believe” statement and personal interview.

The winner will represent Davie County Senior Services and the county in special events throughout the year.  She will also attend next year’s pageant to help crown Ms. Senior Davie County 2018.

A meet and greet for all prospective contestants will be held Thursday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at Senior Services. Applications can be picked up at Senior Services’ Mocksville site, the Bobby H. Knight Senior Services Building, 278 Meroney St., or by visiting Deadline for submitting applications is Sept. 1.

As Donna says, “Don’t avoid it because you think you have no talent or because you fear being in front of people. We can work with you to overcome any issues. You may improve your health, increase brain activity and gain a wonderful relationship with an outstanding group of people.  Being Ms. Senior Davie County has been such a wonderful experience. I have met so many people and have had so many fun experiences. If you are looking for an exciting way to serve the county and Senior Services, may I suggest being a participant in the pageant?”

For more information about the pageant or any of the programs or services offered by senior services, call 336-753-6230.