Azalee Stockton crowned Ms. Senior Davie

Published 1:33 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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By Carrie Miller

Davie Senior Services

Azalee Stockton was crownd 2023 Ms. Senior Davie County  at the fifth pageant on Thursday, Sept. 28.

This wass the first time the pageant has been held since 2019 due to the pandemic. The event filled the senior center with 175 spectators as four contestants: Hazel Dillard, LaTeah Dunn, Donna Fraley, and Azalee Stockton competed for the title.

The event started with Senior Services staff members Kim Shuskey, Michelle Ellis, and Carrie Miller kicking introducing the emcee, Melinda Szeliga.

The 2019 First Runner Up, Alice Barnette, and 2019 Ms. Senior Davie County, Diane Koveal, walked in to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and were followed in by this year’s contestants to Aretha Franklin’s “RESPECT.”

Once the women filled the stage, they were asked to share their name and the town they were representing. Hazel Dillard and Donna Fraley represented Mocksville while LaTeah Dunn represented Advance, and Azalee Stockton represented Cooleemee.

Following their introductions, Miller introduced the three judges: Ken Gamble, Mocksville town manager; Brian Barnett, county manager; and Suzanne Wright, director of Davie County Health and Human Services. The judges scored each candidate in four areas  – their “I Believe” statement, evening gown, talent, and interviews., previously recorded for the judges to view prior to the pageant.

This was followed by contestants coming back on stage one by one where they shared an “I Believe” statement and showed off their evening gowns while Szeliga read information about each contestant.

County Commissioner Benita Finney sang a song before the talent competition.

Hazel Dillard kicked off with a poem titled “Somebody’s Mother” followed by LaTeah Dunn with her rendition of “How to Make a Bow.” Contestant Donna Fraley played “Born Free” on the piano, and the evening closed with Azalee performing an exercise routine to the “Cupid Shuffle”.

As the contestants patiently awaited the scores to come in, Finney sang two more songs. Szeliga and the contestants came back to the stage for the winners to be announced.

The first runner up for 2023 was Donna Fraley.  She was presented with a sash and a dozen roses.

Donna and her husband Tim have been married for 14 years and between them have eight children and five grandchildren.

Donna is employed as the owner of Village Pet Grooming, a business she has run since 1996. She also works as a tech at Iredell Companion Veterinary.

Donna earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and human services from Gardner Webb University, graduating with honors. She earned her master’s degree in higher education from Appalachian State at the age of 61.

She has been awarded Volunteer of the Year from the National Bicycle League, and was a founding member of Homeland Security.

Donna has been involved with the National Disaster Medical Team and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response since 1992. She earned the ASPR COVID-19 Pandemic Civilian Service Medal in 2022.

Donna volunteers her time with the Elm Grove United Methodist Choir, the Fulton Methodist Choir, and the Fulton Methodist Children’s Sunday school.  In her spare time, Donna enjoys animals and music.

To close out the night, the moment the audience was waiting for, Szeliga announced the 2023 Ms. Senior Davie County – Azalee Stockton.

Azalee is a mother of three, grandmother of nine, and great-grandmother of 16.

Azalee is retired after a 33 year career as a marketing coordinator.  She holds an associate’s degree in marketing from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. She has been twice named the NAACP’s Mother of the Year.

Azalee is active at Erwin Temple CME Church where she has served as Sunday school superintendent, a missionary, an usher, a steward, and on the kitchen committee.

She is involved in the Davie County Training School/Central Davie Alumni Association, having served as president for eight years.

She is an active member of the Davie County NAACP, serving as program coordinator. Azalee also serves as treasurer of the Davie County Democratic Party.

She is involved in her community by volunteering at Davie County Senior Services, Rowan Helping Ministry, and as a driver for sick and shut-ins.

In her spare time, Azalee enjoys walking and cooking.

Azalee will represent Davie County in the community by participating in events at Senior Services along with Christmas parades and more. If you would like a visit from the 2023 Queen, give Senior Services a call at 336-753-6230.

Shuskey said. “Senior Services would like to thank the following for volunteering the night of the event: Melinda Szeliga as the emcee, Richard Poindexter and Mark Jones as ticket takers, Gladys Scott, Brent Shoaf, and Will Marklin as food servers, Jessica Barney, photographer with Jessica Marie Photography, Benita Finney, entertainer, Sheriff JD Hartman, tabulator, Robin Hartman, timer, Kinlee Shea and O’Niel Seme, stagehands and music, videographer, John Gallimore, and greeters, 2019 Ms. Senior Davie County, Diane Koeval, and 2018 Ms. Senior Davie County, Roni Barney.

“Thank you to the community for supporting Senior Center Month by Discovering Yours,” she said.

To learn more, call 336-753-6230.