89°F
weather icon Clear

Ms. Senior Golden Years 2017 crowned in Pahrump

Pahrump resident Maryellen Swarowski is the 2017 Ms. Senior Golden Years USA Pageant winner.

The retired American Airlines employee is the mother of one daughter, a stepson and four grandchildren.

Swarowski arrived in Pahrump nearly two years ago from Tucson, Arizona.

The event, held at the Saddle West resort on Saturday evening, saw a combined six contestants vying for the title this year, in categories ranging from the interview, the talent portion, evening gown/stage presence, platform and bathing suit.

“This whole thing has been a wonderful experience and it’s not something I ever felt that I would do,” Swarowski said following her crowning. “I have grown and I have done things that I never thought I would do. Things that were so far out of my comfort zone, that I couldn’t even see them anymore.”

Early detection platform

Swarowski also talked about her platform, which she believes saved her life.

“As I said in my platform, a routine mammogram caught a very, very, early stage of cancer,” she recalled. “One that would have normally been aggressive had it been detected any later. I was one of those ladies who put it off for a few years. By the grace of God, something made me go.”

As a result, Swarowski said she wants women in rural communities to also have access to mammograms, by way of mammovans.

She also spoke about the high cost of health care.

“It is hard because everything is so expensive if you don’t have insurance,” she said. “Nevada Health Services provides for underserved communities to make sure the word gets out there. It doesn’t do any good if the mammovan is here when nobody knows it’s here. I want to make sure the word gets out there. When you’re a single woman, many times there’s just not enough money to cover all of the procedures.”

Early risers

Additionally, Swarowski spoke of the challenges of being a pageant contestant.

“This was amazing and fun, but it was also stressful,” she said. “We all had to be here at 7 a.m. For retired ladies, that’s really early. This whole experience was just amazing.”

Unexpected award

At least one additional lady was recognized for her hard work and devotion to the pageant over the years.

KPVM News Director and Anchor Deanna O’Donnell was bestowed the Sally La Rocca Courage Award, by pageant President and Executive Director B.J. Hetrick-Irwin.

La Rocca, who passed away Feb. 7, 2008, was a pastoral minister and Eucharistic minister who gave communion to the homebound and those in rehabilitation facilities.

Per her obituary, La Rocca was in the business of prayers and was a third-generation Franciscan.

O’Donnell was overcome with emotion upon learning of her award.

“I am honored, completely surprised and humbled by the Sally La Rocca Courage Award that I was presented, during the Ms. Senior Golden Years Pageant, by BJ Hetrick-Irwin,” she said. “The standing ovation made me cry. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
IN SEASON: Okra, a southern favorite for your western garden

Okra may be considered a staple crop in the American South, but it also grows very well in our hot dry climate. As a member of the mallow family, it puts on a stunning display of delicate yellow flowers.

Nevada celebrates Buffalo Soldiers Day for second year

The Second Annual Buffalo Soldiers Day in Nevada was celebrated Tuesday at an event hosted by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services honoring Nevada’s African-American veterans and the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Pahrump fall baseball meeting set for Aug. 4

There will be a mandatory fall club baseball meeting for 16-and-under and 18-and-under teams at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 at Ian Deutch Field No. 1.

Musial is top winner at Pahrump Valley Tournament Bowling Club event

Charity Musial captured Division A of the Certified “Whoops” Singles, the Handicap Side Pot and the Scratch Side Pot, pocketing $125 to leave as the big winner at the Pahrump Valley Tournament Bowling Club’s July 25 event at the Pahrump Nugget Bowling Center.

Swain wins Shade Tree Open, teams with Jacobs at Firecracker in Pahrump

Bob Swain of Bullhead City, Arizona used an overwhelming edge in ringers to overcome a 54-point differential and go undefeated in Class A to win the Shade Tree Open horseshoes tournament on July 18 at Petrack Park in Pahrump.