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GALLERY: Meet the sensational 6 competing for Ms. Senior Golden Years

The Ms. Senior Golden Years Pageant is just two weeks away and it’s time to introduce the community to the six sensational ladies who will compete this year.

Scheduled for Saturday, June 15, the Ms. Senior Golden Years Pageant is a longstanding event started by Pahrump resident B.J. Hetrick-Irwin over two decades ago exclusively for women ages 60 or better. Hetrick-Irwin, who will turn 99 years young in June, said she is excited for the return of the pageant, which will have a theme hand-picked by Hetrick-Irwin herself.

“For 2024, our theme is going to be ‘Impossible Dream.’ I love that song,” Hetrick-Irwin told the Pahrump Valley Times. “I was in the car one day, it came on the radio and it just hit me. I thought, that’s it, that’s our theme! We’re definitely all excited.”

Contestant No. 1 Maria Trzcinski

Contestant No. 1 is Maria Trzcinski, who found herself in the pageant as a result of her involvement in another area organization.

“I dance with a local group and the head of that group invited me to the Victorian Tea that Ms. Senior Golden Years holds every year. Well, I went, I took an application and here I am,” a bubbly Trzcinski said. “It’s really been a lot of fun, we’re all very helpful to each other and the ladies are all just fantastic.”

Contestant No. 2 Teresa Ochoa

Contestant No.2 is Teresa Jose Ochoa, a close friend and neighbor of Elli Wilshusen, who reigned as Ms. Senior Golden Years Queen in 2022. Wilshusen ended up inviting Ochoa to the Victorian Tea, which acts as a recruiting tool for the pageant.

“I didn’t know that one of the reasons for hosting the tea party was to see who would be interested in becoming one of the contestants for 2024,” Ochoa told the Times. “So after being introduced to B.J. I decided to apply. That same night, with my husband’s approval and support, I sent in the application. The experience has been amazing. It’s been the open door to meet new friends and learn more about the Pahrump community and how I can benefit this peaceful rural town with my ideas and skills.”

Contestant No. 3 Peggy Sue Fletcher

Contestant No. 3 is Peggy Sue Fletcher, who said she was drawn into the pageant after having attended last year’s event and experiencing a surge of creative enthusiasm as a result.

“Watching that pageant, they had inspired me so much that I had gone home and turned a lullaby that I had already started for my baby granddaughter into a song for them as well as for my granddaughter, called Burning Light. When I went to perform the song for them, B.J. decided to enter me into the pageant! So I will definitely be doing that for my talent. And the truly extraordinary thing is, B.J. also called a music producer she knows who is now working with me! So I feel very, very blessed.”

Contestant No. 4 Laura Horn

Contestant No. 4 is Laura Horn, who knows exactly what to expect in her journey, as this will be her second time competing in the pageant. Her first soiree with the Golden Years group was in 2021, when she took home the title for Best Vintage Bathing Suit, and she’s been an active part of the organization ever since.

“My kids talked me into doing the pageant again,” Horn said with a big smile. “And I am having a wonderful time, which is the whole point. It’s really a sisterhood, this group, it’s great.”

Contestant No. 5 Debbie Forrest

Contestant No. 5 is Debbie Forrest, who, along with her husband, is typically a snowbird. However, this year the couple decided to stay in Pahrump, clearing the way for Forrest to step into the role of contestant, a role that requires months of preparation.

“I know several people who have been in the pageant in the past and I’m also a Silver Tapper, this is my fourth year in that organization,” Forrest remarked. “So I know it’s going to be fun!”

Contestant No. 6 Star Stewart

Contestant No. 6 is Star Stewart, who started with the Silver Tappers as well, where she learned more about the pageant and ultimately decided to jump on board.

“This is really a bookend for me,” Stewart remarked with evident enthusiasm. “I was in the very first two Miss Pahrump Pageants, in 1976 and 1977. I didn’t place or anything but I had a lot of fun. Now I can do the senior portion and have more fun! It’s been a great experience already and I’ve discovered that between the pageant and the Silver Tappers, it’s opened up a whole world for me.”

Each of these lovely ladies will be given their chance to shine in the spotlight during the upcoming Ms. Senior Golden Years Pageant, set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 inside the Saddle West Showroom.

For more information or to see if there are any tickets to the pageant remaining call 775-727-7011 or talk to any Ms. Senior Golden Years member.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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