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Ms. Senior Golden Years contestants meet Pahrump community

The 2018 Ms. Senior Golden Years USA Pageant is right around the corner and the six lovely contestants have been busy getting to know the community ahead of the show.

The group hosted a Meet and Greet earlier this month at the Artesia Clubhouse, where a packed venue welcomed the pageant participants along with all of their new Ms. Senior Golden Years friends.

This year marks the 15th for the senior ladies’ pageant, which gives women who have reached the golden age of 60 years or better a chance to shine in the spotlight and prove that age makes no difference when a person is willing to keep themselves active.

Proof of this very concept can be seen in the organization’s founder, B.J. Hetrick-Irwin, who will be turning 93 this June and is still as sassy as can be. She is a driving force behind the Ms. Senior Golden Years organization, encouraging her ladies to always put their best foot forward and dedicate themselves to bettering the community.

As a nonprofit with charitable goals, the Ms. Senior Golden Years girls used the Meet and Greet as a method of introducing the contestants, as well as raising donations for Pahrump area organizations. A focus lately has been on animal needs, with recent beneficiaries including local shelters such as West Star Ranch Animal Rescue, Desert Haven Animal Society and PAWS.

“I want to thank the people who remembered our animals and brought in all this wonderful stuff tonight!” Hetrick-Irwin told the crowd on May 18, which responded with a rousing round of applause.

Once all of the entertainment and excitement of the Meet and Greet settled down that evening, the pageant contestants were rounded up for interviews with the local media. Though some were smiling shyly at first, they were bubbling over with enthusiasm not just for the experience of being in the pageant but also for the organization as a whole.

Contestant No. 1 is Sharon Crisp, a ballroom dancer who wants to use her talents to help raise diabetic awareness.

“We have so many people with diabetes nowadays and it is a devastating disease,” Crisp said of her platform. “And one of the best things you can do to help with diabetes, other than seeing your doctor and taking your medications, is exercise. One of the best exercises, I have found, is ballroom dancing.” Crisp said her mission is to teach seniors how to ballroom dance and she has already started classes at the Pahrump Senior Center in pursuit of that goal.

Contestant No. 2 is Mary McRory. “I am so excited to be in this year’s pageant, it’s really going to be a good show because we are showcasing all of our talents! And we each have platforms that we want to share with the community. Mine is teaching Zumba,” McRory said. “It’s a Latin dance-based fitness class. I have all levels in my class, including a lot of seniors. So I hope to motivate them to keep moving because there are a lot of health benefits.”

Pamela Raneri is contestant No. 3 and her platform is blood drives, as she herself has a blood disease and she understands how important blood availability can be. “I have been in Pahrump for 13 years and this is my second time around for the pageant,” Raneri detailed. “I did it in 2012 and had so much fun I decided, why not do it again? And what a wonderful bunch of ladies I am working with this year. It’s going to be a great pageant, everyone will have the best show if they come, so please do!”

Contestant No. 4 is Autum Casterline, whose platform is helping people get out their inner child. “I facilitate a creative movement class where you move to the music at your own beat,” Casterline said. “You are really in for a great show! Make sure you get your tickets, you don’t want to miss this!”

Competing as contestant No. 5 is Jo Anna Sterley. Her focus for her platform is spiritual counseling. She too raved about her fellow contestants and encouraged the community to support the organization by attending the 2018 pageant. “You go to Las Vegas and pay $100 for a show. You only pay $15 for this show and it is going to knock you out!” Sterley said brightly. “The talent is unbelievable and the girls are beautiful!”

The final contestant for the 2018 Ms. Senior Golden Years USA Pageant is No. 6, Teri Rogers, who played the mysterious, stating that if people wished to learn about her unique platform, they would have to attend the show.

“I am doing this pageant for a number of reasons. Two of the most important are, I really want to be able to make a contribution to an organization that has inspired me for so many years …” Rogers explained. “Also, I believe at this age, everyone has an amazing story to tell and there is so much undiscovered talent out there. So if I can inspire someone to find the voice to tell their story or to go out and try something different, then hopefully I will feel that I have fulfilled my purpose.”

For more information on the Ms. Senior Golden Years USA organization contact Hetrick-Irwin at 775-727-7011.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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