Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
A group of past and present "Mrs. Senior Georgia" queens, including Jonesboro resident Cindy Day, the current holder of the title, are on a mission.
Participation in the Mrs. Senior Georgia pageant, which is a beauty pageant for women over the age of 60, has been lacking in the number of contestants from across the state in recent years, according to Day. She said that two years ago, for example, the state pageant drew a field of approximately 15 contestants.
Day added that figure pales in comparison to other places, such as New York state, where the competition field typically exceeds 80 seniors, or California, which she said draws so many contestants that six qualifying rounds are needed to get a manageable field at the state pageant. In neighboring Alabama, a system of regional qualifiers yields a field of 20 contestants at the state pageant.
So, Day hosted several former Mrs. Senior Georgias, and the reigning Mrs. Senior Alabama, Brenda Emory, at her Jonesboro home on Saturday, as they worked on developing a plan for regional qualifying pageants to build more interest for the Mrs. Senior Georgia pageant. The plan, she said for herself and 19 former Mrs. Senior Georgia queens, is to establish a total of 20 regional pageants.
"We really want to put Georgia on the map at the national level, by getting more people interested in our state's pageant," said Day, during an interview on Monday.
One of the new local pageants, according to Day, would be held in Clayton County, since Day is a resident of the county as well as the reigning Mrs. Senior Georgia. She added that while a local pageant would be held in Clayton County, the competition field would be open to seniors living in the county's neighboring communities, such as Henry, Fayette and Coweta counties.
Day said she is still looking for a facility in the county to hold this area's pageant. "I'm hoping it will be [held] sometime in May," she said. That would be just a couple of months before the 2011 Mrs. Senior Georgia Pageant, which she said is scheduled to be held in July. The Mrs. Senior Georgia pageant is a state qualifier for the annual, nationwide Mrs. Senior America pageant. Day finished in the Top 10 at the national pageant last year.
"We really need much more publicity and participation in [Georgia]," Day explained in written notes, on the need for qualifying pageants in Georgia. "It is a wonderful thing to be a part of something so exciting at our ages. How many 60 [plus] ladies get dressed up like [they're] going to the prom?
"This is the age of eloquence," Day added. "Let the younger generation take note of what we have done, all that we have accomplished, and benefit from our life experiences."
Day said anyone interested in helping out with a Clayton County-based qualifying pageant, or in being a contestant, should call her at (770) 472-7477.