Hargrave crowned Senior Ms. Arkansas
And the winner is...
Judy Hargrave of Rector says she is still finding it hard to believe after being crowned over the weekend as Ms. Senior Arkansas 2010. Hargrave, 63, competed against 20 other ladies in the event, held in Alma.
"It was very exciting," Hargrave said. "I think it's still setting in. I didn't expect to win. Throughout the competition, I felt calm because I didn't think I would win."
Hargrave wowed the judges with not only the required style and grace, but also her performance of a classical rendition of "Jesus Loves Me" on piano. This performance not only helped her in the overall competition, but also resulted in her being awarded Best Talent.
Ms. Senior Arkansas, which is affiliated with Ms. Senior America, is designed to emphasize and honor women who, according to the website,www.senioramerica.org, have reached the "age of elegance." The pageant is designed to place a focus on women who exhibit great dignity, maturity and inner beauty.
Hargrave, who has been the Rector High School choir director for the last 19 years, said she made the decision to take part in the pageant at the urging of her dear friend, Judith Burgess, who was crowned Ms. Senior Arkansas 2008.
Hargrave said when she made the decision, she immediately went to work preparing.
"I spent the past year trying to get me to be the best me I could be," Hargrave said. "I lost 40 pounds. I went to work memorizing my song. Because I don't have a lot of free time, I would spend 30 minutes here and there working on it."
Now she has earned the opportunity to compete in the Ms. Senior America Pageant scheduled for Oct. 3-7 in Atlantic City.
Hargrave currently is seeking sponsors for the event's publication which features each contestant. The more sponsors she can gather, the more pages which will feature her and her Arkansas friends. She is hoping to show the strong support of not only the local community, but also the entire state. At a cost of $250 per page, Hargrave said she is breaking each page down to feature 10 sponsors, cutting the cost to $25 per supporter.
"I'm trying to get as much support as I can, because that just shows the support we have in our community and Arkansas as a whole. When I go, I'll be representing Rector."
Community is important to Hargrave. She introduced herself to the Ms. Senior Arkansas judges by saying, "I'm Judy Hargrave of Rector, home of the Labor Day Picnic where our population increases fourfold for the holiday."
Hargrave wants to thank everyone for their kind words and support. She is especially thankful for her daughter, Cindy, Whitney Conley and Amanda Layer, who made the trip to Alma with her.
"Everyone has been so wonderful," Hargrave said. "I can't tell you how much all the support has meant to me."
Those interested in sponsoring Hargrave may contact her at 870-974-0393. An account also has been established at Liberty Bank.