HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The 2019 Ms. Senior Cullman County Pageant took place Saturday at the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre on the campus of Wallace State Community College, where 10 women, ages 60 and older, took the stage, supported by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Phyllis Hain was crowned Ms. Senior Cullman County 2019. She will be compete in July for the title of Ms. Senior Alabama.
Coordinated by the Cullman County Commission on Aging, this year’s pageant was emceed by Miss Alabama 2018, Callie Walker, who recently earned a top 10 finish at the Miss America Pageant. Assisting Walker was the reigning Ms. Senior Cullman County and Ms. Senior Alabama, Donna Harris, who will be competing this summer in Las Vegas for the national title.
Getting the crowd pumped up was local favorite, “Cullman’s Finest.” Perhaps the greatest dancing group in all of Cullman, “Cullman’s Finest” includes Cullman County Revenue Commissioner Barry Willingham, Cullman County Commissioner Gary “Twinkle Toes” Marchman, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Clayton Drew, Lt. Doug Duke, Deputy SRO Chad Whaley, Deputy SRO Jarod Hopper, Sgt. Joey Collier and Chase Mosely. The group brought down the house with their routine, featuring “Crank That” by Soulja Boy.
The men helped introduce the real stars of the pageant by escorting the contestants to the stage. The ladies donned red, white and blue and danced to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
The talent portion of the pageant was the first, with Karen Knight performing a beautiful light dance to “Let it Go.” The ladies showcased a variety of talents including dramatic readings, singing, strength training and dancing. Hazel Goodwin had the auditorium laughing with her comedy skit.
The Factory Dance Company and Bailee the Ventriloquist, a crowd favorite at the For Kids’ Sake Variety Show back in February, entertained between the talent and evening gown portions of the pageant.
Commission on Aging board members were recognized for their hard work throughout the year. Doris Patterson was given special recognition for her many years of dedication. Tiffany Collins also received a special gift of appreciation. She, along with her late husband, Tim Collins, have been dedicated supporters. This year’s pageant was also dedicated in loving memory of Tim Collins and Janice Simmons.
Former pageant winners as well as the current Ms. Senior USA and Ms. Senior Universe were also recognized.
With the contestants ready in their most beautiful gowns, each was asked to give a brief “Life Philosophy.”
The evening gown portion gave each lady one last chance to wow the judges. As each contestant took to the stage, Walker and Harris read biographies including accomplishments, family life, hobbies and greatest aspects of life since turning 60. Grandchildren seemed to be the common interest shared by all the contestants. The family support was evident by the cheers from the audience.
As the judges’ scores were tallied, the crowd was treated to a revved up performance of “Greased Lightnin’” by the Senior Spirit Kickers. Donning their silver sequined hats and matching “Kickers” shirts, the group electrified the auditorium.
Prior to announcing this year’s winners, Harris took her final walk as Ms. Senior Cullman County 2018. As a special treat she performed Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” on piano.
Faye Harris was all smiles as she was named Miss Congeniality. Harris also won the People’s Choice award.
Third alternate went to Jolene Hammick. Second Alternate was Judy Moon and first alternate was Mary Fortner.
Phyllis Hain was crowned 2019 Ms. Senior Cullman County. She will be compete in July for the title of Ms. Senior Alabama.
After her big win, Hain shared, “I think I’m still in shock. It’s really wonderful and we worked so hard. I’ve never been with a group of women that were any more loving or any more supportive every day. I didn’t hear one cross word and not one catty comment. It was just wonderful.”
As for her upcoming trip to the state competition, Hain laughed, “It might be a rerun.”
Hain stood smiling with her sparkling tiara, sash and arm full of roses and explained, “This is my first one (pageant). I’ve been a horse person, an artist and an author. I did event coordinating, always behind the scenes pushing everybody else to the forefront. This was my first time and I was out of my comfort zone. I am thrilled and I want to do the best I can to represent Cullman County. I love it.”
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