The excitement was high after the eight contestants completed their evening gown and philosophy of life segments at the Ms. Senior D.C. Pageant 2019, everyone wondering who would be crowned, and all having their favorites. Ultimately the decision rested with the panel of judges for the crowned winner and runners-up, while Ms. Con­geniality is chosen by the contestants. The MC Steppers performed their final number, a medley of Aretha Franklin songs that included “I Will Survive,” “Freeway of Love,” “Deeper Love” and “Angel.” Emcee Carroll C. Hynson called all the contestants to the stage one by one, the envelopes were opened and after a drum roll, the win­ner — Trinette Chase — was crowned!

“This has been one of the greatest highlights of my life,” said the 68-year-old mother of six after her crowning. The creative artist and community ac­tivist also sews and makes handmade quilts and dolls, which she displayed during her talent segment. Best Inter­view was also awarded to Chase, who is active in her community.

Mayor Muriel Bowser provided greetings during the event and pre­sented Phyllis Jordan, Ms. Senior D.C. 2018, with flowers after she com­pleted her farewell address and final walk. The Mayor also took photos with each of the contestants wishing them the best in the contest.

First Runner-up was Vanella Jackson-Crawford, who also won for Best Evening Gown, wearing a stunning black flared fishtail gown with a V-neck, trimmed with three rows of rhinestones. She also won Best Talent and performed a comedy skit on growing older.

She is a former businesswoman and a social worker who has worked in the field of mental health. In addition, she trained in personal fitness, was a two-time bodybuilder trophy winner, and studied comedy.

Second Runner-up and Best Salesper­son was Olimpia Lopez, a native of Guatemala, who made it her mission to live the American Dream. A political ac­tivist, she has worked in the government in the Office of Latino Affairs, and cur­rently works at the Department of Parks and Recreation. Besides getting out the vote, Olimpia works with families in cases of abuse and homelessness.

The contestants voted Trayci Dar­lene Campbell as Ms. Congeniality be­cause of her interaction with other con­testants during the pageant process. Other contestants included Shirley Powell Ricks, Cynthia Gayle Reddick, Deborah Clark and Sheila Austin-Jones. Each of the contestants shared their elegance, poise, talents and sto­ries during the contest, which rates them on a personal interview with the judges, their philosophy of life, talent and evening gown presentations.

Ms. Senior D.C. and her court will travel to Atlantic City, NJ from October 21 to 25, where she will compete for the title of Ms. Senior America 2019. If anyone is interested in supporting Ms. Senior D.C. as she competes in the Ms. Senior America Pageant, you may call Delores Powers or Monica Carroll at 202-635-1900.

The Senior America Pageant is in its 40th year of highlighting the age of el­egance of the mature women of Ameri­ca. The reigning Ms. Senior America is Gayle Novak from Colorado. Each year, nearly 40 women from across the country compete for the chance to serve as Ms. Senior America. The Executive Director of Senior America Robin Milne, the National Pageant Director Kathryn Fanelli, National Contestant Chairperson Annmarie Pittman and National Senior Alumni Association Secretary Fran Owens were in attendance.

The Ms. Senior D.C. Pageant is pre­sented by the D.C. Department of Aging and Community Living, its Sen­ior Service Network and the D.C. Sen­iors Cameo Club.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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