Beauty queens want Ms. Missouri Nursing Home crown
BY HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Nell Shepherd was past her century mark when she competed in her first beauty pageant with a walker and lively stories that made judges tear up with laughter. She reveled in the shows, so much that she insisted she be buried with her sparkling tiara.
“We bawled, my staff, when we heard that” request, said Carla Lungren, co-chairwoman of the Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Pageant, which plans to crown its 29th annual champion Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City.
Lungren and other organizers of the three-tiered, statewide competition say Shepherd’s request epitomizes why such pageants are so important.
“That’s totally why we do what we do everyday in long-term care,” said Lungren, who works with the Missouri Health Care Association. “To touch people’s lives and make them meaningful until the very end. Nell’s was. There’s no doubt about it.”
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