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Meeting Ms. Hopkins County Senior…Contestants 3,4 and 5

This is the second of four reports on the interesting women competing for the title of 2018 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic. The contestants represent women age 60 and older who live, work and volunteer in Hopkins County. Reports are taken from interviews between the ten contestants and Enola Gay on the KSST Morning Show during the week of May 29-June 1, 2018. The public is invited to attend the Pageant on Saturday June 9 at 6 pm in the banquet hall of the Civic Center in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

2018 Contestants Linda Barrett, Valerie Ross and Venda Wright

Linda Barrett is rather new to Sulphur Springs, and she was urged by her aunt Beth Barrett to enter the Pageant. Linda has much to give to others through her volunteer work at Seniors Center activities and at nursing homes she visits. During her at-home hours, she often writes and mails letters of encouragement to friends and others she meets. She also enjoys playing Bingo and Bunco with friends. Linda graduated from the University of Texas and her career was in HR. Her talent presentation will be a reading of an inspirational letter taken from Guideposts for Living. This 63-year-old feels that caring about others is an important aspect for happiness.

Valerie Ross is also a newcomer to Hopkins County, moving here from the Corsicana area about 5 years ago. Valerie definitely “stepped out of her comfort zone” when she first entered the Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant in 2015. Though shy, her first talent presentation was a demonstration of a sewing project. Last year, she sang a war-era song in honor of her grandfather. For this pageant, the 63-year-old plans to do a Roaring 20’s skit and dance! Valerie loves sewing, gardening and crafts. She has conducted a Crafts class at Rock Creek Health and Rehab in Sulphur Springs, and feels that hands-on sharing is a worthwhile way to volunteer your skills and time to others.

Venda Wright is possibly the youngest contestant, as she has just turned 60 years old. She said she couldn’t wait to become eligible to enter the Pageant! Venda has a busy life with her husband Terry Wright, her children and grandchildren. She also works in the community, cooking for fundraisers and for her church, Evening Chapel CME and for New Beginnings in Cooper, Texas where she volunteers. Homecooking is a big part of her life.  As a child, she stood on a chair and learned by watching her grandmother and her mother. She always wanted to help, and gradually was given more and more opportunity to develop her skills in the kitchen. By the time she was 10 years old, she could bake a better cake than her mom! Today, she loves turning out country meals, cakes and pies prepared in the traditional ways, but always keeps an eye out for the best of newer recipes. Singing is also a big part of Venda’s life, and she will present an inspirational song during the talent portion of the Pageant.

Author: Enola Gay

Has enjoyed working for KSST since 1989. Hosts the Good Morning Show with Enola Gay on weekday mornings from 6-9am, so 'start your day with Enola Gay'! Guest interviews during the Morning Show can also be seen in playback on Cable Channel 18 TV. Along with local country music fan Benny Potter, co-produces 1230 West, a Country and Western Swing radio show which airs weekly on Saturdays from 7-8am and repeats on Thursdays from 7-8pm. Also writes "At the Corral Gate", a column appearing weekly in The Millennium Shopper and in the Lifestyles section of

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