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Ms. Hopkins County Senior Pageant Contestants Elizabeth Wilburn, Marjean Allen & Mary Ellis

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KSST’s Faith Huffman recently sat down with the 2022 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant contestants in groups of three to help the community get to know these vibrant, engaging beauties a little better and whet appetites for this weekend’s contest. And, 2021 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Wilma Thompson also graciously stopped by for a chat about her experiences this year.

The interviews have been broadcast over the past 2 weeks on The Morning Show and on Suddenlink Channel 18. Interviews and information provided about each of the 12 contestants will also will be posted, by interview group, on KSSTraido.com.

2022 Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic contestants Elizabeth Wilburn, Marjean Allen and Mary Ellis

The Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant will begin at 6 p.m. this Saturday, June 4, 2022, at Hopkins County Civic Center. There’s no entrance fee to attend, just a desire to support the 12 contestants as they shine.

Those who wish may purchase tickets for a 50/50 raffle. Half of the funds from ticket sales will go to the lady crowned 2022 Ms. Hopkins County Senior to help her pay for expenses as she advances to the state pageant. Tickets are available in advance from any contestant or the Senior Citizens Center, or may be purchased at the door before the pageant. The other half of the money will go to the winning ticketholder. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Marjean Allen

Marjean Allen has two children, a 45-year-old daughter and 16-year-old daughter. Both she said are good kids, who do well. Allen said she adopted her youngest when she was 26 days old, and she has recently made varsity Blue Blazes, is a makes straight A student who plans to one day become an attorney. She also has four stepchildren, who together have 30 children. Holiday family gatherings are usually spent together at one of the children’s large homes.

Marjean Allen

The 68-year-old does a lot of volunteer work at the Hopkins County AgriLife Extension Service, where she said many volunteers are needed for the various programs the Extension Agents host. She noted she especially enjoys helping with Hopkins County 4-H.

She is also a Garden Club and a member of First Baptist Church – Sulphur Springs, a great church which she loves.

She is a painter and enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, quilting, crafts, ceramics and photography. She loves to read, and since she has retired has been able to enjoy reading a lot more. She visits the Senior Center, noting that Program Director Karon Weatherman is “so friendly and caring.”

When she gets bored at home, she sometimes goes to the Senior Citizens Center just to sit and talk with people.

This is Allen’s second year to compete in the Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant. She said it provides an opportunity for participants to meet some really special people.

Last year, she showed some of her paintings. This year, she plans for the talent contest to show off some of her beautiful handmade note cards, which she sells for $3-$4 each.

Allen said the pageant is a lot of fun and invites everyone to “come out and watch us” at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 4, 2022, at Hopkins County Civic Center.

Mary Ellis

Mary Ellis has just returned to Sulphur Springs, with her new husband, after living elsewhere for 50 years. She said she born and raised in Sulphur Springs, one of 13 children, of which eight sisters are still living along with three brothers.

Among the values instilled in them by her parents was staying in school and continuing their education, because they would have to go to work after they finished school. “What I’ve learned are the things I’ve seen my parents do,” Ellis said. “I’m grateful for the values. My father was Rev. Ralph Williams and my mother was Lily Mae.”

Mary Ellis

She graduated high school on a Friday, and moved to Dallas on a Saturday in order to start classes in Dallas on Monday. She worked in Dallas at AT&T for 17 years, then was transferred to St. Louis, where she remained for 38 years. During that time, she married and had three children. Her daughters are now 47 and 44 and her son is 41. She also had three grandsons who are ages 24, 4 and 2.

After a 50 year absence, Ellis said many of the people she previously knew in Sulphur Springs are not longer here. The 68-year-old said she previously lived in a senior village and collaborated a lot with the seniors and developed a passion for helping and making sure all of their needs were met. So, she visited the Senior Citizens Center to meet more people and become more involved.

“I was always busy in St. Louis. That was hard when I moved her because I didn’t really know anyone. So, I said, let me go to the senior village. It may have someone there who needs to be encouraged. So, that’s why I went there, and learned how to play BINGO,” Ellis said with a laugh. “There’s a lot of activity and I’m really excited about hte experience. I encourage anyone to bring your relatives there. They don’t have to sit home and be lonely. I’m learning people, and every opportunity I get I try to encourage them to come on out.”

One of the people she met at Sulphur Springs Senior Citizens Center was Program and Marketing Director Karon Weatherman.

“This is an opportunity I never imagined experiencing. I’ve done it with my daughters, but when I was asked to participate. You couldn’t say no, the way Karon was so encouraging,” Ellis said.

So, when Weatherman told her her about the pageant and asked her to participating, Ellis said she couldn’t say no. So far, her involvement as a pageant contestant as has been a really great experience.

Ellis says she loves to sing, which she did in the high school choir. She said “anything pretty, that’s what I like to do.” She’s also a professional seamstress and a beauty consultant. She said she likes looking pretty and wants to help others look pretty too.

Elizabeth Wilburn

Elizabeth Wilburn said she is always looking for ways to give people a helping and and loves to care for her family, which includes her wonderful husband; June 16, 2022, will be their 55th wedding anniversary. Her family’s commitment to helping others is evident in their career choices. Her son is a shift captain for Hopkins County EMS, and her daughter is an RN. She also has one grandson who is a paramedic.

Elizabeth Wliburn

The 74-year-old likes traveling and has been to Cancun and St. Lucas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Las Vegas, and said seeing the Grand Canyon was neat. Her bucket list includes visiting Alaska in the summer time, when its not so cold.

She also loves watching birds, often feeding them in her yard. She also likes photography and exercising to keep herself healthy.

Wilburn said she loves going to the senior Citizens Center, and praises the wonderful Program and Marketing Director Karon Weatherman for doing a great job. There are many things going on at the Senior Center that Weatherman prints a monthly packet so the seniors don’t miss anything.

This will be Wilburn’s third year to compete in the Ms. Hopkins County Senior Classic Pageant. She said says participating in the pageant is lots of fun, not only does it provide an opportunity to meet lots of people, it also allows participants to display talents others may not know about. She can’t wait for this year’s fun.

She said she likes to laugh and plans this year to tell jokes for the talent portion of the contest. If anyone has some good knock-knock jokes, she’s got always got room in her repertoire for a more humor.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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