We had a celebrity in our midst at our May GaGa Sisterhood meeting — Kathleen Keating, recently crowned Ms. New York Senior America 2011. Kathi attended the meeting with her sister, Judy, who is a member.
Kathi competed for the Crown along with nine other contestants on April 3, 2011. In 2009, a friend saw an ad for the Pageant and encouraged Kathi to enter. After coming in second runner-up in 2009, she decided to compete again this year.
The Pageant’s philosophy is based upon the belief that seniors are the foundation of America and can inspire the younger generation to build a better society with their knowledge, experience and resources. The judging is comprised of four segments: the interview, evening gown, philosophy of life, and talent.
The interview is one of the most important aspects of the pageant and provides the judges with the opportunity to meet the contestants individually. During this personal interview the judges have a chance to select a woman whose charm, personality, and conversational ability meet the ideals of Ms. Senior America.
Kathi believes that today’s young women are consumed with the fear of aging and many have poor self-image. Unrealistic attitudes regarding aging cause many young women to go to extreme measures to try to halt this natural progression. She believes this Pageant demonstrates that aging is nothing to be feared, but rather to be embraced. Her message to younger women is:
Don’t fear aging. Look forward to the adventures of life and the fun yet to be had. Today’s women are more physically fit, well informed and more self-assured than any prior generation. As vibrant members of society, we look upon ourselves as women with a voice who can inspire and motivate younger generations to be confident and to embrace all that life has to offer.
Kathi’s main focus in life is her family. She has three sons who have presented her with three granddaughters and three grandsons. The next grandchild, due in June, will be the “tie breaker” and a surprise whether it’s a boy or girl.
The Pageant was the most exciting time of Kathi’s life. She spent most of the year prior to the Pageant rehearsing her dance routine, choreographed to “Do You Love Me?” from the movie, Dirty Dancing, shopping for just the right evening gown, searching for a dance costume, and practicing her “philosophy of life” speech. She made many new friends and socialized with the group at luncheons, fashion shows, and performances.
The Ms. New York Senior America Pageant was founded 30 years ago to emphasize and give honor to women who have reached the “Age of Elegance” and are sixty years of age or over. Kathi will represent New York State at the national pageant, Ms. Senior America, which will be held this October in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
This Pageant is not just queen for a day, but for the entire year. As Ms. New York Senior America, Kathi commits time to speaking engagements, talent shows and personal appearances. The Ms. New York Senior Pageant honors the gracious woman who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior women.
On a personal note, I wish Kathi the best of luck. I know she’s going to do very well. She is a gracious and genuine woman who makes a wonderful ambassador for women over 60 and of course, grandmothers, too.
Watch Kathi’s crowning moment on YouTube