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May 27, 2011

Who will win the annual Miss Y Pageant?

The annual Miss Y Pageant is coming up this Saturday night. It’s an annual event that brings senior contestants to the stage to show that they are still vibrant and talented. The pageant also attracts a big audience each year and is a major fundraiser for the Y.W.C.A. Seven contestants have been working hard to be fully prepared when they grace the stage at Bird’s Isle and News Five’s Andrea Polanco met them at Thursday’s practice session.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

This weekend the staging of the seventeenth annual Miss Y pageant will come alive with seven ‘seenagers’ who will take to the stage in an evening of elegance and timeless beauty. Organizer, Birdie Francis, says that we can expect a pageant filled with excitement:

Birdie Francis

Birdie Francis

“They are going to be performing for you in talent, in visual poise and in chit chat. Our team for the pageant is crime is not the way because we do know that crime pays. So we switch it around to crime is not the way and they each have a message for the audience about crime and what we should do to make sure that we can get rid of some of this. They will be doing an opening number to I am alive. So they are really pumped and ready to give it all they got. And these seniors, they are so energetic and so charismatic I think everybody will have a wonderful, a great time—it’s just really, really a good upbeat crowd we have this time.”

Today we caught up with some of the contestants practicing for their big night on the stage.

Lorna Theus

Lorna Theus: Miss Y Contestant

“Good night ladies and gentlemen, my name is Lorna Theus. I am sixty-two years young. I am a mother of three and a grandmother of eight. My hobbies are singing and dancing. My message to you—if you do the crime, you will do the time.”

Evadne Welch: Miss Y Contestant

Evadne Welch

“Good night ladies and gentlemen, my name is Evadne Welch. I am seventy years young. I’m a proud mother of ten children—five girls, five boys—twenty-eight grandchildren—eleven granddaughter and seventeen grandsons; twelve great grand. My hobbies are socializing, cooking and traveling. My message to you tonight is murder is against humanity. Crime is not the way.”

Francis says that the pageant seeks to empower senior ladies while they give back to the community.

Birdie Francis

“Most of all they are an ambassador for the Y and they go to different community functions and they speak. The lady that we have right now, Misses Olga Cook, she’s a hairdresser and a nail technician. So she volunteers here at the Y to help the girls. She’s also worked the mentally ill before, so I think she volunteers at hospitals and things like that. We’re asking everybody to come out. This money goes to the helping early leavers program which are the girls who come here Y for skills program so that they can support themselves when they are finished with the program. So we are asking everybody to say that we can count on them because the money is for a very worthy cause.”

Eleanor Stanford

Three of the ladies vying for the crown this weekend told us that they have always wanted to be a part of the pageant and on Saturday night they will wow the crowd.

Eleanor Stanford, Miss Y Contestant

“I say to myself long time ago, when I reach sixty years young, I will try Miss Y pageant because I think I still have some spunk in me to go there.”

Andrea Polanco

“So come Saturday night we can expect big and good things from you?”

Eleanor Stanford

“Yes man, yes man, the whole ah Belize will see me in action.”

Andrea Polanco

“So tell me you have any lee thing special, any kinda thing we could look out for this weekend?”

Eleanor Stanford

“Yes, one thing, I’ll be playing my harmonica.”

Andrea Polanco

“Why you decide fi come ina this pageant?

Marie Jones

Marie Jones, Miss Y Contestant

“Oh Miss Y dah fi we young people. Every moment of this pageant measn a lot to me because you get to socialize with people your age, socialize, you know a lot fo nice events. So I decide Miss Claudette shub me yah.”

Andrea Polanco

“So weh special talent you wah show this weekend?”

Marie Jones

“Well darling, I wah give they with Strawberry Wine. I dah wah karaoke singer and ah love music.”

Evadne Welch

Linda Augustine, Miss Y Contestant

“This pageant is gonna be a splendicious pageant that’s why I call for the people so that they can come and enjoy themselves.”

Andrea Polanco

“So weh you wah bring to dah stage Saturday night?”

Linda Augustine

“Well I’ll be reciting a poem about a man by the name of Henry Longfellow.”

Andrea Polanco

“So you;ve been practicing this poem for quite a while so when Saturday night you wah do it to perfection.”

Linda Augustine

“I knew this poem at the age of twelve when I was in standard six, forty-nine years ago and I still remember it.”

Reigning Miss Y, Olga Cook says she believes the contestants are able to take up the Miss Y crown:

Olga Cook

Olga Cook: MISS Y 2009-2010

“What this program did to me: it build up my self esteem, it make me confident, it make me an approachable person, communications skills got better and everything and I think they could do that. These seenagers, they are wonderful, they have so much life in them. They are excited, they just blooming and I think they will do a good job if any one of them become Miss Y—they will do a good job.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

Saturday night’s pageant is the last of a series of events in celebration of the Y.W.C.A.’s fifty-fifth anniversary.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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