By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
Local Rita Young Allen is headed to the Ms. Senior America Classic pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 19. She was recently named Ms. Senior Alabama. Forty states will compete in the national pageant.
According to its website, “The Ms. Senior America Pageant is the world’s first and foremost pageant to emphasize and give honor to women who have reached the ‘Age of Elegance.’ It is a search for the gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans. The Ms. Senior America philosophy is based upon the belief that seniors are the foundation of America, and our most valuable treasure. It is upon their knowledge, experience and resources that the younger generation has the opportunity to build a better society.”
Allen was inspired to participate in the pageant because her mother also won the state title of Ms. Senior Alabama.
“I went with her through it, and rather enjoyed it,” said Allen. “So I decided that when I became of an age where I could do it, I just wanted to give it a go. It’s a lot of fun.”
There are four categories in the pageant competition: evening gown, talent, philosophy of life and interview.
Allen, who has been singing since she was 3 years old, intends to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” In her philosophy of life section, she will talk about building bridges and how people must stand in the gap to build bridges, tying back to the song she will perform.
Allen, who helped when her mother was involved in the pageant, will be taking the trip with her own daughter, Christina Reeves.
“My daughter and I are going to drive up, so we are going to make it a big fun road trip,” said Allen. “She’s staying with me and helping me and then we are driving back. It’s going to be more than just a pageant. It’s going to be a great time away for us together. She’s been a real blessing for me to have in preparation.”
Allen also thanks her husband, Philip, for all his support. The couple has been married for 32 years. He owns a tree and stump removal business.
Allen said that she couldn’t have done it without the support of her corporate sponsor Brash, a brow and lash bar in Birmingham. The business is owned by Rene Young, Allen’s sister-in-law. Allen said that she could not have participated in the pageant without her help. Young even accompanied Allen to pick out an evening gown.
Allen has a long list of accomplishments to her name. She has a history in the music industry. She has studied music, and even owned a private performing art center, with some of her student choirs traveling to perform at Carnegie Hall. Allen has released CD’s of her singing in multiple genres. She has also worked in the retirement community, in public relations, in radio, as an inspirational speaker and working with pageants. She has two Master’s degrees. After the pageant she is open to giving private voice lessons.
Allen has even recently published a book titled“Sheaf Dreamer.” The book is influenced by the story of Joseph’s dream about his sheaf standing taller than his brothers’ sheafs. The story follows a fictional character, but the examples are outlined in the story come from Allen’s life. The book details how to interpret dreams based on the Bible.
Allen is considering writing another book on the pageant preparation that she has learned about during this process.
For more information about Allen, visit www.ritaallen.com.