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Marlys Ross crowned 2017 Ms. Senior Cullman County

W.C. Mann

Marlys Ross, 2017 Ms. Senior Cullman County

HANCEVILLE - Marlys Ross was crowned 2017 Ms. Senior Cullman County Saturday at Wallace State Community College’s Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre.

Ross is an active member of Cullman First United Methodist Church and is vice president of the Pilot Club of Cullman.  For the talent competition, she sang “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.

Moments after the title was conferred, Ross said of her experience, “I’m very surprised.  I never thought this would ever happen.  I’ve never been in a pageant before; it’s been great fun!  I’ve met five new friends, and I’m just overwhelmed.”

The contestants were asked to give a brief statement about their philosophies of life.  Ross said, “Each day, when I awake, I thank God for the many blessings that he has given me.  I use the Golden Rule totally as my guide: I treat others the way I would like to be treated.  My parents instilled in me, as I instilled in my son, that I’m no better than anyone else in this world, and that everybody should be shown kindness.  Two words best describe me: humble and kind.”

The other contestants:

Linda Bradford: a domestic violence prevention advocate, church praise leader and Eastern Star officer.  She is a member of the senior citizen planning board. 

Talent: Black History Freedom Grud

Catherine Downs: active at Daystar Church, Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center and the Donald Green Senior Center

Talent: country line dancing

Donna Harris: a clinical instructor in sonography, member of the Society of Medical Sonographers and American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, and a volunteer sonographer at Save a Life

Talent: piano presentation of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”

Jennifer Parker: a relief houseparent for the Pilot Light House, former member of the Cullman Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, singer and children’s choir leader at Ryan’s Creek Baptist Church

Talent: singing and signing (American Sign Language) Dottie Rambo’s “We Shall Behold Him”

Janis Simmons: a former DHR staffperson, volunteer at Calvary Baptist Church and recording artist

Talent: singing “Peace in the Valley”

Before naming the winner, pageant officials and former winners honored Betty Leeth Haynes, for whom the event venue was named.  Haynes was the 1997 Ms. Senior Cullman County and Ms. Senior Alabama.  She has long been active with senior pageant programs, and was named Honorary Ms. Senior America in 2016.

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  • W.C. Mann
    Marlys Ross, 2017 Ms. Senior Cullman County
  • W.C. Mann
    2016 Ms. Senior Cullman County Elaine Willingham presented the title.
  • W.C. Mann
    Ms. Senior Cullman County contestants, L-R: Catherine Downs, Linda Bradford, Jennifer Parker, Marlys Ross, Donna Harris, Janis Simmons