Ms. Joanie Ryan, from Aurora, was crowned Queen at the 29th Annual Ms. Colorado Senior America Pageant which was held at the PARSONS THEATRE at the Northglenn Recreational Center on Sunday, October 9, 2022. Queen Joanie’s court consists of first runner up, Pris Schnell (Elizabeth), and second runner up Ms. Judy Huff (Aurora). Other contestants who competed were Barbara Block-Keller, Liz Ekalo, Jeanne Gormley, and Stephanie Doss Odak. Then Queen Joanie was crowned by the outgoing 2022 Queen and National Ms. Congeniality, Jeanne Nott, from Loveland.
On Sunday, Joanie took the stage singing L.O.V.E by recording artist Nat King Cole and wearing a white fringed gown her late mother wore at her wedding over 30+ years ago. Joanie had an amazing career working as Vice-President for several Fortune 500 companies. She loved helping her clients achieve their goals year after year and increased revenue in record numbers. She is now retired and is loving life. She has been very blessed by God and was given a second chance after surviving Stage 4 lung cancer just 3 years ago (never smoked). Joanie knows that God gave her this new life and she is going to enjoy it each and every day and give-back to others as often as she can.
Queen Joanie’s platform is to support women through the loss of pregnancies, such an extremely difficult time in a woman’s life (and the dad’s life) and Cancer support – “It's a fight like you cannot imagine until you live it!
Competition this year had ladies vying for the title from 62 to 94 years young. Their talent included singing, dancing, humor, monologue, and a skit. The distinguished judges this year were Margaret Chavez (Producer and Director), Robert Nardozza (DanceSport), Kimberly Ghedi (Ms. Texas Senior America 22 and Voice Coach), Joey Santos (Designer and Dancer), and Andra Stecklein ( Dance Coach).
This year the pageant was Co-Emceed by-Michelle Rahn, Ms. Colorado Senior America 2004 and winner of Ms. Senior America 2004, and Linda Holloway, Ms. Colorado Senior America 2008 and co-founder of Bessie’s Hope. Ms. Marla Downer opened the Pageant by singing a heartwarming song, “America Will Always Stand” by Randy Travis.
The pageant’s second act had more than 10 Ragtimers from Colorado perform their Cameo Club favorite “Maple Leaf Rag” Tambourine routine. It was spectacular! Queen Jeanne (2022) then took the stage to deliver her winning senior comedy routine and had the audience in stitches. This spectacular event included a first-time performance by Colorado Cameo Club dancers “The Bella Donnes” in their red sequin dresses along with Cameo Club members on stage dancing to this year’s theme “We Love Being Here with You”. This performance was choreographed by Tina Miller (Miller’s Dance Studio) and under the Direction of Cameo Club member, Joanne Marabito-Harte.
Contestants then graced the stage modeling their beautiful evening gowns with poise and elegance walking the full length of the stage with turns and poses showing themselves to best advance. They also presented their thirty-five second or less Philosophy of Life. After all judging was done, Ms. Texas Senior America 2022, Kimberly Ghedi, graced the stage with her winning performance of “ Think of Me” from the Phantom of the Opera. Then after a presentation of 28 years of Colorado Queens all the contestants returned for the crowning.
This year’s Pageant team included René Green, Colorado State Pageant Administrator/Director, along with her Chairs, Product Manager Carol Swanson - Ms. Colorado Senior America 2009 , Judges Committee Chair and Club President - Yvonne Guzman-Rodriquez, Technical/Talent Development and Club Vice President-Judy Rowe, along with Stage Design – Joanie Ryan, Tambourine Director-Jan Carney (Ms. Colorado Senior America 2002), Trophies – Kathy Saidy, Backstage-Marge Bunkers, Carmen Cavoto, John Swanson and Benito Rodriguez, Judges Committee member - Michele Estrada Guzman Kathy Saidy and Karen Avison, Pianist-Kathleen Zahller, Hair and Makeup-Nancy Pulc and Jan Carney, Photography-Marla Downer, Lobby and Tickets - Annette & Mark Germinario, Carmen Cavoto, DJ Johnson, Cindy Oberdier, Marcia Hodges, and the Colorado Cameo Ladies in our Production Number and Tambourine Presentations.
What an exciting afternoon! This marked the 29th Anniversary of the Annual Pageant, created to give honor to women who have reached the age of elegance, 60+ years of age. The Pageants theme “We Love Being Here with You,” celebrated the tremendous wealth of beauty, talent, and experience that senior woman want to share with their communities and each other.
The Pageant is a charitable organization and Colorado Cameo Club, the supporting arm, performs at various venues throughout the Denver Metro Area. These ladies are to be commended for voluntarily working together to create such a wonderful afternoon of pageantry. To learn more about the current Queen, or to become a contestant for next Pageant visit www.colosramerica.com.
These women exemplify that seniors are the foundation of our nation and an example of what vitality, and a spirit of community can do to help keep America strong.