By Dee Ford Byas
From left, former Senior Ms. New York Jean McCurdy, of Surprise; 2022 Ms. Black Globe
International Queen Lorraine Taylor, of Sun City; contestant, Rose McBride, 85, of
Scottsdale; Reigning 2022 Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant Queen Patricia Person;
contestant, Leyda Herring, 84, of Tucson; contestant, Dale Chanaiwa, 74, of Sun Lakes
City; and contestant, Kim Singletary, 63, of Phoenix.
Group photo of 2023 Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant contestants, back row; and front row,
former pageant winners.
The 2023 Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant will be held 3:30 p.m., June 10, at the
Palm Ridge Recreation Center, 1300 W. Deer Valley Drive in Sun City West, Arizona.
(Photos by Dee Ford Byas)
Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant Queen Patricia Person will relinquish her crown on June 10.
4 Black contestants to compete in Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant
The 2023 Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant will have four Black entrants among 15
contestants competing for the crown on Saturday, June 10. General admission tickets are $25 to see the pageant, which will be held at the Palm Ridge Recreation Center, 1300 W. Deer Valley Drive, Sun City West. Doors open to the public at 3 p.m. The curtain opens at 3:30 p.m. Contestants include Rose McBride, 85, of Scottsdale; Leyda Herring, 84, of Tucson; Dale Chanaiwa, 74, of Sun Lakes City; and Kim Singletary, 63, of Phoenix, who are
adding color to the pageant as they are set to regale the audience not only with their
melanin, but their moves, motivational speeches, talent and more.
The ladies practiced for the pageant at a recent rehearsal held at Palm West
Community Church’s Hoover Hall in Sun City West. They performed in front of the
reigning 2022 Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant Queen Patricia Person, the former Senior Ms.
New York Jean McCurdy, of Surprise, 2022 Ms. Black Globe International Queen
Lorraine Taylor, of Sun City, and other notables from the pageant community.
Contestant McBride is the oldest of the participants. Wearing shimmery pants, she
shook herself in time to the beat of the song, “Celebration,” by Kool & The Gang, during
her dance routine.
“This is a celebration for me and all the older women,” said McBride, adding the
importance of celebrating each day. A couple of the Black contestants credited Person for encouraging them to participate in the pageant. They liked seeing someone who looked like them in a position of influence for the senior community.
“I want you to realize there are a lot of expectations for you as Ms. Senior Arizona,”
said Person as she gave a pep talk to all contestants. “I love the parades, waving at the
people…it’s a lot of responsibilities even if you don’t win. You guys are really good, and
I hope you are up for it.”
She and other previous winners were asked onstage during rehearsals to show off
their winning talents and personalities. Person performed her spoken word account as
Bessie Coleman, who was the first African American and Native American to hold a
pilot’s license, plus the first Black person to earn an international pilot’s license.