By Robert Stoneback
The Daily Item
WEST MILTON —
Beauty pageant newcomer Mrs. Union County was named audience choice and second runner-up at Sunday’s Mrs. Pennsylvania America Pageant.
“It was an incredible experience, and these girls that I competed against, they’re so phenomenal and inspiring,” said Keturah Martin, of West Milton. “They were amazed it was my first time but I really had a lot of good coaching and good support, and they really prepared me.”
The winner of this year’s pageant, held at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, was Mrs. Philadelphia County, who planned for this competition to be her retirement from beauty pageants.
“Her vision and her heart are so incredible and she is so deserving of the title,” said Martin, who bonded with her fellow competitors during the contest.
“We immediately connected, all of us, it was such a great group of girls,” she said.
The pageant, meant to recognize married women and their contributions to family and communities, began at 6 p.m. with the 13 competitors participating in a dance routine. From there came the swimsuit competition, evening gown segment and an onstage interview.
Every contestant was asked the same final question: “What do you do to keep your marriage strong?”
“Communication is definitely number one,” said Martin, but that wasn’t the only facet. “To love one another, but the real essence of love is to be kind and to be patient, not only in the easy times but the difficult times. My husband (Bryce) is incredibly patient with me.”
She described him as her rock during her preparation for the pageant.
Martin, who is the mother of two boys, 4 and 18 months, plans to enter again. Before the pageant was over, she and first runner-up Mrs. Mercer County, a graduate of Bucknell University, were already trying to persuade people to have next year’s contest in Lewisburg at the university’s Weis Center.
“It would be wonderful, it would be in central Pennsylvania, it would work out well for all the contestants,” said Martin, a graduate of Lewisburg Area High School.
She encourages other married women to participate in future contestants. “It was just a phenomenal experience,” she said.
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