The reigning Ms. Tennessee Senior Wilson County, Pat Acuff, is preparing to turn over her title to a new winner during the Wilson County Fair.
The Ms. Tennessee Senior Wilson County Pageant will take place at the Fiddlers Grove Opry Stage at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20. Committee members are currently taking applications for contestants who are over the age of 60 and residents of Wilson County.
It is a unique venture that Acuff highly recommends.
"If people are looking for something different in their life, something that takes them out of their box - then this is great," she said of the pageant. "The people that you meet are outstanding. It opened some doors that I wanted opened."
Acuff is a native of Lebanon. She said the summer of 2015 was the first-time she competed in the pageant.
"I had the encouragement of friends and family. Jackie Taylor, one of my best friends, had won it before and said, 'I would love for you to do it,'" Acuff recounted.
Although victory was sweet, Acuff said it was more about the experience than the crown. "Truthfully, the crown wasn't important to me. It was about encouraging and witnessing to other ladies. I felt like it would give me the opportunity to reach other people that I didn't normally come in contact with," she said.
It also gave her a platform to share her singing talent. Acuff sang gospel songs in both the county and state senior pageants.
Prior to being named Ms. Tennessee Senior Wilson County, Acuff was a homemaker. She also worked in the office for the businesses she shared with her husband.
"I stayed at home until the children were grown. I had the privilege of doing that. It is a courageous thing to be a mother and work outside of the home, but he (my husband) had the means to support us without me stepping out of the home," she said.
She is a mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of four.
"So many seniors think that their life is over. When I turned 60, my life really started. I don't have enough room for everything that I would like to do," she said. "It grieves me to hear ladies say, 'I am too old.' My saying now is, 'I don't know of one person that God called to retirement. We don't retire until He calls us home.'"
Acuff placed second in the Ms. Tennessee Senior state pageant. She is an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church.
Applications for the Ms. Tennessee Senior Wilson County Pageant can be picked up in the Fair office. There is a $20 entry fee.