A dozen women from Iowa and nearby will compete for the title of “Mrs. Iowa International” tonight in Des Moines. The current title-holder is helping run tonight’s pageant. Dee Henderson is Mrs. Iowa 2002 and she explains the pageant is for married women who have dedicated their time to their family and certain issues.Henderson lives in Minnesota but has many Iowa ties, including doing volunteer work for the Children’s Miracle Network in Des Moines, relatives in the Waterloo area and a daughter at Iowa State. To take part in the pageant, contestants have to be: married women who have been married at least six months, between the ages of 21 and 56, a U-S citizen, a resident of Iowa at least six months or attend school, work, volunteer, rent or own property in Iowa.Tonight’s pageant is from 7 to 9 at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium. The winner goes on to represent Iowa and compete in the Mrs. International pageant in Tennessee in August. Henderson says the competition is similar to other pageants, but there are several differences, too. There are one-on-one interviews, a physical fitness contest, but no swimsuit competition.Competitors for Mrs. Iowa tonight are: Mrs. Benton County Tina Ellis, Mrs. Kossuth County Mandie Studer, Mrs. Black Hawk County Ursula Marie Holmes, Mrs. Rock Island County Lesa Behrends, Mrs. Scott County Pamela Buley, Mrs. Clay County Leslie Adams, Mrs. West Quad Cities Shirley McLemore, Mrs. Union County Terri Mulhern, Mrs. Johnson County Anissa Bourgeacq, Mrs. Muscatine County Melissa Wolfe, Mrs. Davenport Janalee Jividen-Dalmeida, and Mrs. Webster County Ashlea Jo Schaumburg. See “www.mrsiowa.com” for details.
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