Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

July 30, 2013

Conner ending successful run as Ms. Senior Cumberland County


— Mary Conner, 2012 Ms. Senior Cumberland County, will soon relinquish her title at the upcoming Senior Day at the Cumberland County Fair, a program of Fair Park Senior Center. Conner won the coveted title last year and has spent the year representing and promoting Cumberland County.

Conner's philosophy is "Step out of the box — enjoy a different phase of life." She has certainly done just that. She proved she wasn't a quitter when she entered the pageant a third time before winning the 2012 Ms. Senior title.

Though in her 80s, age is no barrier for Conner. During the past year she has been busy representing county seniors with numerous appearances, starting with the Cumberland County High School homecoming parade. She participated in several other events, including the Crossville Memorial Airport Fly-in, Crossville Christmas Parade, Chamber of Commerce, ribbon cutting ceremonies, the Welcome Home celebration for Sgt. Christopher Hancock, Eye Center of Tennessee's 25th anniversary celebration, Neighbor's and Newcomers, 5th Street Market and more. She "purchased" a chair at the Palace Theatre with a plaque and is active at the Cumberland County Playhouse. In addition to her regular morning exercise program, she is involved in five different dance sessions, the latest being the Hula dance taught at Fair Park Senior Center, as well as line dancing, ballroom aerobics, tap dance and disco.

A transplant from Florida, Conner discovered Crossville through Trade-A-Plane and her pilot daughter and son-in-law and her own participation in aviation while working as a flight attendant. Conner was well known in her home state. She discovered dance classes as a means to release stress after she lost her husband, and she began teaching dance to disadvantaged children to help promote their self esteem. She was a member of the diving team, which won first place in Florida's state competition. Working with the U.S. Coast Guard, she visited schools dressed in a turtle costume to promote environmental education and manners to help save a nearly extinct turtle.

Conner encourages all seniors to participate in Senior Day at the Cumberland County Fair, especially ladies age 60 and beyond. Judging in the Ms. Senior pageant is based on philosophy of life (written), interview and evening gown appearance on stage. Applications are at Fair Park Senior Center. Conner will be glad to encourage and assist participants in any way she can.