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  2001 Press Release  

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CONTACT: Jan Costello
Phone: 217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

March 21, 2001

2001 Ms. Illinois American Classic Woman Pageant Winner Crowned

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Sandra Sue Gehrs of O’Fallon was crowned this year’s winner of the Ms. Illinois American Classic Woman Pageant, held over the weekend in Oak Brook. The annual pageant, now in its twelfth year, is designed to showcase the health and vitality of women age 60 and older.

"Sandra Sue Gehrs is a wonderful choice to represent the ageless beauty of Illinois women," said Margo E. Schreiber, Director of the Illinois Department on Aging, a pageant sponsor. "We couldn’t be happier to have someone of her stature serving as an example of character, fitness and well-being."

Gehrs, 61, is active in the Women’s Church Group and Retired Seniors Volunteer Programs. She was chosen by a panel of judges who considered interview, stage presence, talent, and life philosophies. During the pageant, she also performed tap dancing.

As Ms. Illinois American Classic Woman 2001, Gehrs will make appearances around the state, promoting wellness and fitness, and encouraging other adults to become involved in worthwhile activities. She will also represent Illinois in the National American Classic Woman Pageant to be held this fall in Wilmington, DE.

First Runner-Up was Ellen Dick-Ferrera of Oak Park; Second Runner-Up was Angela Lauderback of Arlington Heights. Jean Nielo of Wheaton was named "Ms. Congeniality."

In addition to the Illinois Department on Aging, sponsors of the pageant included Governor George H. Ryan; Frank Vala of Community Care Systems; Brookdale Retirement Centers, Inc.; Illinois State Fair Special Events; Arden Courts Alzheimer Assisted Living; and the Illinois Department of Human Services.



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To request an application or for more information, call the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY).

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