Arlington’s Lillie Madison Takes Ms. Texas Senior America Crown
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 24, 2012, August 24, 2012

Her first singing performance came at age 9, in church, standing on a stool because she was too tiny to reach the microphone. Six decades later, Lillie Madison is still belting out songs.

No stool needed.

In fact, she's impossible to miss these days, thanks to that pulsating voice, which explains why she's the reigning Ms. Texas Senior America.

The south Arlington resident walked away with the crown at the annual pageant held Aug. 11 at the Embassy Suites Frisco Convention Center, beating out 21 other seniors from across the state in a number of categories, from the classic evening gown competition and think-fast interview sessions to the more unique "philosophy of life" discussion and the all-important talent segment.
Madison scored well in every category, particularly the talent competition, where she prompted a rousing standing ovation for her heartfelt rendition of You Don't Know Me.

Still, Madison was shocked to win it all.

"When they called my name, I froze, literally," said Madison, who turns 70 next month. Maybe this being her seventh try led to the disbelief. She was runner-up in 2010. "I didn't even want to do it initially because I'd gotten so burnt out on it," she said. "It was expensive and I didn't have anyone sponsoring me. "

A friend sent her the entry packet anyway. "As it got closer," she said, "I changed my mind."
Good thing she did.

Pageant officials think Madison, with her bouncy personality, quick wit and active lifestyle, will make a mighty fine pageant representative and serve Arlington and Texas well in October when she goes for the Ms. Senior America crown in Atlantic City.

"Our whole goal is to enrich and empower senior women," said Mary Frances Hansen, coordinator of the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant. "We're not a beauty pageant- our pageant is about redefining what it means to be a senior woman. We represent the positive image of aging."

You could call Madison its poster child.

She skates, she dances, she runs - she hangs out with "the guy I'm dating."

"What I love about this pageant is that it shows that there's something more we as seniors can do other than babysit our grandkids," said Madison, who grew up in Knoxville, Tenn., and moved to Texas in 1994 when her Delta Airlines job transferred her here. "We certainly love our grandkids but we come from all walks of life and we all have a story to tell. And it's not about how pretty you are. It's about what's within. It champions healthy aging."

Madison said she's always been active and willing to try new things, which has always helped her positive attitude. She entered the first pageant "because I was just looking for something to do."
And now? "Well, win or lose at the nationals, it's time to move on to something else," Madison said. "I'll only be 70 next month."

By Ken Perkins

America Crown

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