Helen Hunter poses after being crowned Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Queen.

The Missouri Health Care Association held its 35th annual Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Pageant on Aug. 24, and Helen Hunter, a resident at Life Care Center of Grandview, Missouri, was crowned the 2015 Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Queen.


Hunter, who won her district’s competition in June, competed against six other contestants representing their respective districts throughout the state of Missouri. During the event, which was held at the Branson Convention Center in Branson, Missouri, she wowed the judges with her beauty, charm and confident answers as they interviewed her about her life.


Special guest Debbie Barnes-Snodgrass, former Miss America 1968, led the coronation ceremony and presented Hunter with her crown and sash.


This year’s title wasn’t Hunter’s first success in the annual competition. In 2013, she was crowned first runner-up in her district, leaving her with wonderful memories and the desire to compete in the pageant again this year.


Hunter’s background undoubtedly helped her prepare for the pageant. During her younger years, she worked as a fashion model and became a licensed practical nurse to help put her three children through private school. Once her children had graduated, Hunter became a Mary Kay Cosmetics beauty consultant. She thrived in this position and quickly rose to the top, becoming the first African-American senior director for the company, a position she held for 23 years.


Even upon retirement, Hunter still remains active within her community at Life Care Center of Grandview. Hunter serves as the president of resident council, a self-governed, decision-making group where she encourages other residents to voice their input on the activities and policies at the facility.


“I’m honored to receive the crown at the age of 86,” said Hunter. “I feel so special to be voted queen."

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