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"Still I Rise" - Mending The Gap Annual Elder Abuse Awareness Event June.3.17 Delmar G

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 30:31. Most people, when they hear the word pageant think of young, thin, and women who are dazzled in diamonds whose thoughts are of the greater good of the world. Although there is nothing wrong with representing with beauty and class, The Still I Rise Senior Pageant featured women who encompassed timeless beauty and perseverance. We are grateful to our Premier sponsor; Delmar Gardens who graciously hosted the event in their showcase lounge.

Taking initiative. Knowing that 1 out of 10 seniors have issues with some form of abuse; whether physical, verbally or financially, Mending the Gap sought to bring this issue to light each year. As drapery and bustles began to fasten and decorate the atmosphere Ten 60+ seasoned ladies began to put on their best. 120 guests in attendance watched as the youth volunteers dapper in their Sundays best to escort our contestants. By doing this, it showcases Mending The Gap’s vision of inter generational relationships that bridge the “gap” between seniors and the youth of today. Thanks to our proud sponsor Dillard's, who blessed our senior pageants with the latest trends in gown fashion as they strutted down the walkway. Poetry by Debra Johnson was put on display as she had the audience captivated by the famous Maya Angelou “Still I Rise” piece; reiterating that there is beauty in scars, there are lessons to be learned in trials, there is hope during the storm. Atlanta's hottest Jazz Queen; Anita Canada, graced us with her presence as our MC for the evening. Nothing like vocals that obtains attention, yet soothes your soul. With the help of our DJ Kevin Camon, the night continued to grow in excitement and wonder. The night also included our infamous Silent Auction unveiling a magnificent collection of gifts. Delmar Gardens put out a beautiful and succulent spread of, pastas, and meats that left our guests satisfied and amazed at the level of culinary, along with tasty desserts provided by Special Kneads Bakery in Lawrenceville.

Thankful!. Sometimes the way that we show appreciation is just by lending an ear to listen. Our contestants gave us their experience with laughter and some with tears. Fay Josephs, founder of Mending The Gap showered the contestants with beautiful bouquet of red roses compliments of Floristique of Suwanee, to represent their resilience and beauty as well as trophies for winner and runner ups. This truly ignited the night with dance performances and duets that made the event memorable. Stella Mckinnie was the people's choice as she cried in amazement and appreciation. Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Johnson ended the night with words of encouragement and praise to our participants. Special thanks to our other Sponsor; VN Pharmacy, all of our contestants, volunteers, Delmar staff, and most of all our attendees for your continued support to help Raise Awareness of Elder Abuse and honor seniors in our community. Mending the Gap can only hope that you were inspired and encouraged by this event.

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