FAYETTEVILLE — Tonya Shaw of Bladenboro took home the title of Mrs. All-American NC during a pageant at Fayetteville State University last month.
“I was really excited about competing in this pageant for a few reasons,” Shaw said. “First, my husband Rick is a former Marine who served for nine years with two combat tours to Iraq (and) the All-American NC pageant system honors the men and women of the armed forces.
“Second, the purpose of the pageant is community service and helping the less fortunate all throughout the year,” she added. “Lastly, and most important, I’ll be able to use the title to reach out and help promote my platform, which is diabetes awareness.”
Shaw’s father, Truman Harrelson of Clarkton, was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 68 — a diagnosis that shocked the family and has been a difficult, life-changing event.
“My goal is to not only educate people of the dangers of diabetes, but more importantly how they can work to prevent themselves from becoming diabetic,” Shaw said. “I really look forward to a great year of educating and making a positive impact on the community.”
The pageant consisted of four stages of competition: interview, patriotic wear, evening gown and outfit of choice.
Shaw added that, in November, the pageant system will be collecting nonperishable food items and making Thanksgiving dinner for families that otherwise would have little or nothing to eat on that special day.
In December, the group will be adopting families for Christmas to give gifts to children of families that cannot otherwise afford them.