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Agawam resident wins 'Ms. Senior Massachusetts Pageant

Date: 11/23/2010

Nov. 24, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

AGAWAM -- Seventy-year-old Connie Motroni of Agawam thought her life's journey was over five years ago but today, she's alive and well with a renewed vigor.

She's quick to point out that her lust for life is not solely because she was crowned Ms. Senior Massachusetts in her first pageant on Nov. 14, but it's a big part of it.

"I didn't come alive until I was 65," Motroni explained. "Before I thought, 'I'm old now. I have to think differently, talk differently, act differently and dress differently. I'm really at the end of my journey' ... [Now] I just feel young again, even though I'm not. I can do anything and set an example."

Motroni entered the pageant at the urging of her daughter, Shelby Hirnyk, and her hair stylist, Tony Isham.

"I wanted to do it for my daughter so that she can remember me always; so that when her friends say they're old, she can say, 'Wow! My mother won Ms. Senior Massachusetts at 70,'" she said.

"I didn't expect to win. There were seven contestants and they were the most talented [women] with savoir-faire," Motroni added. "It feels glorious [to win], something that I never dreamed for myself but now its come true."

She'd never performed in public, either, but had always fantasized about singing in front of an audience. In preparation for the talent portion of the competition, Motroni said she played, "It Must Be Him," by Vikki Carr on repeat in her car and at home while she sang along.

"I really couldn't forget the words because it was imbedded in my brain," she added with a chuckle.

While performing, one of her many watercolor paintings, "The Village," was displayed on stage. Painting, singing and pageantry are just some of the new activities she's picked up in the past few years.

Motroni called the pageant experience one that allowed her to realize her dreams, conquer her fears, make lasting friendships and leave a legacy for her daughter. "I want her to [learn from me] how to grow into old age happily," she added.

Motroni will represent Massachusetts in the 2011 Ms. Senior America Pageant in October.

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