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Middletown Transcript
  • Townsend woman crowned winner of 2012 Mrs. Delaware United States Pageant

  • Despite competing against delegates who were mostly in their late 20s to early 30s, Francine Edwards, 43, of Townsend, didn’t let that stop her from being crowned the 2012 Mrs. Delaware United States Pageant winner.


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  • Despite competing against delegates who were mostly in their late 20s to early 30s, Francine Edwards, 43, of Townsend, didn’t let that stop her from being crowned the 2012 Mrs. Delaware United States Pageant winner.
    Edwards — an assistant professor at Delaware State University, who also holds the title of 2012 Mrs. Peach Blossom — was awarded $5,000 in prizes at the 26th annual pageant held Saturday night at Everett Meredith Middle School in Middletown. She’ll also have the opportunity to represent Delaware at the 26th annual Mrs. United States Pageant in Las Vegas this August.
    The first runner-up in the pageant was Christine Rich (Mrs. Kent County); the second was Jackie Young (Mrs. Wilmington); the third was Melissa Kirk (Mrs New Castle County); and the fourth was Shannon Lewis (Mrs. Punkin Chunkin).
    A panel of judges evaluated the nine delegates based on four categories: personal interview, 30-percent; fitness, 30-percent; evening gown, 30-percent and on-stage question, 10-percent.
    Q How does it feel to be crowned Mrs. Delaware?
    A I’m so excited for this opportunity and to walk in the footsteps of the other women who’ve come before me to hold this title. I think this pageant system highlights intellectual beauty and a woman’s commitment to family and marriage; and I really value those traditional values. I want to spend this year going out and promoting the pageant system and promoting marriage and family.
    Q And does it sweeten the pot that you were competing again women much younger than you?
    A It does when you’re competing against these sexy, beautiful young ladies. You’re like “Wow. I’m 43 and they’re in their 20s or 30s.” It does make me feel good.
    Q You won both the fitness and interview phases of the competition. How did you prepare for those phases?
    A I had an interview coach. I worked with Sheri Jenkins who is a longtime pageant veteran. I did mock interviews with her and general public speaking: going out and discussing my platform, talking to people and engaging with them.
    Q What was your strategy for the fitness competition?
    A I did P90X with my husband and, basically, ran. We did cardio-kickboxing a couple times a week. And we changed my diet to lots of chicken, lots of vegetables and cut out the carbs for the last two weeks.
    Q Your platform is “Blended and Blessed: Step Parent and Step Family Support.” How do you plan to get the ball rolling on this initiative, and when will this kickoff?
    A One of the first things I would like to do is go into the Appoquinimink school system and promote my platform. One of the things I noticed as a stepparent is that a lot of times when kids go back and forth between two households, there’s an adjustment period. So giving teachers the insight to understand what those kids are going through and giving them some tools to help those kids cope is important. Statistics show that one in three children are a product of a blended family. And I’m definitely looking to work with the school’s administration this summer to get something started.  
    Page 2 of 2 - Q You’re now $5,000 richer. Is a shopping spree in your future?
    A I’m using the money for my pageant prep for nationals [laughs]. I’m buying a new gown. And I totally don’t know how many gowns we’re going to need. I’m going to do a lot of borrowing from great girlfriends and other pageant women. I’m going to need cocktail attire and things of that nature.
    Q You wore a white dress in the evening gown competition. What kind of gowns are thinking about wearing at nationals?
    A I like the white, so I’ll probably stick with that; and maybe [a gown with] a little bit more bling.

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