41-Year-Old Athens Woman To Head To California For Pageant

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An Athens resident is getting the chance of a lifetime. She'll soon be heading to California to compete in the Mrs. Beauties of the Nation pageant. Loralen Morgan, a 41-year-old mother of five, was crowned Mrs. Ohio Beauties of the Nation earlier this year. She says the state competition was her first pageant ever.

“The experience has really been an eye-opener,” Morgan said. “I never realized how much was involved in the pageant circuits.”

The Beauties of the Nation pageant was established to reward women and girls for outstanding community service. Morgan says she's involved in several local charities, including the Ohio University Relay for Life, Walk for the Homeless, Walk for Foster Care Awareness and local food drives. However, she holds one cause very near to her heart.

“My biggest platform is the 'be a STAR' program, which I’m trying to get implemented in the schools down here within the next year,” Morgan said.

The "be a STAR" program is an anti-bullying alliance whose mission is to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness.

The Beauties of the Nation pageant is different from any other beauty pageant in the country. In addition to the community service portion, no pageant experience is required to enter the competition. The swimsuit competition has been excluded from the entire pageant, and the talent portion is optional. Although winners will receive cash prizes, awards and trophies, the pageant is about far more than that.

“We feel that what makes us our queen is not the size of our waist, it’s the size of our heart,” Morgan said. “And that’s exactly what makes a queen, what we can do for our community, not what we want done for us.”

The national Beauties of the Nation pageant will be held in Hollywood, California, starting July 19. Morgan will be competing against women from across the nation in five different areas of competition.