Competing in the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant should come naturally for Edna Kilgo. The 76-year-old resident of Hanceville Nursing & Rehab Center has experience in most every aspect of beauty pageants.

In the 1970s, she was director of the “Spirit of America” pageant which raised funds for Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. As the owner of a sewing shop, Ms. Kilgo made pageant dresses by hand. Her sister, Opaline Harper, was crowned Ms. Alabama Nursing Home in 2010. Inspired by her sister, Ms. Kilgo won the title of Ms. Hanceville Nursing & Rehab Center in 2016 after several runner-up finishes.

“Ms. Kilgo is determined,” stated Shana Marsh, Hanceville Nursing & Rehab Center’s Activity Director. “She is a role model to other nursing home residents because of her strength to never give up.”

In addition to her pageant experience, living at a skilled nursing care center has made Ms. Kilgo more aware of the needs of others.

“Living in the nursing home has helped me be more understanding of people with disabilities,” Ms. Kilgo explained. “When I became disabled, I did not fully understand the limitations people with disabilities faced. Now, I want to advocate that you can do anything you want to do just maybe not the same way or as fast as everyone else.”

This positive attitude has aided Ms. Kilgo over the six years she has lived at Hanceville Nursing & Rehab Center. She served as president of the Resident Council for two years and remains an active member. That role gave her an opportunity to become friends with most of the residents and staff members and lead the way for positive progress. In addition, she tends to the center’s garden, attends various activities and has raised funds for local charitable organizations.

“I can count on her to be at every activity encouraging resident participation and giving me ideas and suggestions for my department and others,” Marsh added.

Ms. Kilgo is a native of Cullman County and has four children, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

You can leave words of encouragement in the comments section below or share this article on Facebook to show your support.

For more information about the pageant, click here.

Editor’s note: This is the seventh story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2016 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 20, we’ll post a story about Ms. Henry County Health & Rehab Maudie Hancock.