Wheels of Dreams

In Here's the Spin, News by Judy Hoit

Des Moines, Iowa hosted the 31st annual Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant this past July. This 6 day event brought together 24 state titleholders, each of them being a spokesperson for people with disabilities, competing for the title Ms. Wheelchair America 2004.

In addition to judging sessions throughout the week, the contestants attended workshops on the ADA, and personal growth workshops. Other events included a Fun Day touring the Des Moines Botanical Center, evening activities which included different themes such as a 50’s night, country western, and moonlight dream.

Cinda Hughes, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2004 on Saturday night, July 26th. Theresa Campbell, Ms. Illinois was 4th runner-up, Christina Draper, Ms. Virginia was 3rd runner-up, Jennifer Rechsteiner, Ms. Maryland was 2nd runner-up, and Debi Scharf, Ms. Iowa was 1st runner-up.

The mission of the Ms. Wheelchair America Program Inc. is to provide an opportunity for women of achievement who utilize wheelchairs for mobility, to successfully educate and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

We are currently seeking women to represent their states in this national competition. Contestants must meet the following criteria:

– Be a United States citizen between the ages of 21 and 60
– Utilize a wheelchair for daily mobility
– Marital status is not a consideration.

Contestants are judged on their accomplishments, self-perception, communication and projection skills in the following:

– Personal interviews
– Platform speech presentations
– On stage interviews

Ms. Wheelchair America 2005 will be held in the historic state of Virginia in late July. Our goal is to one day have all 50 states represented. At the present time we need representatives from the following states: Idaho, Washington, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and Kansas.

For more information call: 877-679-4335 (toll free) and speak with Pat O’Bryant, Executive Director

Or check our web page: www.mswheelchairamerica.org

As the Host State Coordinator for “Wheels of Dreams” it was a wonderful experience, I had the time of my life organizing the events, and meeting all the wonderful contestants, family and friends. And I hope everyone left Iowa and their own “Wheels of Dreams”.