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Programs offer fun, motivation for seniors

Two programs offer fun and motivation for Minnesotans aged 60 and older.

They're the Seniors Lifelong Dream Contest and the Ms. Senior Minnesota Pageant.

Seniors Lifelong Dream Contest asks: What lifelong dream did you fulfill after you turned 60? Did you finally take your first photography class? Climb that mountain? Tour China? Earn a degree? Your achievement could earn you special recognition, thanks to the producers of the Seniors Expo and the Seniors Spring Show.

"We're looking for inspirational stories about active seniors in our community who understand that today is the best time to fulfill a dream," said Mid-America Events and Expos President Robin Kocina. "We believe that 60 is a new beginning, and we want to find people who think the same way."

The producers' favorite stories will be featured in a media campaign, and the top five winners will be personally presented on stage at the 2009 Seniors Spring Show. Entries can be dropped off at the Seniors Expo, October 6-7, 2008 at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, or see for complete details and alternate entry methods.

The Ms. Senior Minnesota Pageant, which takes place at the Seniors Expo, showcases mature women age 60 and older - the "age of elegance" - as they defy age-related stereotypes.

The pageant involves a talent demonstration and evening gown competition, as well as interviews with the judges. Talents often range from singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument to reciting a favorite poem. Contestants will also describe their philosophy of life for the Seniors Expo audience.

The pageant winner receives not only a trophy, tiara, flowers and a banner declaring her Ms. Minnesota Senior America 2008, she also receives a packaged trip to represent Minnesota at the National Senior America Pageant to be held later this year.

Those interested in competing in the pageant should call Bill Rasmussen at (651) 489-3405 or Jeanne Rogers at (651) 489-9617. The application deadline to enter the Ms. Minnesota Senior America Pageant is August 2008.

The Seniors Expo has been serving area seniors for eight years. This year's event promises to be the best yet because show producers are reaching out not only to current retirees but also to those in their 50s and 60s who are planning for the next stage of their lives.