Ms. Senior Mulberry Pageant Showcases Women Who Embrace Healthy Aging

June 06, 2017

Eighty-three-year-old Celia Harris put her hands to her face and shed a tear when she heard that she was the 2017 Ms. Senior Mulberry Pageant winner. For a moment, she found it tricky to balance her tiara and hug her husband, Robert, and family members while emcee Scot Haney congratulated her. When reality set in, Harris modeled the winner’s sash proudly as she posed for photos with judges Kathy Faber, clothing designer, Kim Beaudoin, Mrs. Connecticut USA Universal 2016, and Alyssa Taglia, Miss Connecticut 2016.

The eighth annual pageant at Mulberry Gardens of Southington, an assisted living, memory care and adult day center community, was held June 2. Haney, WFSB-Channel 30 TV personality, joked freely with the standing room-only crowd and the 12 contestants who are Mulberry Gardens residents or members of the Southington or Marian Heights adult day centers. He interviewed the women, based on their biographies which revealed the interesting and active lives they have led and their upbeat approach to life.

Harris was one of nine children, born and married in New Britain where she and her husband raised three children. She was a bookkeeper at Kay’s Jewelers and later worked for the New Britain Board of Education. She now is a member of the Marian Heights Adult Day Center in New Britain. Her secret to staying young? “My husband,” she said to applause when she noted the couple has been married 63 years.

She and many of the other participants credited Mulberry Gardens’ caring staff and active lifestyle with keeping them feeling young.

Mulberry Gardens of Southington, a member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, is a not for profit assisted living, adult day and memory care community located at 58 Mulberry St. in Southington. For more information about Mulberry Gardens of Southington, visit

And the winners are…

Most TalentedMillie Arena

Most SophisticatedRita Cerbasie

Nicest SmileRose Griffin

Most EnergeticJacqueline “Jackie” Hafner

Ms. Senior Mulberry 2017Celia “Ceil” Harris

Second Runner-upMarylen Hossan

First Runner-upAnnette Krechevsky

Miss CongenialityLoretta LaFreniere

Nicest EyesDiane Meola

Best LaughJoan Miron

Most ElegantMargaret Verzulli

Best Sense of HumorMarilyn White