Former Monettan running for Mrs. Arkansas America

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pageant to be held Nov. 11 in Hot Springs

A former Monettan has entered the competition for Mrs. Arkansas America.

Melanie Gray Towers, who worked at UMB Bank in Monett from 2000 to 2005 as branch manager, will appear in the pageant on Nov. 11 at the Hot Springs, Ark.,, Convention Center. Melanie is the daughter of Clarence and Berneice Koenig of Monett. She married Jon Gray, who died in 2007. She presently works as a marketing and admissions director for a long-term care facility in Little Rock.

In her platform, Towers said she would like to change the public perception of nursing homes to a place where seniors move to continue happy lives with some assistance.

"Through a constant nursing presence, resident lives are enhanced not only medically, but socially as well," Towers said. "I personally have seen the smiles, the happy faces and success stories that occur in nursing homes daily, not to mention the relationships that I have made. I have been blessed to witness several residents that has come into a nursing facility being very sick and weak after a stroke or health decline. With constant care, and one-on-one therapy they are successfully discharged back to their 'own home.' The success stories, the happy faces, and the tears with saying goodbyes are due to the strong bonds that we develop with our residents.

"My heart, compassion, calling, and love is in long term care. My ministry as Mrs. Arkansas will be to teach and educate others that our seniors are a population of people that still has a desire to live and be happy. It is important to keep in mind that nursing home residents have led full productive lives and are not to be left on the back burner of the healthcare system. The residents in my facility are war heroes, business people, farmers, teachers, mothers, and fathers and the list goes on and on. Many time’s the nursing home staff may be the only advocate that our resident has, and we take our jobs very seriously. What I have lived, experienced and embraced on my journey has been some of the richest experiences that I will keep with me for the rest of my life."

Requirements for the pageant call for contestants to be married, U.S. citizens, residents of Arkansas and at least 18 years of age. The winner goes on to compete for the title of Mrs. America.