Hoopeston salon owner one of 80 Mrs. Illinois America semifinalists

Hoopeston salon owner one of 80 Mrs. Illinois America semifinalists

HOOPESTON – Angie Simpson of Hoopeston is a semi-finalist in the 31st Mrs. Illinois America pageant.

The two-day event will take place at the Hemmens Theater of Performing Arts in Elgin on June 29 and 30.

Simpson said she got a flier for the Mrs. Illinois America pageant in the mail and when she joked to her husband, John, about it, he said, "Do it."

So she sent the application to the pageant headquarters.

According to Simpson, the field was narrowed to about 80 women out of hundreds of applicants. She then received a letter requesting a resume with records of community service and occupation, and the field was narrowed again.

She's since been preparing for the pageant by training five days a week – three with a personal trainer and two days at home. She has been eating healthy, preparing for the interviews, and shopping in Indianapolis for all her pageant clothes with sponsor Rebecca Melykian.

Shopping has been a lot of fun, Simpson said.

"I felt like the girl in 'Pretty Woman' shopping," Simpson said.

Simpson's sponsors – Melykian, Patrick Stewart and his son Taylor Stewart – are partners of Envirox LLC/Our Home LLC, which promotes environmentally safe cleaning supplies.

To represent Illinois in the opening number of the pageant, Simpson will wear a full, royal blue headdress made by Navajo Indians with a white suede halter-top and skirt.

The preliminary round following the opening will be an interview with the judges, she said. The contestants will be given one minute to speak about anything and two minutes to answer judges' questions.

Each contestant is required to have a platform, according to Simpson, and she has two, "Going Green" and "Alzheimer's Awareness."

"(Going Green) is important because if every person took a little step toward going green, it would make a big impact on our lives, and the whole world basically," Simpson said. She also wants to educate people on the signs, symptoms and how to treat the disease of Alzheimer's.

"(Alzheimer's) affects everybody in your family. A person can even have it at 35 years old," she said.

On the final day, the swimsuit and evening gown competition will take place. Besides the title of Mrs. Illinois America, the contestant will receive a $15,000 package to the National Mrs. America in Tucson, Ariz., in the fall.

Simpson is the mother of two sons, Jack, 8, and Ross, 2. She has owned and operated Extreme Attitudes, a beauty salon, in Hoopeston for 10 years.

She and her sister, Alisa Harper, created the "Little Miss Sweetcorn Pageant" four years ago, an event held prior to the Sweetcorn Festival Sweetheart Pageant in September.

To give hometown support for Simpson, family, friends, and local businesses are requested to call Marcie Aceto, pageant director, at 630-325-4305 to place ads in the Mrs. Illinois booklet.

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