Still got it -- Care Center picks pageant winner

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Preparation for the contestants in Gwinnett Extended Care Center's ninth annual pageant began early Thursday afternoon with a little pampering.

Lorene Wallis was surrounded by a flurry of activity as she sat in the beauty parlor at the center. Behind her, Vivian Rowe, one of the beauticians who visits once a week, used a comb to make sure the 72-year-old's short, curled coif was perfect.

Two of the center's staff members took up posts on Wallis' left and right, alternating between applying powder foundation and eye shadow.

Behind Wallis, Bonnie Still sat under a hair dryer, while Iphigenia Mavrogianis sat under another hood across the room, their hair done up in curlers.

All three women joined two other contestants, Geraleen Polhamus and Gippie McCormack, Thursday evening in competing for the title of Ms. GECC 2010, among other honors.

The pageant is an annual event hosted by the center and the Gwinnett Hospital System Auxiliary. A group of auxiliary members spent part of the day Thursday decorating for the event and were on hand when Still, 92, was named this year's Ms. GECC. She was presented her crown by Ms. GECC 2009 Annie Carter.

Still retired as director of Dacula High School's cafeteria in the 1980s, where she also ran the concession stands during football and basketball games. She is a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church.

A trio of judges -- Miss Dacula High School Amy Chroeng, Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation President Jason Chandler and Kelley Cody-Grimm, GMC Foundation's director of annual giving -- presented all five contestants with honors. Wallis was named first runner-up, McCormack was recognized for Best Personality, Ms. Congeniality was Mavrogianis and Polhamus received the honor for Most Zest for Life.

Still has the opportunity to go on to compete for Ms. Georgia Nursing Home 2010 in April.