Ms. Mature Irving Pageant
Meet the 2019 Ms. Mature Irving: Damaree "Dee" Agosto Phillips
Dee, as her family and friends call her, took the long route through tropics and snow to get to Texas. She was born in Puerto Rico, but her family moved to Chicago when she was a young child. They returned to Puerto Rico, then moved back to Chicago permanently during the following years.
As an adult Dee moved to California where she married and had her children. Strong and confident by nature, Dee had a varied career that included driving an L.A. city bus from Midnight to 8 a.m. on the Compton route. After she married for the second time she took to the open road with her husband as long haul truck drivers.
She says her philosophy of life is “we have a fixed number of days on this earth, make the most of it. Not every place is a hill to die on”. This dynamic lady has a creative side, she loves singing. Dee is very active at the Heritage Senior Center attending special events, leading the Wednesday Afternoon Jam Session, and singing in the Heritage Singers Choir.
Another cause close to her heart is volunteering. Dee has been a longtime volunteer, advocating for the victims of domestic violence. When not busy Dee enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her children who are “2 great human beings” according to Dee.
As Mature Irving she hopes to advocate for senior citizens. Dee looks forward to entertaining at special events, speaking to civic groups, riding in parades, and lifting people’s spirits.
About the Pageant
This program is sponsored by the Heritage Senior Center of the City of Irving Parks and Recreation Department. The Ms. Mature Irving Pageant strives to showcase the talents of senior citizens. Its goal is to demonstrate the worth of the senior citizen to the community, and to choose someone "young at heart" to represent the City of Irving at official functions.
This is a beauty contest held every autumn in which the beauty of the spirit is celebrated. The pageant is multi-ethnic and citywide. You can register through any of the city recreation centers throughout the city. Ms. Mature Irving is a pageant for women age 55 and older. The pageant consists of three categories: personality, talent and evening wear. The program has always enjoyed terrific community support from city officials, area merchants and civic groups.
The event's goal is to create greater awareness of the worth of Irving's senior women and promote a positive image of our seniors. We would be honored to have ladies from organizations all over the City of Irving to participate in this year’s pageant. There will be some work, but rest assured it also is fun.
If you would like to know more about the pageant or about the Heritage Senior Center, please email Pat Davenport or call (972) 721-2496.
The Pageant's History
Linda Spencer and Cindy Jones founded the Ms. Mature Irving Pageant in 1982. The first pageant was held at the senior center. Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Bill Thompson served as the emcee. The idea caught on and a great institution was born. In 1983, the pageant moved to the Buena Vista Theater, now known as the Theater In The Commons, and was held there for the next six years. When the Irving Arts Center opened in 1990, the Carpenter Theater became the home to the Ms. Mature Irving Pageant.
Many exciting things have happened during the run of the pageant. In 1990, the Ms. Mature Irving had the privilege of using the Ms. America Pageant stage set. The largest part of the set involved a huge staircase, which our ladies navigated beautifully. One contestant, Vivian Martin-Kleinwachter, was performing a roller-skating routine as her talent. She descended the stairs on her roller skates! At the 1992 pageant, a young girl singer from the Johnny High Music Revue performed. Her name was Leanne Rimes.
Senior Pageant Legacy
Based on the example of the Ms. Mature Irving Pageant, many other senior pageants have come to life. Pageants in San Angelo, San Antonio, Abilene, and Corpus Christi have been founded, as well as the state pageant itself. Our representatives have performed admirably, with Vivian Kleinwachter winning the state pageant in 1991 as well as winning the talent competition in the national pageant. We celebrate more than 34 years of honoring senior ladies. All of the Ms. Matures have been examples of what is best in senior women. These lovely ladies are vital members of the community with a lot to contribute. It is our hope that we will continue showcasing them throughout the 21st Century and beyond.