By: Lorrie Jackson | Category: Special Interest | Issue: November 2006
Chastity “Chazz” Anderson
Since Chastity “Chazz” Anderson began her reign as Mrs. Oklahoma only a few months ago in June, it may seem too early to begin considering the 2007 competition. But with the January 1 deadline for entries quickly approaching, now is the perfect time for local married women to make a decision that could impact their lives positively for years to come.
“I cannot even begin to say what opportunities this will bring the winner,” says Susan Erler, former Mrs. Oklahoma and owner/coordinator of the pageant. “As Mrs. Oklahoma 1999, I had the opportunity to ride in the back seat of an F-16 fighter, drive race cars with Todd Bodine, hang out with Moe Bandy and Mel Tillis, spend an evening escorting the Governor and First Lady, and much more.” Susan especially treasures being able to fulfill her father’s lifelong dream of a trip to Hawaii when he traveled there to witness her participation in the Mrs. America pageant that year. Winners since Susan’s reign have had many other opportunities, like modeling for advertising campaigns, becoming spokespersons for worthy causes, and much more.
For those who are afraid that being Mrs. Oklahoma would be too disruptive to their everyday lives, Susan offers this assurance: “We are very aware that our winner can come from many different situations, so we will gear our year towards that. If she is a stay at home mom, we will be able to utilize her more during the day time; if she is a working woman, then we will have her do appearances mainly in the evening and on weekends. There is no set schedule for Mrs. Oklahoma.”
Current Mrs. Oklahoma Chastity Anderson proves this point every day. Chazz and her husband, Greg, live in Broken Arrow with their six year old daughter, Morgan, and Chazz is an Assistant Vice President/Operations Manager for Bank of Oklahoma and is the manager of the Fraud Department. Chazz is honored to have been crowned Mrs. Oklahoma 2006 and is especially glad for the opportunities it provides to highlight her chosen platform—lupus awareness. This subject is extremely important to Chazz, who was diagnosed with the disease about 3 1/2 years ago. Lupus is a chronic auto-immune disease that causes the body’s own antibodies to attack healthy organs and tissues and can be debilitating, but Chazz has refused to let lupus stop her from living life to the fullest extent. Not only does she speak about the disease as Mrs. Oklahoma, but she also serves as a Certified Facilitator with the Oklahoma Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America, where she leads a support group in discussions of the disease. She also promotes other Tulsa area lupus awareness functions and assists in local fundraising for lupus research.
“As Mrs. Oklahoma, I realize that I am a role model for married women,” Chazz says. Whether you are a wife, mother, community servant and full-time employee, she feels these “are all things that should be valued.”
Susan Erler agrees, pointing out that there is no ‘mold’ for becoming Mrs. Oklahoma. “We are all very different people with different personalities who just happened to end up with the same job for a year! Mrs. Oklahoma can be married for as little as six months or as long as fifty years. She can be 22 or 65 years old. It doesn’t matter. We’re looking for the best overall role model to represent Oklahoma’s married women.”
Susan encourages interested parties to enter soon to participate in the 2007 competition, which will be held at ORU’s Howard Auditorium on June 23. The winner will go on to participate in the Mrs. America competition, which is the only televised “Mrs.” Pageant in the world, and will receive other prizes as well. In fact, last year’s winner won a prize package of over $37,000 in gifts. But although Susan describes these as reasons enough to enter, she points out that the experience provides much more. “Truly, everyone who enters comes away from the experience with something they have gained—confidence and a sense of accomplishment and pride—there are many, many things and they are different for each contestant.”
For more information on the 2007 Mrs. America pageant, contact Susan Erler at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0
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or visit www.mrsokpageant.com