Woman’s Club welcomes Mrs. America 2011

By Judy Henderson - ReminderNews
Enfield - posted Tue., Jan. 17, 2012
Shelley Carbone, Mrs. America 2011, and Enfield Woman’s Club member Mary McGuire shared a bit of conversation as they made their way through the buffet line. Photos by Judy Henderson.
Shelley Carbone, Mrs. America 2011, and Enfield Woman’s Club member Mary McGuire shared a bit of conversation as they made their way through the buffet line. Photos by Judy Henderson.

On Wednesday, Jan. 11, the Enfield Woman’s Club not only hosted the Suffield Woman’s Club at its monthly luncheon meeting, which was held at the Holy Family Church Hall, but also welcomed Mrs. America 2011 Shelley Carbone.

Carbone, who is a wife, mother, and professional nurse, began by unpacking her Mrs. America crown and banner for all to see. “Instead of watching me wear these,” she said, “I’m going to pass them around. Please don’t hesitate to try them on.” Then, revealing her warm sense of humor, she quickly added, “Just be aware that the crown is very large. It hit me on the bridge of my nose when I won it!”   

According to Carbone, it was actually her own mother, Susan Marcotte — first runner up in the Mrs. Senior Connecticut 2011 contest — who signed her up for the Mrs. Connecticut pageant, in an effort to help Carbone cope with a difficult personal loss. “I always joke that I want a t-shirt that says ‘My mother made me do it’ because that’s essentially the case,” she said, smiling at Marcotte, who accompanied her to the luncheon.

Eight weeks after winning Mrs. Connecticut 2011, Carbone was off to Arizona for the Mrs. America competition. “I thought Mrs. Connecticut would be a great thing,” said Carbone, “but I never thought of actually participating in the Mrs. America pageant and being up on stage in front of hundreds of people instead of just friends and family.” Once there, however, she enjoyed every moment. “I met 50 other beautiful women — intelligent, accomplished, funny…mothers, sisters, wives — all ranging in age from 18 to about 55. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

After Arizona, Carbone headed to Florida, where she and 58 other women from around the world competed in the Mrs. World pageant, and although she did not win, she values the experience. “Sometimes I could barely understand what they were saying, but being women, being wives, and most of us being mothers — what a bond that creates.”

In closing, Carbone encouraged everyone to embrace life, saying “get outside your comfort zone and experience new things, fun things, things you never thought that you’d be capable of doing. Surprise yourselves!” And it’s advice she has followed herself.

Carbone is now writing a children’s book about how to make healthy choices. Featuring a little boy who, armed with a make-believe shield and sword, fends off bad habits, her book will be called “Apple Rhymes with Cat” — a curious but delightful revelation her daughter shared with her a short while back. She promised to return to the Enfield Woman’s Club with copies of that book as soon as it’s completed.

Both the Woman’s Club of Enfield and the Woman’s Club of Suffield are members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which is comprised of clubs from the 50 states and 20 foreign countries — all of which share a mission to promote volunteerism. Not surprisingly, the GFWC Woman’s Club of Enfield has as its motto “We are not know so much by what we keep, but by what we share.”

For information on becoming a member of the GFWC Woman’s Club of Enfield, please contact Club Vice-President and Membership Chairwoman Lorraine Dentamaro at 860-253-9163.

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