Ratliff representing Shelby Ridge in statewide pageant

Published 3:09 pm Monday, August 2, 2010

A resident at Alabaster’s Shelby Ridge Nursing Home-Rehab Select recently wowed judges and earned a spot in the final round of the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant.

Ms. Shelby Ridge-Rehab Select Janet Ratliff will compete against nine other Ms. Alabama Nursing Home finalists from across the state during the state pageant, which will be held Aug. 9 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover.

In May, Ratliff defeated seven other Shelby Ridge residents to become the 2010 Ms. Shelby Ridge. Ratliff is a Cullman native, but grew up in Birmingham and has been living at Shelby Ridge for the past three years.

“It means a lot to me. The people here at Shelby Ridge really are life-savers,” Ratliff said Aug. 2. “I am actually a little nervous about the pageant right now. I guess I’m more anxious than anything else.”

After securing the Shelby Ridge nomination, Ratliff, a former Ms. Wheelchair Alabama, moved on to the statewide competition.

On July 28, a panel of Ms. Alabama Nursing Home judges held a preliminary round of competition for the 67 state pageant participants, and selected Ratliff as one of the 10 finalists from across the state.

“They asked me about the things I like to do, and stuff like that,” Ratliff said of the July 28 interview. “When I get to the pageant, I’m just going to play it by ear. I’m just going to get up there and let the real Janet come out.”

Before competing on state Aug. 9, the top 10 contestants will have individual interviews with a panel of celebrity judges. During the event, pageant officials will recognize all 67 participants, and those not in the top 10 will make up the event’s Honor Court.

The judging panel will be composed of pageant winners, senior and nursing home association officials, church officials and representatives from throughout the state.

The contestants will be evaluated on their outlook on life, personality, poise and involvement with their individual nursing homes, read a pageant press release.

The winner of the Aug. 9 competition will serve as a spokesperson for the Alabama Nursing Home Association, as well as nursing home residents across the state.

Because Ratliff was selected to be in the top 10 out of nearly 70 other pageant contestants, she has made administrators and residents at Shelby Ridge “very proud,” said Shelby Ridge Administrator Sharon Baker.

“This is really a big deal for her and for all of us,” Baker said. “The fact that she made it into the top 10 out of the 67 contestants is really great.”

Because Ratliff’s roommate, Patricia Bradberry, was last year’s Ms. Shelby Ridge and was the first runner-up in last year’s statewide competition, Bradberry has been helping Ratliff prepare for the upcoming pageant, Baker said.

“The two beauty queens are actually roommates, so it has been working out really well,” Baker said. “We will be doing everything we can to support her during the pageant.”

All 67 pageant participants will serve as ambassadors for their nursing homes and the state’s long-term care profession, said Alabama Nursing Home Executive Director Louis Cottrell.

“These ladies represent different backgrounds, ages and life experiences,” Cottrell said. “They truly capture the spirit of the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant, which is a celebration of life and of our nursing home residents’ contributions to the lives of others.”