MASSENA –– Amber Turner has only lived in Massena for two years, but has already earned the title of Mrs. St. Lawrence County 2014. Now she is setting her sights on an even larger goal as she prepares to compete for the Mrs. New York-American Pageant crown this fall.
Turner, who was born and raised in Warner Robins Ga., is a military spouse to Jerry Turner and has two children –– Aniya, 6, and J.T., 4.
She said she is the first member of her family to ever delve into the world of beauty pageants.
“It started a month ago and I kind of got to a point in my life where I am trying to reach a higher purpose. I was looking online and came across a site (mrsnyamerica.com) and thought, ‘I’ve never done a pageant.’ I contacted them and they selected me to compete” Turner said. “Part of my purpose I feel is to inspire and motivate woman. I was looking for an avenue to do that and what better way than ‘Mrs. America.’ It’s just a great way to continue with the message that I’m trying to convey.”
The Mrs. New York-America Pageant takes place the weekend of Oct. 25, with the actual competition being held Oct. 26 at the RIT Inn and Conference Center in Rochester.
Turner also runs a blog called Hippy Fit Mom that can be accessed by visiting hippyfitmom.com.
“I started the blog in 2012 and it really was an outlet for me after I had my kids. I had some depression and dark times and was dealing with a lot, having negative body issues. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I realized that it wasn’t good for me to feel this way and for her to see me like this as well,” she said. “I started getting into health and fitness and positive affirmation. I knew that other woman probably had this feeling after having children. I wanted to be a source of inspiration.”
Before participating in October’s pageant, Turner needs $1,300 in funding and has set up a fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/chl900
In return for a contribution, the donor’s name will be listed under Turner’s name as a sponsor in the pageant program book.
“Being (Mrs. New York-America) would mean a lot to me. If you meet me, I don’t think I would be considered a pageant person. It would mean a lot to me because I have a message that I want to convey to people,” Turner said. “My view on life is, ‘Why not?’ I would rather be at the end of my life and not have regrets. I have nothing to lose and if anything, my daughter will see me and see that the sky is the limit.”
The weekend begins with a meet and greet and concludes with the pageant that is judged on three categories. The interview portion counts for 50 percent, a swim wear portion counts for 25 percent and the evening gown section makes up the remaining quarter.
The competition will consist of 17 to 20 contestants, according to the Massena resident.
She says that even though she may not be a typical pageant contestant, she still feels strongly about her cause.
“My thing is always being an individual and being yourself. That’s why I didn’t let not being a typical pageant person prevent me from doing this,” Turner said.