Regina Money, of Tyler, a contestant in many pageants through the years, always replies when someone asks why she competes that “some people like golf; I just like being onstage.”
Money’s latest effort in the world of pageants won her the queen’s trophy and a ceremonial sash in the 2019 Ms. Texas Senior Classic Pageant on Sept. 28 in Tyler.
The other contestants were “so fabulous,” Money said, that her winning was “a great big surprise. They called my name and I thought, ‘That has got to be a mistake.’”
She also won the first place trophy in the talent category of the pageant for singing the song “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” made popular by Mama Cass.
When Money, 63, entered the Ms. Texas Senior Classic Pageant earlier this year, she already had “a few crowns” from other pageants she has competed in even though she had to compete more than once in some of the pageants before winning a title.
But she went to the top of the Ms. Texas Senior Classic Pageant on her first try.
Many of the other contestants had competed multiple years.
“All of these ladies just acted like I was one of them,” Money said. “They were so sweet and had so much to offer as far as advice and how the pageant worked. They welcomed me with open arms.”
Now that the pageant is over, Money said she and other contestants are staying in touch through Facebook and messages.
The Ms. Texas Senior Classic Pageant is quite different from other pageants she has been in, Money said, because it is more like the Miss America pageant that has a winner and runners-up.
In the Ms. Pride of America pageant, Money entered three times before winning at the local level in Dallas. She tried twice at the state level before winning the state title, but won the national title the first time she competed at the national level in 2014.
Money also has competed in the Ms. Silver and Gold pageant in Duncanville, a charity pageant that raised money for breast cancer awareness and other pageants. In every pageant she has entered, Money has won something although not always the top prize.
She has judged several pageants, too, such as the Cinderella Scholarship Pageant.
The inspiration to enter pageants started when Money was a child growing up in Houston.
“I would watch the Miss America and Miss Texas pageants when I was a little girl,” Money said. “Back then, you couldn’t record it, so I had to be ready to watch it (when it came on TV) every single time. All I wanted to do was walk down a runway with a beautiful dress on and everybody look at me for that minute.”
On the suggestion of her sister, Money entered her first pageant at the age of 27.
After that, she did not enter a pageant every year, but would enter when one came along that she felt she had time and money for and depending on where it was. For a while, she passed up pageants because she was busy with her son, daughter-in-law and daughter.
Now, Money looks for pageants designed for older contestants. She did not have anything major going on this year so she decided to give the Ms. Texas Senior Classic Pageant a shot.
With a laugh, Money said she still enters pageants “because I can.”
Money also fulfills her desire to be on stage through other means. She appears in commercials and by acting in Tyler Civic Theatre productions including the current one, “Southern Hospitality.” She also sings on the praise team at Cornerstone Assembly of God Church.
Apart from her interest in pageants and acting, Money pursues a career as a florist.
She started in the business right out of high school in 1974. Looking for a job, she walked into a flower shop and filled out an application. The next day, she started work by answering the phone and taking messages while the owners delivered flowers.
Money stayed with it and has been in the florist business ever since. She learned all aspects of it including how to process, arrange and deliver the flowers as well as keep the books.
“What I found most interesting about it as I started learning it is that it is more service-oriented than it is artistic,” said Money, whose favorite flowers are yellow roses, peonies and exotic flowers such as orchids.
“You have to have an artistic ability,” she said. “However, servicing your customer and communicating with them is one of the most important things definitely.”
Her dream was to have a flower shop. And she did. She and her husband, David, moved to Tyler from Houston in 1982 to buy and operate a flower shop, called The Flower Box. Initially, he was just interested in being a business owner, knew nothing about flowers and handled the business end of things.
But, he took a course in flower arranging at Tyler Junior College. Now, he designs flowers for funerals while she takes care of most of the weddings. The two of them arrange flowers for anniversaries, birthdays and hospital visits.
“It’s been an interesting journey,” Money said.