Bowers to rep Hgtn. in Mrs. Indiana Pageant

Lovely Bowers, of Huntington, holds the title of Mrs. Huntington County and will represent the county at the Mrs. Indiana America Pageant, set for Saturday, May 4, at the Century Center, in South Bend.
Lovely Bowers, of Huntington, holds the title of Mrs. Huntington County and will represent the county at the Mrs. Indiana America Pageant, set for Saturday, May 4, at the Century Center, in South Bend. Photo provided.

Lovely Bowers, of Huntington, will be representing Huntington County at the Mrs. Indiana America Pageant on Saturday, May 4, in South Bend.

Bowers received the title of Mrs. Huntington County last September. As no pageant was held in the county to determine a winner, Bowers contacted the Mrs. Indiana America organization and expressed interest in the title. After reviewing her credentials, the organization awarded her the title.

To compete in the pageant, contestants are required to be married, age 21 or older and a resident of Indiana. Bowers, 37, is married to Kyle Bowers and they have four children, Hannah, Majal, Benjamin and Banner. She has lived in Huntington for 17 years.

Participating in a pageant fulfills a lifelong aspiration, says Bowers.

“It was my dream when I was little,” she says. “We always watched the Miss Universe pageant, year after year, with my mom.”

Despite her desire to take part in a pageant, Bowers says it took a while to convince herself to do it.

“I’m married, have kids, two jobs,” she says. “So, I never think of myself in a beauty pageant.”

What finally convinced Bowers to take the plunge was realizing that a title like Mrs. Indiana could give her a platform to raise awareness about an issue that’s close to her heart.

A native of the Philippines, Bowers says her childhood was a challenging one. What made growing up in a third-world country easier, though, was a scholarship she received from Compassion International, a humanitarian organization that’s dedicated to the development of children living in poverty around the globe.

“From elementary to high school, that aided my school tuition fees, school supplies,” explains Bowers.

Being in the pageant inspired her to create “Project Lovely.” It’s an initiative devoted to raising funds for Compassion International scholarships.

“With me being a sponsored child before, that was my lifeline,” she says.

In addition to developing Project Lovely in the lead-up to the pageant, Bowers has been striving to do the title of “Mrs. Huntington County” justice. In her capacity as that titleholder, she’s been branching out into the community, meeting new people and helping out wherever she can.

“I’ve been volunteering a lot; I always have something going on,” she says. “It gives me joy to be out there and help out.”

One of her most gratifying volunteer experiences came in February, when she assisted with the Cinderella Dress Day initiative.

“We help a lot of young women to get their prom dresses and get them ready for prom,” she explains. “So, that was awesome to see them lit up.”

The Mrs. Indiana America Pageant will be held at South Bend’s Century Center. Judging will consist of a personal interview, swimsuit modeling and evening gown modeling. Contestants who advance to the finals will answer an onstage question.

While Bowers isn’t too nervous heading into the pageant, she says one area of challenge may just be expressing herself in English, as she is trilingual.

“It’s not a big challenge, but it’s challenging,” she states. “Especially when you go up there and you have to think what you have to say.”

The winner of the competition will advance to the Mrs. America Pageant later this year.

Regardless of how she fares at the pageant, Bowers says the simple fact that it got her thinking about starting an initiative like Project Lovely has made the whole experience a worthy one.

“Even if I don’t win the Mrs. Indiana title, to me, it’s already a win,” she says.