After a decade of competing for the crown, a Galena woman was named Mrs. Ohio America earlier this month.
Marianne Curry, 46, who works as a physician’s assistant in Marion, said she competed in pageants as a teenager but stopped after she got married and started her career. Curry said it was years later that she thought about doing it again.
“I kept my finger on it for a little while, and it was after my last kid was born and I was like, ‘I’m going to do this,’” Curry said. “I entered my first one in 2010, and I went in just thinking I knew everything, like I did as a teenager. It was a great experience. I met people, and I caught the bug.”
Curry said in the decade since her first competition she’s won a variety of prizes and been a runner-up several times. First place, however, had eluded her.
“I thought I’m going to get to that some day, so I went on and on and kept trying, and I lost … 9 times,” Curry said. “There were many years where I thought I might not do this anymore because it’s so hard on your heart and soul, and if you aren’t in a good place with yourself it can be really hard. This has been a huge, huge journey for me.”
Curry said going into the competition this year she decided she wasn’t going to stress or over prepare. Instead, she focused on just being herself.
“This year I said I’m not going to prepare, I’m just going to speak from the heart,” Curry said. “I’m going to go in and be 100% myself.”
The Mrs. Ohio America competition was held earlier this month at Ohio Dominican University. Curry said the audience was limited, and several changes were made to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Curry added the fact the judges were wearing masks made it difficult, because she was getting no feedback. However, she was glad to see two of the three judges moved to tears at the end of her speech.
After doing the interview portion, the swim wear competition, and the evening wear competition, Curry was named the winner of Mrs. Ohio America.
“It almost doesn’t feel real to me because I’m so used to losing,” Curry joked. “I was so confused. I was in shock. I had never experienced that before.”
Curry added she’s proud of the fact she was able to learn from previous years and grow.
“I feel like over the years I could say, ‘I wish I would have won sooner,’ but when I look back I experienced so many different things,” Curry said. “There was so much (evolution) and growth that came from losing all those times and getting to where I am now.”
Curry said her victory shows that people “should follow their dreams.”
“It’s validating, and I hope other people use this (to inspire them),” Curry said, adding she was the oldest woman in the competition and was competing against women in their 20s and women who had never had children. “I really want to utilize my year to … show that I never gave up.”
Curry said she’s proud to be part of the Delaware County community and takes part in Walk with a Doc at Mingo Park and is a provider at the Grace Clinic.
She added she’s thankful for the support she’s received from the community and hopes that her journey shows locals they should never give up.
“Not everyone meets their goals on the first try,” Curry said. “You can walk away and say, ‘That’s not for me’ or you can keep going for it. I have children, so I have to lead by example. There’s a lot of reward in failure. Right now I’m thinking about how rewarding those failures were because of where it brought me as a person.”
Curry said as the winner of Mrs. Ohio America, she gets to participate in the Mrs. America competition later this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she is not sure when the competition will be held.
More information about Curry can be found at www.facebook.com/marianne.curry.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.