Saturday, September 8, 2007

Praise for new Mrs. America

WORLAND - This town is buzzing with the news that Kelly McBee, a local nail stylist, has been crowned Mrs. America.

McBee, 30, is a mother of three who works at the Perfect Ten Nail Salon.

"Kelly is one of the most down-to-earth, beautiful people I know," said Perfect Ten owner Amy Abbott, who has known McBee since they competed in the Mrs. Wyoming pageant two years ago.

Abbott hired McBee after chatting with her during the competition. She said she expected the buzz for McBee to grow as word spreads.

"Oh my gosh, this is huge," she said. "We've got a lot of support for her here."

Abbott and her employees at the salon got a late-night call announcing McBee's victory Wednesday. The news set off a chain reaction of congratulatory phone calls.

"I can't think of anyone who deserves this more than she does," said co-worker Lora Drake. "It just validates the fact that she's a working mother who does a great job of balancing work and family."

McBee grew up in Visalia, Calif. She moved to Worland three years ago and lives there with her husband, Jeff, a mechanic at the Pepsi-Cola bottling plant, and their children, Quinton, 7, and twins Regan and Lane, 4.

The Mrs. America pageant was held at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. McBee was expected to return to Wyoming by this weekend.

The Mrs. America pageant celebrates "America's greatest natural resource" and is in its 30th year. The winner competes at the Mrs. World pageant.

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