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Port Angeles’ deputy mayor competing in national pageant

PORT ANGELES — In light of her upcoming pageant, Cherie Kidd told her two sons and six grandkids, “I’m not your normal mom. I’m not your normal grandma.”

She’s Ms. Washington.

Port Angeles’ former mayor and current deputy mayor will don a bold scarlet costume, bedecked with sequins, jewels and fringes, as she vies for the title of Ms. Senior America from Oct. 15-20 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Justin Timberlake will set the tone for her talent:

“I can’t stop the feeling

So just dance, dance, dance

I can’t stop the feeling

So just dance, dance, dance”

Kidd will perform a three-minute contemporary dance number to “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” at least once. But she hopes to repeat her performance two more times — that would place her among the top five contestants, advancing beyond the two preliminaries.

As in the Miss America beauty pageant, Ms. Senior America will be crowned in Superstar Theater.

Whereas Miss America contestants range from 17 to 24 years old, Ms. Senior America honors those 60 and older, women who have reached the “Age of Elegance.”

Kidd likes to amend that mantra — slightly. She prefers “Age of Accomplishment.”

Through the pageant, she hopes to dispel myths about “retirement age.”

“We are achievers,” she said. “Many of us may retire from a business or a job but we don’t retire from activity and contribution and achievement. So we just change our focus from business to community service — many of us.”

Kidd operates AAA Affordable Storage in Port Angeles with her husband, Bob Forsberg, while also serving as deputy mayor, William Shore Pool board commissioner and president of Soroptimist International of Port Angeles.

She also volunteers for the Kiwanis Club of Port Angeles, previously as its president.

As for the future, Kidd doesn’t see herself slowing down any time soon.

If Kidd were to win the pageant, she would travel around the country for a year as Ms. Senior America, presenting a positive outlook “for seniors, by seniors.”

More than a beauty pageant, the Ms. Senior America competition brands itself as “a re-affirmation of life and self worth, of laughter and tears, of inner beauty and outward charm.”

If there’s a common bond among the 50 contestants, it’s the shared experience of 60-plus years of laughter and tears, Kidd said.

“We’re the ladies who survived the storms, built new dams and kept on plugging away because we knew above the clouds the sun is still shining,” Kidd said. “We survived so much that we made us who we are today.”

During interviews with a panel of judges, the women will share 30-second “Philosophy of Life” statements with the audience. The statements are intended to offer wisdom to the younger generation.

Kidd said she worked on four business endeavors, raised a family, coped with the deaths of loved ones, cared for her elderly mother and went through a nine-month battle with cancer.

“I’ve had to be strong,” she said.

“At this age, we are our better selves because we know we can survive and thrive,” Kidd said.

Age provides an advantage in that way, she said.

“Here we are, and we’re better because of it. Everything is better because of it. We’re giving back because of it,” she said. “Now, here we are to represent Senior America today.”


Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at

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