Woodman named second runner-up in Ms. Wheelchair USA
SHIPMAN, Ill., Aug. 3, 2017 — Alicia Woodman of Shipman, who had previously been chosen as Ms. Wheelchair Illinois USA, competed in the national pageant July 24-30 in Akron, Ohio, and emerged as the second runner-up.
“So many emotions went through my head,” Woodman said about realizing she had placed. “I was grateful for this opportunity. So many things and months led up to that moment.”
Woodman also received the Press Room Award, chosen based upon videos each contestant sent in about their lives and their chosen platforms (Woodman’s platform is accessibility in businesses), and the Invacare People’s Choice Award, which is given to the contestant who received the most votes on the pageant’s website. Each vote was in the form of a $5 donation to the Dane Foundation, an Ohio charity serving individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.
The pageant itself consisted of preliminaries on July 28 and finals on July 29. The pageant included an interview, opening number, platform speech and evening gown portion. The title ultimately went to Madeline Delp, Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina USA.
In addition, official pageant-related activities included a visit to SOAR, an accessible playground in Stow, Ohio; a meal at Retro Dog; attending an Akron Racers women’s softball game; creating paintings with local Girl Scouts, to be auctioned off at the pageant to raise money for the Dane Foundation; decorating miniature Christmas trees, to be auctioned off in December for the same purpose; visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; attending a car show; and more.
“The best thing was getting to meet and talk to other women in wheelchairs,” said Woodman. “Unless you’re in a wheelchair, you don’t know what wheelchair users go through on a daily basis.”
Looking forward, Woodman hopes to start a program in which business owners spend time in a wheelchair so that they can see how inaccessible their businesses are. “It will be a challenge to see if business owners can get to/through their business in a wheelchair.”