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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jul 31, 2019

First Runner up is a Win/Win for Liver Transplant Recipient

By Deirdre Flanagan Ward

denise ely red bank nj

Denise Ely, a Red Bank resident recently featured in an issue of The Journal as a liver transplant recipient and longtime NJ Sharing Network volunteer, received first runner up in the Ms. New Jersey Senior America pageant held in Atlantic City on June 5.

Ely set a precedent as the first-ever transplant recipient to participate in the pageant which is a nonprofit organization that aims “to emphasize and give honor to women who have reached the ‘Age of Elegance,’” its website states.

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Contestants are judged in four categories: philosophy of life, interview, special talent and evening gown. The contestant who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of “all senior Americans” is crowned Ms. Senior America.

“My platform as a contestant in the pageant was ‘The Miracle of Organ Transplant,’” Ely said. “As the first-ever organ transplant recipient to participate in the Ms. Senior America Pageant, I am thrilled to be able to use that platform to inform and spread awareness about the importance and miracle of organ donation.”

denise ely red bank nj

She performed “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor as the special talent portion because the song is “dear to her heart and her liver,” she said.