It has been over six decades since BeBe Shopp received her crown. While she could have rested on her laurels many times, she has kept herself young and vibrant in spirit.
At the age of eighteen, BeBe Shopp went from becoming Minnesota’s winner to the national stage. Unlike previous winners, she was the first Miss America to be crowned in an evening gown. (Previously, the winner was crowned in a bathing suit, but I digress.) Her scholarship winnings ($ 5000) went toward her schooling at the Manhattan School of Music, which is located in New York City. There, she received her bachelor’s degree in percussion. It seems fitting since she started playing the vibraharp when she was ten years old and used that talent to win the pageant.
BeBe has always been involved in the various local, state, and national pageants since her reign. She has emceed many of them, has been a judge for them, and has focused much of her time judging the Quality of Life Award on the national level. For her, her post-pageant tenure has been a lifelong love affair that has netted her many friends (Sisters) among the other winners.
So involved is she that she has performed in shows for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in both West Virginia and Illinois with other Miss America Sisters, as they call themselves.
In 2009, BeBe and seven other Miss America Sisters traveled to Afghanistan to meet and greet our military. Riding in Blackhawk helicopters between bases reminded her that it was a war zone, yet when it was first suggested, she was one of the first to sign up for this “tour of duty.”
Currently, she serves as a Lay Minister in the Episcopal Church. She is also the Past President and Board Member of the Gloucester Stage Company in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
As if BeBe isn’t busy enough, she and Bayard, her husband of sixty-one years, have four daughter, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. In addition, gardening is her favorite hobby.
Age is only a number, and every day BeBe Shopp proves it by living her life to the fullest. Join her and the other Sisters as they Celebrate America.
(see previous post about mailing donations or donate through GoFundMe.org at http://www.gofundme.com/bp3b4thk