Women 60 years and over, gather at the YWCA on a weekly basis to engage in activities that are fun, educational and inspirational. They also share experiences and interact with youths who attend programs at YWCA.The Belize YWCA has an active and dedicated support community for "seenagers." They are responsible for several service-based projects, including children's parties, Y reunions, holiday projects, and fundraisers to support the community.
However, it's not all work for these active seniors; they also let their hair down and have fun. They participate in various activities such as storytelling, bingo, exercising, dancing, and many others. It's also a tradition to put on an annual Christmas party for members of all ages.
The Miss Y Pagent
A highlight on the social calendar each year, the YWCA spotlights the talents, achievements, and accomplishments of Belize’s senior women.
In 1992 the YWCA started the Helping Early Leavers Programme (H.E.L.P.), a programme to assist out-of-school young women between the ages of 13 and 18 to be productive citizens. To help this educational curriculum financially, the senior group under the leadership of the General Secretary Mrs. Sonia Lenares came up with the idea of the Ms. Y Pageant for women 50 years and over. President Mrs. Norma Sutherland and the Board of Directors gave full support to this initiative. This fun-loving and talented group agreed to contribute their talents to support the YWCA in helping young girls get another chance.
With a makeshift stage, the first Pageant was held in 1993 at the YWCA’s auditorium on St. Thomas Street, with Ms. Beverly Smith Lopez (now deceased) as the M.C., who did a dynamic job. Due to the high success of the Pageant, the following year it was held at the Bliss Institute. Channel 5 “Lauren Da Mawning” hosted by Lauren Burgess and other media houses assisted in popularizing the show, and we, therefore, had to move the Pageant to its current home at the Belize City Centre.
In the third year of the Pageant, Ms. Leotine Lewis coined the word “seenagers, ” and since then it is the buzz word for the Pageant and other senior activities both at home and abroad.
The Ms. Y Pageant has grown into one of the most prestigious and celebrated events on the social calendar each year for the YWCA. The Pageant is the most prominent fundraiser and the proceeds collected go to support YWCA programmes and projects.
The primary focus of the Pageant is to showcase the seenagers’ talents, celebrate their accomplishments and honor them for serving as role models for young people. This event is a real family affair.
Previous Ms. Y Queens
1993 – 1994 Ms. Antolina Davis
1994 – 1995 Ms. Winnel Grant Borg (deceased)
1995 – 1996 Ms. Leotine Lewis
1996 – 1997 Ms. Cynthia Goff (deceased)
1997 – 1998 Ms. Viola Myles (deceased)
1998 – 1999 Ms. Claire Moody
1999 – 2000 Ms. Paulita Reyes
2000 – 2001 Ms. Grace Coleman
2001 – 2002 Ms. Rosmarie Smith
2002 – 2003 Ms. Shirley Ferguson
2003 – 2004 Ms. Catalina Casimiro
2004 – 2005 Ms. Catherine Flowers
2005 – 2006 Ms. Judith Baptist
2006 – 2007 Ms. Hettiemae Moody (deceased)
2007 – 2008 Ms. Anita Henry
2008 – 2009 Ms. Joyce Flowers
2009 – 2010 Mrs. Olga Cook
2011 – 2012 Ms. Muriel Cummings
2013 - 2014
2015 - 2016
2017 - 2018