Abilene Mother, aspiring RN to compete for crown in Ms. Wheelchair America

Marci Clare prepares to head to Michigan to compete for Ms. Wheelchair America following her...
Marci Clare prepares to head to Michigan to compete for Ms. Wheelchair America following her win as Ms. Wheelchair Kansas.(Mary Free Bed Guild)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 1:27 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A mother and aspiring registered nurse from Abilene will head to Grand Rapids, Mich., to compete for the national crown after her win as Ms. Wheelchair Kansas.

The Mary Free Bed Guild says Marci Clare, of Abilene, is ready to compete for the Ms. Wheelchair America crown in Michigan. Clare won the title of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and is a mother of four kids. She uses a wheelchair following a spinal cord injury in 2018.

Before her injury, the Guild noted that Clare worked in health care for 15 years and it is her goal to get back to school to become a registered nurse.

After the competition was canceled in 2020 and took place virtually in 2021, the Guild said the national Ms. Wheelchair America competition is back in-person with 22 inspiring contestants from across the nation who will contend for the title in the 51st annual event.

Unlike traditional beauty pageants, the Guild indicated that Ms. Wheelchair America is not a contest to choose the most attractive individual, but one based on advocacy, achievement and presentation to choose the most accomplished and articulate spokeswoman for people with disabilities.

The contest will be held in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, in Grand Rapids, Mich., between Aug. 15 and 21.

Before contestants arrive at the national competition, the Guild noted that the 22 participants were chosen as the titleholder in their respective states. During the event, it said the women will participate in workshops on leadership training, self-care and advocacy. The week will end with two events open to the public - a speech night on Friday and the crowning gala on Saturday.

In 2021, the Guild said Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation stepped up to take the traditionally in-person event virtual in order to keep contestants safe, while also broadcasting the event to thousands online. This year, it said it is proud to support all of the inspiring women as the event’s lead sponsor.

Just as Ms. Wheelchair America impacts communities across the nation, the Guild said it features strong women furthering the quality of life for those with disabilities.

“It’s with great joy that the Mary Free Bed Guild has collaborated with Ms. Wheelchair America to spotlight 2022′s amazing contestants,” said Amy Stuursma, Mary Free Bed Guild President. “All the contestants play such a critical role in the hope, freedom, and success of all who are wheelchair users.”

For more information about Ms. Wheelchair America, click HERE.

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