Lorissa Marshall, 25, had to squat down to lift up her 2-year-old daughter Marrie while she modeled the outfits she’ll wear at the Mrs. New Mexico competition in two weeks for her supporters. She swung Marrie to her side, held her at the hip, and kept it moving.
The situation was indicative to Marshall and her mentors of what a Mrs. New Mexico embodies — a strong woman able to handle multiple responsibilities.
Marshall had a trunk show and send off for the competition on Thursday at Vines in Portales.
The Eastern New Mexico University alumna had her family, friends and other community members in attendance.
In addition to modeling outfits, which included chevron and polka dot prints as well as an evening gown, Marshall answered questions posed by the audience about her life and career goals.
The wife and mother of one wants to be a school counselor and hopes to have another child within the next five years.
Marshall said she’s always dreamed of participating in a pageant but it never was convenient for her to participate in one.
She felt it was important to participate in Mrs. New Mexico because not many pageants are available to married women and she feels married women, especially mothers, take on a lot more responsibilities than others.
“More things are changed at this level,” Marshall said.
Marshall said winning the pageant is a good goal she has set for herself because she feels she has control over it.
It was the journey, however, that changed her life.
“I’ve changed my perspective not so much on winning the title but how I’ve already won,” Marshall said of all the relationships and connections she’s made. “You forget how kind people are. It showed me humans are still good.”
Her pageant coach, Jackie Ingle, has coached three winners of Miss New Mexico, but the expert said of all the girls she’s coached, she has been touched by Marshall.
“I’ve worked with a lot of young ladies. When I saw this young lady…I knew I had a winner,” Ingle said. “This is not about a pageant, it’s not about the crown, it’s about the journey.”
Other community groups have supported Marshall through sponsorship and donation.
Dorothy Glover of the Portales Kiwanis Club said when Marshall made a presentation at a club meeting, many were impressed with her.
“We believe in her and we help people,” Glover said. “I think it impressed a whole lot of people. This is something that will make Portales go forward.”