Leontine wins first elderly Swiss Miss title


-File photo

Leontine Vallade, of uncertain age, became a Miss on Saturday, winning Switzerland’s first ever title of ‘Miss Home for the Elderly.’
Vallade, who counts floral arrangements among her favourite pastimes, beat off a strong challenge from the nine other contestants aged over 70 at the Chataigners home for the elderly in Veyrier, on the outskirts of Geneva.
The jury of representatives from five retirement or nursing homes said they were won over by her charisma and smile, earning the local pensioner a free meal at a luxury restaurant and a bunch of flowers.
The runners-up, Violette Kern and Violette Gisler, also won prizes. The exact age of the contestants, who donned their on Sunday best for the occasion, was not revealed.
Olivier Rerat, a retirement home employee who organised the pageant, said it brought a buzz of excitement to the five establishments involved.
The organisers hope to repeat the event next year and broaden it to more homes.
“And if there’s enough interest, we may even launch the title of ‘Mr Home for the Elderly’,” said Rerat, once a finalist in Mr Switzerland.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2007