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Christy Tighe, Mrs. New Jersey

Wife, Mother, Coach and Active Citizen of Fanwood

Fanwoodian Christy Tighe Wins Mrs. New Jersey Pageant


Specially Written for The Times

Fanwood resident Christy Tighe -- wife, mother, coach and active citizen -- recently acquired yet another title when she edged out nearly 40 other contestants to win the Mrs. New Jersey pageant on April 26 in Atlantic City, an experience the 29-year-old said she never belived would actually happen.

"I had entered the pageant for fun and I never expected to win," said Mrs. Tighe, who represented her community as Mrs. Fanwood Borough in the competition. "I was very surprised and very humbled because there were a lot of sharp girls who entered the pageant."

Mrs. Tighe said she first got the idea to enter the competition in 1995 during a parade honoring the borough’s centennial. It was there that she met a pageant representative, who gave her a telephone number to call for information about the state contest, which is based in Riverside. The new Mrs. New Jersey said she had entered other pageants but had never won before.

After submitting an application, which did not require an accompanying photograph, Mrs. Tighe was selected along with 38 others out of 1,400 inquiries from throughout New Jersey. The pageant was preceded by two rehearsals on April 25 and another the day of the pageant. Participants also had lunch together and toured Atlantic City’s boardwalk.

Held in the city’s Convention Center, where many Miss Americas have also been crowned, the Mrs. New Jersey pageant featured personal interviews with the contest’s seven judges, as well as an evening gown and swimsuit competition. The contestants ranged in age from 21 to 57, according to Mrs. Tighe, who said each woman was escorted by her husband during the evening gown portion of the event.

Mrs. Tighe’s husband, Bill, works in Manhattan as Director of Product and Retail Sales for the Sports Division at Giant Screen Printers, a division of Warner Brothers. The couple, has lived in Fanwood for two years and has two children, Willie, 3, and 10-month-old Louis.

The pageant winner, who earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from the University of Illinois in 1991, is a member of the Fanwood Board of Adjustment and last year ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Borough Council on the Democratic ticket. She has further been involved with the borough through membership on the Fanwood Historic Preservation Commission and the Fanwood Junior Woman’s Club.

She also coaches cheerleading part-time at the Newark Academy in Livingston.

Mrs. Tighe reported that her husband "was a little unsure" about the pageant in the beginning, "but when I won he was very proud and said that, besides the births of our children, he’d never been happier." She also was joined in Atlantic City for the big night by her mother, who flew in from Chicago for the festivities.

In addition to her new title, Mrs. Tighe won $2,000 in cash plus clothing, luggage and jewelry, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas for the Mrs. United States competition on Friday, July 25.

Although the pageant had its share of glamour, Mrs. Tighe said she felt the judges were most impressed by her community service record, particularly her involvement in local politics and her expressed desire to try again for a Borough Council seat. "They respected that even though I didn’t win, I wanted to run again sometime in the future," she remarked.

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