Garyville woman crowned Mrs. Louisiana

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 2, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – The photogenic Sandy Guidry, a resident of Garyville, was officially crowned Mrs. Louisiana United States on Friday night, surrounded by her close friends and family at the Belle Terre Country club in LaPlace. Both her family and the organizers of the pageant were excited to welcome her aboard.

The 31-year-old mother of one is not at all like the backstabbing beauty queen stereotypes that are so pervasive in popular culture. Movies such as “Miss Congeniality” or shows like  “Toddlers and Tiaras” may expose or make light of the grittier side of the pageant industry, but Guidry makes it a point to emphasize kindness and, of course, poise.

“Mrs. Louisiana is not all about the crown and the banner. Being a Mrs. woman in the pageant industry, you hold a whole lot more upon yourself,” said Nicky McIntosh, the Louisiana director of Mrs. United States. “It includes Mr. Louisiana with her, it includes her son. When they travel, they travel together. You need that unity in order to fulfill your obligations as Mrs. Louisiana.”

The Mrs. United States pageant system was founded in 1986 especially to showcase married women of intelligence and beauty. It is designed to recognize and reward the intelligence, success, strength, beauty and resilience of married women from all over the United States. The pageant system supports not only the entrants, but their families as well.

“The good thing is, being that I’m a Mrs., I’m able to have children. I just bring my family with me,” said Guidry. “They can come on usually anything I do. They tag along, and if they can’t, we just work it out in our schedules.”

Guidry is excited to have the opportunity to compete in the upcoming national competition, Mrs. United States, on July 25. She and two other “sister queens,” 2011’s Laura Valenti and the current reigning queen, Michelle Merrill, will be side-by-side at the competition, but she does not feel apprehensive. Her main goal is not to claw her way to the top, however — it’s to make friends and memories.

“I feel amazing. I can’t be touched right now. I really want to be pinched. My thing is, of course everyone wants to win that crown. But I’m really going to make friends and create memories. If you don’t create those memories, there’s nothing to look back on,” she said. “When I get home, I’ll remember all those special moments. I want to win, obviously, but if I don’t, it’s not a big deal because I actually had fun, made memories and friends. So whoever wins…we’re going to be very excited.”

Guidry said both her family and job are very supportive of her activities. Of her husband, Jeff Guidry, she said: “Because it’s something that I love and enjoy doing, he’s supportive in anything I ever do.”

“I work for a company called Paul Davis Restoration, and they are fabulous. They allow me to do whatever I need to do to make myself successful throughout their business and life,” she said. “So if it comes to family, they’re very family-oriented. If anything ever comes up they’re always prepared to let me do it. They’re very supportive.”

Guidry remains humble despite her success. She wishes the best for all of the women who compete along with her because she feels that they all share a definitive commonality.

 “I don’t think I’m any different than the other delegates vying for the title of Mrs. Louisiana. We are all married women living our dream,” she said with a smile. “I just believe that everyone will have their time to shine, and it just so happened to be my time. I know God has a plan for each and every one of us. I knew it was exactly my time when I was crowned Mrs. Louisiana.”