Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am still giddy about the Mrs. International Pageant last weekend!  I spent last week surrounded by 52 successful and stunning women who are truly changing this world for the better.  The week was both inspiring and humbling, and I left Chicago a better woman because of the people I encountered in this amazing pageant system.

The icing on my pageant cupcake was being selected as 3rd Runner-up to the title of Mrs. International 2011!  I was also blessed to win overall fitness and evening gown.  I feel so incredibly fortunate to have had so many amazing opportunities as Mrs. Tennessee International.  This system is life changing for the titleholders, and I will forever be honored to have held the title of Mrs. Tennessee International 2011.  Thank you to all the people who supported me and especially to those who came to Chicago to cheer me on!

I received the news today that the 2012 Mrs. Tennessee International Pageant will be held in early March of 2012 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  That means I will be Mrs. Tennessee International for six more months!!  I am so happy about that, and I am excited to help all the 2012 contestants prepare to compete for the 2012 title.  If you would like information on the 2012 pageant (which will change your life for the better:), you can e-mail me at mrstnint2011@hotmail.com.  I will be more than happy to help you in any way I can.  You can also reach our new Tennessee director, Tiffany Porter, at 423-773-4660.

If you are looking for an incredible pageant experience, the International system is for you.  Mary and Mel Richardson, the national directors of the Mrs. International Pageant, put on a first class show.  We had so much fun sightseeing in Chicago (the boat tour of the city was amazing!), the rehearsals were well organized, the show was flawless, the host hotel (Doubletree North Shore) was comfortable and very accomodating (the staff was beyond kind and helpful), and the other contestants were FIRST CLASS.  Can you tell I had a great experience?!  I encourage you to consider the International system if you ever thought entering a pageant might be fun!

I will be posting photos from the 2011 Mrs. International Pageant very soon!  Thank you again to everyone who supported me on this journey!

God Bless,
Mary-Marsha Riley
Mrs. Tennessee International 2011
3rd Runner-up to Mrs. International 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

8 Days Until Mrs. International Week!

In just a bit more than a week, I will be packing up the Tahoe and heading to Chicago to represent Tennessee in the Mrs. International Pageant.  I am humbled by this opportunity that I have worked toward for so long.  I hope to make my husband, family, friends, and my state very proud.  This has been such an incredible year filled with opportunities and blessings I could never have imagined would have been possible.  I am truly grateful to be Mrs. Tennessee International 2011.  

Last night, my family and dear friends gathered together for my Mrs. International Send Off Party.  I am so thankful to have such an amazing support system.  The party was so much fun, and I am so happy to have been able to share the excitement of this time with the people I love who have supported me throughout this journey.  I want to especially thank my husband David and my dear friends Tina Winham, Melody Usdan, and Brandy Parrish-Wade. 
Me with Mr. Tennessee International 2011 

Me with my dear friends Melody Usdan and Tina Winham 

The yummy food table!

Streets Strut

I spent a week in June with some extremely talented, spirited, and inspiring little ladies at the Streets Ministries Summer Program in downtown Memphis.  Despite being faced with obstacles few of us will ever encounter, these girls are determined to reach their potential in this life, and I have no doubt that each of them are destined for great things.  We spent our week together discussing health, fitness, self image, peer pressure, poise, and self respect.  The week culminated in the "Streets Strut" where the girls showcased their talents, poise, and confidence on stage for their friends and Streets mentors.  It was an amazing and uplifting week.  I am so happy to have found the gem that is Streets Ministries.  The work of this organization is vital to our city, and I am honored to be able to help them reach out to the amazing children of Memphis who desperately need people to believe in them and tell them that they can in fact realize their dreams.
The girls in their tiaras after the "Streets Strut"