A Rutledge woman has made it to the quarterfinals of the FabOver40 contest. Benita Sparrow, a married mother of two children has survived several rounds of voting to outlast more than 3,000 contestants in a contest that both awards a $40,000 first prize and generates money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Last Friday Sparrow learned she had made it to the semi-finals of the contest and was ecstatic. “I am astounded I made it this far,” she said.
Sparrow, 42, said she was encouraged by friends to enter the contest. “I had several of my friends send me messages about the contest saying, ‘you’re definitely fabulous over 40.’ I figured what’s it going to hurt?”
She also said the idea that the contest raises significant money for breast cancer research sealed her decision to put herself out there in an international spotlight. Sparrow says her older sister Gloria Malcom is a six-year breast cancer survivor. “We are very, very close,” she says.
Sparrow, who is the office manager at Bulldog Steel in Madison, says her small town residence and low-key social media profile also makes the fact that she has progressed from rounds of top 200, to top 20, to top 10 and now to top 5 amazing.
“I have maybe, 200 Facebook friends,” she says. However, she says her friends have worked on her behalf to share her goal of winning the contest, which also includes a paid “spa-cation” and a two page spread in New Beauty magazine.
According to the contest, the FabOver40 contest “… is just the beginning. No matter if you’re feisty, fit or flirty, it’s time to flaunt it! Women from all over the world are coming together to compete for this prize while supporting an amazing cause. Beauty and elegance have no age limit…”
Last year’s contest was won by 50-year-old Teri Coleman, a Scottsdale, AZ resident. “Don’t look at the calendar; just keep celebrating each day as if you will not have tomorrow. Always look at your age as just a number and nothing else,” she said in a press release following the win.
In Sparrow’s FabOver40 profile she describes herself as a “… 99 percent of the time a no makeup girl. I flaunt my 42 year old age by being real and caring for my loved ones.”
Sparrow is married to Lewis Sparrow. The couple have two children, 12-year-old Annabel and 8-year-old Sawyer.