KENNEWICK -- Residents of the Charbonneau retirement community call Lucretia Etienne "Lucky."
Etienne, the senior housing complex's enrichment coordinator, lived up to her nickname recently when she won a Mary Kay makeover contest.
She also showed that beauty is more than skin deep by choosing Hospice at The Chaplaincy as the recipient of a $100 contest prize.
Mary Kay representative Margo Quesnell said the cosmetics company periodically has a "Get Beautiful, Give Back" contest that allows participants to get a free makeover, then submit their "before" and "after" photos for a vote.
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The top local vote-getter stood to win $100 to donate to the charity of her choice, and $100 cash for herself.
Etienne said she entered the contest because she hoped her participation would inspire some of the seniors living at Charbonneau to get involved and have a little fun.
"They all love makeup, and they all need skin care at this stage in their lives," said Etienne, 64, of Kennewick. "Generally they will join in if I join in."
But it was knowing she'd be able to do a little something for a charity dear to her heart that really got Etienne excited about the contest.
She said she has connections to hospice organizations going back to the 1980s, when her mother helped start one in Longview. Eventually, each of her parents came to need hospice at the end of their lives, and she sees how Tri-City hospice workers care for Charbonneau residents when needed.
"They are angels here on Earth -- you just can't see their wings," Etienne said. "They are the most wonderful, giving, loving people you could want to help your loved ones."
Heather Filbin, development director for The Chaplaincy, said the money will go toward the nonprofit's hospice program, in which volunteers help terminally ill patients with physical, emotional and spiritual care in their last days.
Etienne said she was happy to be able to make the gesture, especially since she never expected to win.
"I was shocked," she said of learning she had won. "Then I also went 'Yay!' because then I was able to do something for hospice that I wouldn't have been able to do."
Etienne plans to apply her personal $100 share of the prize toward her daughter's studies to become a dietitian.
* Michelle Dupler: 509-582-1543; email@example.com