10 Most Beautiful 2012

Meet the 20 women who were chosen as finalists to compete in the 417 Magazine 10 Most Beautiful Women contest.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

(page 15 of 20)

Melanie Pulscher, 42

Occupation: Corporate Services Officer at Great Southern Bank
City: Springfield
Family: Husband Michael Pulscher, 22-year-old Jordan Tucker, 22-year-old Damien Pulscher, 23-year-old Jaron Robbins

What is your charity of choice, and why is it important to you?

Hospice. My charity of choice at this time would be Hospice. My recent experience with an aging friend, has opened my eyes to the importance of this organization. They assist not only those near the end of life, but also their family members and friends. Hospice employees and volunteers are assisting in so many ways to provide comfort to my friend. They even helped her schedule something that she has apparently wanted to do her whole life, pierce her ears! With their help, she was able to get her ears pierced at age 83. She is so proud!

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

Inside beauty comes from a woman who has the ability to be true to her heart, be genuine in all circumstances, while having compassion for others and empathy for other’s circumstances.

Why do you think you’re a 10 Most Beautiful Women finalist?

Because my mom nominated me. I’m sure there are many that deserve it more than I.

Do you volunteer, or are you involved in any philanthropic or community organizations?

I have donated money and time to a variety of organizations including the Salvation Army, Ambassadors for Children/Kid’s Closet, The American Red Cross, Nami, The Victory Mission and others. In the last year or so, the majority of my focus has been on a community organization called Alanon. This is a support group for friends and family members of those who suffer from addiction, a serious disease. Also, in July of 2011, an aging friend of mine became seriously ill and was juggled from residential care home to hospital and back. Her immediate family lives in California, so I visit as often as time allows. My experience with her has opened my eyes to the value of the Hospice organization and what it offers to all of us and those close to the dying process. My husband and I also share a support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We recently donated two lots for the St. Jude 2012 and 2013 dream homes.

How are those experiences meaningful to you?

Each experience has touched me in unique ways:

I receive a satisfying feeling from donating to organizations, especially when I know that the funds are well spent. Last fall, my husband and I had the privilege to tour the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and housing facilities. It was amazing to see the good that they are doing and how far-reaching and well-run this organization is. From the time St. Jude opened in 1962, it has helped push childhood cancer survival rates from less than 20 percent to more than 80 percent, and more specifically one particular form, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, from a 4 percent to a 94 percent survival rate.

Then, there are those experiences that have touched me in more personal ways. My experience with Alanon is one of them. This has been a life-changing experience for me. I cannot express how Alanon and sharing our experience, strength and hope can help improve the quality of life for those experiencing the pain of loving someone who suffers from addiction.

 Another very personal experience is the recent dealings with my aging friend. Being a part of her life for the last 16 years, we have a close relationship. Being beside her during this last year in the residential facility, but especially while she’s been on hospice, has awakened a desire in me to comfort those who are aging and lonely or close to death. I feel that I am presently being called in that direction.

Tell us what you do for a living:

I have been in banking for 20 years, with Great Southern Bank for the past 10 years as a Corporate Services Officer. Basically, I am a relationship manager for corporate and business banking deposit customers. Helping my customers every day is rewarding, and I absolutely love it when my job calls me to step up to a ‘think outside the box’ solution to offer my customers.

What has been your proudest moment?

I am most proud that I have overcome the difficult experiences in life and that I have become the person that I am today.

What has been your biggest hurdle to overcome?

The challenges that my children have faced. Every mother hurts when their children do.

What are three words that describe you?

Sincere, empathetic, determined.

What’s your favorite feature about yourself?

I think outside of the box, I’m creative. It has allowed me to be flexible in my thinking and has helped me to find solutions that might not be readily visible. This quality can help in all areas of life.

When you were a child, who did you think was the most beautiful woman?

Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. As a child, I loved her because she was lovely, colorful, strong and had a beautiful voice. Today I realize she also stood up for what is right, and she learned the best lesson of all: That happiness is where the heart is, not somewhere over the rainbow.

What’s your favorite source of inspiration?

People, both those who give back to the world in some exceptional way and those who have triumphed over difficult obstacles. I also gain inspiration from everyday reminders of God’s greatness: Nature, answers to prayer, finding comfort in faith.

What advice would you give to a young girl about being beautiful?

Always be kind and reach out to others, especially those who others are not being kind to. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what’s right; your heart will tell you. Strive to be honest with yourself about what you’re feeling and find someone you can trust and admire that you can share your fears with.

What are your favorite ways to spend a day off?

On a beautiful day, I’d spend it outdoors driving my convertible or relaxing in a quiet place at the river or the ocean. On a rainy day, I’d be sleeping in with the window open. Also, reading a good book or finding a bargain on something I love.

What is your most prized possession?

The necklace that my husband had made for me. It has a diamond that he gave me, a diamond that my deceased father gave to my mother (from her wedding ring), and a diamond that my deceased Great Grandma Grace gave me from her wedding ring.

What is your Facebook status right now?

Honestly, it’s blank. I usually just check out everyone else’s.

If you could have one talent that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

A beautiful singing voice.

What’s something that might surprise us about you, or a story you love to tell?

Last fall, I bought a 1986 Dodge Camper Van, complete with 60,000 original miles, stove, sink, refrigerator, toilet, bath tub/shower, and much more! It’s amazing. I’ve camped in it many times with friends, sisters, or just by myself for some quiet time. But, always near a river. I call it “Mel’s Funky Town Doll House”. I love it, and I’ve had so much fun, not only camping but just watching people’s expressions!

Head to voting!

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