Misty Coolidge is crowned USA United Service Ambassador in Omaha, Nebraska, in July. Contributed / FELS

After being crowned Mrs. Maine 2021 in January, Misty Coolidge, a wedding planner, business owner, wife and mother of three in New Gloucester, set her sights on something even bigger.

At the Mrs. Worldwide USA pageant in Omaha, Nebraska, last month, Coolidge was crowned USA United Service Ambassador and the first runner up in all divisions. The title highlights Coolidge’s longtime commitment to serving her community. 

“I was really touched to receive that award (because) it shows my level of dedication to fighting hunger. That’s why I do this,” Coolidge said. “I get to travel the country this coming year, and I’m planning on utilizing the Feeding America chain of food banks across the country to volunteer and help fill hungry bellies.”

Coolidge has long had a passion for serving her community. Growing up, her mother, a single parent, worked hard to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. When she was at college at Husson University in Bangor, Coolidge began working at a soup kitchen. Now, she volunteers regularly at Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn.

“I found that I just loved it. It’s just so exciting and empowering, and I see the difference that the food bank makes every day when I’m there,” she said.

Coolidge’s work at Good Shepherd “has gone outside the food bank walls,” said Bethany Tatro, the organization’s volunteer engagement coordinator. She has helped distribute food during the pandemic and has organized fundraisers.
“When she is volunteering her time to the food bank, whether it is at our facility or one of her events, she is dedicated, bubbly, passionate and friendly,” Tatro said. “She loves to … help tell the story of the food bank, our partners, and the effects of food insecurity. Her enthusiasm is contagious.”

With her platform and expanded influence as the newly crowned USA United Service Ambassador, Coolidge hopes to share her passion for community service with people in Maine and across the country. She plans to travel to New York, where she will be walking in New York Fashion Week, as well as to Phoenix and California to volunteer at local food banks throughout the year and raise awareness about hunger across the nation.

When she is not busy competing in pageants, volunteering at a food bank or spending time with her family, Coolidge helps make wedding dreams a reality.

She and her husband Peter purchased Coolidge Family Farm seven years ago after being laid off around the same time and are now into their sixth wedding season. The farm, on 11 acres in New Gloucester, sleeps 24 people and has been renovated to host weddings and house guests in a farmhouse, cottages and a Groom’s House. This year, Coolidge is planning 43 weddings.

Misty Coolidge was selected as Mrs. Maine in January. Contributed / Tess Johnson Photography

“I have 43 brides and am working on planning all their weddings. It’s kind of insane, but I love it,” she said.

Three years ago, Coolidge purchased and renovated a one-room wedding chapel in Gray that she renamed Coolidge Chapel.

“I saved it from being bulldozed, which is pretty exciting,” she said.

Coolidge is also the owner of a mobile bar service, Maine Mixologists, which has been in operation for 12 years.

“I’ve got a fleet of vehicles, including a food truck that we just restored to be a bar. I’ve got about 30 staff people that work for me and they travel all over the state every Saturday bartending weddings,” Coolidge said. “My weekends are quite insane.”

Coolidge, however, makes it all work.

She was scouted for the America pageant system in 2015. Originally from Norridgewock,  pageantry was never on her mind.

“I wasn’t surrounded by that kind of thing, or there was never that option, so I really didn’t know much about that,” Coolidge said. “It just opened up so many more doors for me. It allows you to make a better, much bigger impact on your platform. My husband and I decided to give it a shot because I think that life is so short, and anything that challenges you and makes you a better person and can open doors and can help serve more people just sounded really exciting.”

At her first pageant in 2016, Coolidge took Second Runner-Up in the Mrs. Maine America competition roughly a year after giving birth to her now 6-year-old twins Eva and Caden. After taking a year off from competing following the birth of her now 4-year-old Grace, in 2018, Coolidge won the Mrs. Maine International title and continued on to the national pageant.

In 2020, Coolidge competed for the Mrs. Maine America title again. Though she did not place, she won both the Community Service and Spirit awards.

Following the Mrs. Maine America pageant, Coolidge decided to compete again in a different pageant system.

“Platform (is) obviously the most important to me, so I found a system called the Worldwide USA pageants, and I called the director and we had lots of conversations. I called a couple of the reigning queens to get some more information on the pageant system itself, and I discovered that this system is 100% platform based. That’s what they care about,” Coolidge said.

This means that each contestant must focus on an issue and demonstrate the way in which they give back to their community through that cause. For Coolidge, it was an ideal way to promote her involvement in fighting hunger locally and nationwide.

However, her biggest goal remains close to home.

“I work really hard and my heart is big,” Coolidge said. “I just give back as much as I can while I can, and hopefully inspire my kids to do that … and show them what community service is about, and hopefully they have the same passion for it that I do.”

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