Paula Mele, resident of New Britain, is the official titleholder of Mrs. Connecticut International 2015.
The International System is an organization that promotes today’s married women’s accomplishments and commitment to family.
Raised on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina on Cedar Island N.C., she earned a four-year scholarship to study music, attended East Carolina University School of Music, and performed as a violinist in the North Carolina State Capitol Symphony under the direction of conductor Alan Nielson while living in Raleigh, N.C.
She met her husband while attending college. They have been married for 27 years. They have two sons, Toby and Zack.
During her husband’s deployments, she completed her dental hygiene degree from Coastal Carolina Community College and has been practicing for over 20 years. She works at Hartford Hospital’s Dental Department and with Pediatric Dental Associates in Manchester.
Her husband is originally from Connecticut and they returned 13 years ago to make it their home. Upon moving to New Britain, she got involved with community neighborhood groups, serving on municipal boards and Commissions for Community and Economic Development. She was the first woman appointed to the Connecticut Mattabassett District Board of Directorsm serving one term.
She assisted her legislative body in the passage of Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Health Screening Bill to allow testing for all newborn infants at birth in the State of Connecticut. CF affects her and a family member first hand.
As a USMC spouse, she served in the Key Wives Network. During Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, many units deployed with little advance warning. Family members left behind relied on each other for information, help, referrals, and support.
Volunteering with the American Red Cross on base at Cherry Point Naval Station Dental Department during mass deployments to ready the military members for their deployments during her husband’s military service in the USMC gave her a chance to give back while he was deployed.
Tony Mele, Paula’s husband is a USMC veteran, her father is a disabled veteran, and her uncle Jesse Massey is a Vietnam combat veteran.
A press release from Mele said, “Access to health care for veterans / military members’ emotional affects of PTS, TBI, suicide prevention and treatment rendering a place for them to stay at no cost to them or their families while receiving treatment is important.”
Mrs. Connecticut International 2015’s platform charity is the Fisher House Foundation, said the release from Paula. “Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay, at no cost, while a loved one is receiving treatment at a veterans hospital within walking distance,” said the release.
Paula will compete in the Mrs. International Pageant, which will be held July 25 and 26 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville Florida.
For more information on Paula’s journey to Mrs. International 2015 visit www.paulamele.com.