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SALTWATER PORTRAIT

Mrs. Lewes a driving force in Cape Region community

Generous nature pays dividends for Elissa Troise-Greco
January 31, 2017

As Mrs. Lewes Delaware America 2017, Elissa Troise-Greco is packing her already-full schedule with events, appearances and opportunities to improve the Lewes-area community.

A Beebe baby, delivered by Dr. Vincent Killeen and raised on Pilottown Road, Troise-Greco says she is happy to represent her hometown for the state Mrs. Delaware America pageant, and she hopes to move on to the national level.

From her platform as Mrs. Lewes, Troise-Greco says she wants to give back to the community where she has built a family business, America's Choice Home Improvement, and is raising her own family, which includes her 8-year-old son E.J., and a set of 17-month-old triplets with her husband, John Greco.

While she runs the administrative side of the business from home, she also wrangles their three healthy, adventurous toddlers, Evelina, Giovanni and Mea Greco.

"They have to have a schedule. Otherwise, it's a free-for-all," she said, smiling at the thought of her tribe.

Troise-Greco sponsors several initiatives to give back to the community, including the second phase of a food drive with the Harry K. Foundation at the i.g. Burton Lewes Automall to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.

"The Winter's Here food drive is something I decided to do after seeing what a need we have here in Sussex County for food," she said.

Troise-Greco set a personal goal to donate more than 1,000 pounds of food this winter, and the first phase, which ran from mid-November to late December at i.g. Burton in Milford, brought in 236 lbs.

She hopes to triple that number with this drive. The more Troise-Greco reveals about herself, the more obvious it becomes: she doesn't back down from a challenge.

A Sussex County native, Troise-Greco holds an associate degree in entrepreneurship from Delaware Technical and Community College, where she served as president of the student body while pursuing her studies and working as her grandfather's primary caretaker.

She went on to obtain her bachelor's degree in business on a full scholarship through an online program from Mississippi University for Women and hopes to one day work in the legal world as a children's advocate.

"Ultimately, I want to go to law school, but that will have to wait," Troise-Greco said. "While the babies are little, I want to be with them."

Despite her successes, Troise-Greco said her path has not always been easy. Her grandfather, Edward Jerry Troise, passed away eight months after the triplets were born, and her mother died when she was 22. Now, at 29, with a young family, a small business and the responsibilities of her title on her shoulders, Troise-Greco said her faith is what gets her through.

"I believe everything comes in his time," she said, looking upward.

"I'm glad the Mrs. Lewes platform has given me the opportunity to raise awareness of issues like homelessness and hunger, andI'm glad to have the opportunity to help."

In addition to the food drive, Troise-Greco also entered the pageant with her babies in mind, inspiring her promotion of Project Sweet Peas, an initiative to support parents with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and parents dealing with infant loss.

Staying busy, she has been sponsored by RISE Fitness and Adventure to raise awareness about a fitness program for people with Parkinson's and other movement disorders offered at RISE. She also took part in a diaper drive at Every Fitness and is working on a project tentatively titled Blankets of Love. For this project, she hopes to offer blankets in support of families and in memory of lost infants.

"It makes me happy to help people, truly happy," Troise-Greco said. "That's why we are here on Earth."

In preparation for her next round of pageant competition for the title of Mrs. Delaware America in June, Mrs. Lewes said she has been getting tips from online pageantry videos and staying fit, but mostly Troise-Greco said she is just remembering to be true to herself.

To meet her 1,000-pound food donation goal, each building at the i.g. Burton Lewes Automall has boxes to collect nonperishables for the Winter's Here food drive, open during business hours until Tuesday, Feb. 28.

For more information about Troise-Greco, go to www.mrslewesdelaware2017.com.

  • The Cape Gazette staff has been doing Saltwater Portraits weekly (mostly) for more than 20 years. Reporters, on a rotating basis, prepare written and photographic portraits of a wide variety of characters peopling Delaware's Cape Region. Saltwater Portraits typically appear in the Cape Gazette's Tuesday edition as the lead story in the Cape Life section.

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