Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Suds, Spray, and Sandals

 The 2012 Miss Magna Scholarship Pageant Fundraiser

We're Taking good girls and turning them into outstanding Women --Ryan Egbert, Pageant Director 
      Sunlight flashes off cars passing by, cars that might look a little dusty after nearly a month of no rain, cars that could use a wash. Air rises from baking parking lot asphalt. Water splashes from a hose. Buckets are filled. Sandaled feet shift as markers glide over poster board. "That's cute!" someone says, as ink dries nearly instantly in the warm breeze.
     Across the street, Magna's Main Street, a faded Lion's Club sign hangs from an old metal light post. To the west, the whitewashed Cyprus C shines proudly from Thead’s Peak. To the east, the ever-changing scene of business bustles near the Veteran's memorial, the distant Wasatch mountains as a backdrop. A lone seagull flies toward the Kennecott tailings dike, and, as a young woman steps out onto the sidewalk with her poster to spiritedly advertise the fundraiser car wash, Five Dollars! the first customer turns into the parking lot of ABS Body & Paint and leaves a twenty.
     "It makes me feel good (to help)," says Sam Salisbury, owner ABS Body & Paint. "These girls are sure working hard. They deserve every ounce of credit. I think they’re doing a real good job. Magna's kind of an economically strapped community, so anything we can do to help them out. They need our support."

In the bay behind Sam Salisbury (unseen in the photo) sits a work of art in progress, a '67 Camero Rally Sport, its body sand blasted and gray with epoxy primer, undergoing a "full restoration. Sam has been in business on Magna Main Street for over twelve years.
     No other event (except the Independence Day parade) has been as enduring in this community as the Miss Magna Scholarship Pageant. It's an historic event with generational roots and representation.On June 30, 2012, Magna will once again celebrate our outstanding young women in a scholarship pageant held in the Cyprus High School auditorium at 7:00 PM. Tickets will be $5.00 at the door. To help support the pageant and keep this wonderful tradition alive, please visit the following website and hit the "donate" button. Every little bit helps.

     Across the valley, at the same time as the fundraiser, Alexandria Burt, the reigning Miss Magna 2011 prepared to compete in the final night of the Miss Utah competition.

Photo by Erica New
   As an update: Magna is proud of Alexandria's strong and stellar performance at the Miss Utah pageant. She is a graduate of Cyprus High and lettered as a Spinnaker through her sophomore to senior years. She is currently a Freshman at the University of Utah, studying Strategic Communications and performing with their dance team. She has done an outstanding job representing this community.

 Car Wash Fundraiser

     All suds, spray, sandals, tank tops, shorts, and sunglasses, the outstanding contestants of the Miss Magna 2012 Scholarship Pageant put on the sunscreen and went to work.
     Introducing the ladies who will compete to represent Magna 2012:

Kylie Lanktree

     Being a part of the pageant has "changed" Kylie to be a "better person. Though a motivation for becoming a contestant was the scholarship, she said, "It's really more than just the money...It's getting me ready for life."

Kelsey Hodges

     Kelsey wants to "make a difference in the world." She loves to help people and is concerned about hunger in Utah. The pageant has helped her grow. "I’m not so shy anymore. I’ve made some new friends. I’ve gotten out there and met new people, and got my face out there (to) let people know that beauty pageants aren’t just a pretty face and anybody can be a title holder."

Kyrsti Orvin

       Kyrsti views the pageant as "life-changing fun." She credits the persuasion of her friends and Cyprus High School music director, Kerry Moore for helping her gain the confidence to join. "I can do things I thought I couldn’t. It’s helped me discover my talent a little bit more...It will help me help other people."

Brenda Rodriguez

     For Brenda the pageant is, "having fun with my friends and enjoying the moment right now." She likes to "get into the history of Magna." She's concerned with "abuse against women." The pageant has taught her "to feel like I could do anything. Like no one could put me down.I think it’s gonna help me by the lessons it taught right now, work as a team. Everything’s a team. There’s no I in team. Like in work, if there’s an I in team, then you’re not going to get along with your co-workers or your bosses."

Brittany Kinder

    Brittany, a former contestant for the Miss Magna 2011 pageant, has returned to share her passion. Last year it was "kids with cancer." This year it's "drug abuse...because I lost a friend recently." She feels the pageant is "definitely going to help me get, maybe, scholarships, help me with college as well. And also it will help me be more open to charity."

Marie Lucero

     Marie has also returned to run again this year. "Every year that I’ve done it, it’s made me keep on going, and making me believe that I can do something that I never thought I could do."
     She wanted to do it "because a lot of people would always say a lot of girls can’t do this because you have to be pretty, and you have to be perfect, and I just wanted to prove to everybody that I could do something like this, and let little girls look up to me and know that they can do this, and it’s possible for anybody to do it, shape, size, anything."  She wants to "give hope to all the breast cancer survivors."
     The pageant has changed her to "become a better person and be able to look at others and care for them more than I care about myself." 
     "I’m a part of something big...that everybody will remember and look back and be like, 'oh this person did this,' and that it makes me feel great."

Mary "Marky" Johnson

     For Mary, it's made her realize "what I can do for myself, like how I raised the hundred dollars, and how I’m learning a talent, cus I’m gonna dance for my talent, and I normally would never dance...When I get down to it, I practice and I practice, and I get better. It makes me have more confidence in myself."
     The pageant has made her feel more involved in the community and achieve her goals. She feels it will help her with communication, like job interviews. It has strengthened her confidence.
     She is concerned about "funds for the arts in school." She's doing it "because there’s people in school that don’t always necessarily fit in in the athletics and anything else like that. And when they don’t have anything to do, then there’s nothing to motivate them to stay involved."

Cancace Finau

     Candace feels the pageant is going to help her be more open with people. She credits it for helping her have the confidence to gain her recent employment at Target and meeting new friends. It has helped her grow and "realize that there’s more to this world that people don’t see, and I feel like I can help make it a better place."
     To Candace, the pageant improves women, "makes us more responsible and helps us build up our standards. It will make me more confident with everything I do."

Brianna Ekker

     Brianna joined the pageant to gain more confidence in herself, "a good way to get out of my shell." She's excited to participate in "things that many great women have done." She's gained more confidence and credits the pageant for helping her "learn who I really am."
     She's concerned about "raising awareness against the signs of depression and suicide in young kids and teens."

Contestants not present at fundraiser:
Jill Cardenas
Harlie Permain
Brittney De St. Jeor

Co-director Ryan Egbert
Co-director Ryan Egbert with the contestants. Bonnie Goble Egbert, Miss Magna '94, is not present in the photo. Bottom left is eleven-year-old volunteer and Ryan's niece, Noelle Goble.

     Ryan Egbert "got involved" with the pageant because his wife, co-director, Bonnie Egbert, is Miss Magna 1994, formerly Bonnie Goble. "It really made a huge difference in her life."
     "There’s so much more to a beauty pageant," he says, "than what people think. It’s truly a scholarship pageant. We’re trying to take good girls and turn them into outstanding women. They have to learn amazing things. They have to learn how to do public speaking. They have to be a leader. They have to learn how to market. They have to market the Miss Magna pageant, to market themselves.They have to have a talent that they can share. For a lot of them that’s been a tough one to develop and work on. And then they have to learn how to hold themselves, how to walk, poise, etiquette. In the end it makes a huge difference. That’s why my wife and I are willing to sacrifice our time our energy our money and try and get this done here in Magna for these girls, just make a difference."

      Many great people have dedicated time, talents, energy, personal funds, and much more to keep this important event alive and burning in the hearts of the community, especially in recent years. So many individuals deserve a special "thank you," including former Miss Magna royalty and contestants who hold the pageant dear and continue to serve and volunteer (and this is not excluding the many unsung heroes), Millie Ellett, Stacie Kingdon Woolston, Natalee Johnston Stewart, Donnie Sweazey, Starr Campbell, Dottie Alo, and Kathys Flower Shop, all deserving more than just a quick mention on a list.
     One "unsung hero," in particular, will be remembered with gratitude to the support he gave, especially during the tough times and ups and downs in recent years. This good man understood the importance the pageant holds to this great township, a man Magna will always hold in dear memory for all his service: Norm Fitzgerald.

Robert Goble, "Magna's writer," is the author of two novels, A Winter Morning's Sun and the award-winning Across A Harvested Field. His latest novel due to appear sometime in 2012 will be a dark, fantasy-horror titled In Older Worlds.


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