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Pageant contestants 'step it up'

Mr. and Miss Gervais pageant raises more than $15,000 for Doernbecher Children's Hospital


by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Lazaro Villegas and Milla Snegirev were crowned this year's Mr. and Miss Gervais.After more than 100 hours of preparation, 10 Gervais High School students presented the 14th annual Mr. and Miss Gervais Pageant on Saturday, raising more than $15,000.

The grand total raised this year was $15,152.22, putting Gervais over the $165,000 mark donated to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital since 1992.by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Milla Snegirev's father, Anfim Snegirev, hands her a tissue during the formal wear event. She would later be crowned Miss Gervais 2014.

The annual event, which supports the Kids Making Miracles foundation program, saw the crowning of Lazaro Villegas and Milla Snegirev as Mr. and Miss Gervais.

“I didn’t care if I won, it just mattered that we raised money to help the hospital that saved my life,” Snegirev said.

When she was 12, the high school senior was run over by a combine in a field outside Woodburn. She was air lifted to Doernbecher, where she spent close to a week.by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Lazaro Villegas sends frisbees into the audience during the athletic wear event. He would later be crowned Mr. Gervais.

“They really made me feel like I wasn’t alone,” she said about the staff at the Portland children’s hospital. “I want to be a nurse now because of the RN who helped me.”Tyler Hansen was also recognized as the contestant who brought in the most money — $2,630.33. Other pageant participants this year were Adam Jaramillo, Leonel Olivas, Daniel LaFollette, Bailey Bichsel, Carina Llamas, Sierra Ifft and Nikka Kolmogoroff.

“The talent this year was outstanding,” said Terry Witter, who worked as adviser for the pageant along with Deb Holum. “The kids seem to step it up every year.”

The process for the pageant began in the fall, when high school staff selected five senior girls and five senior boys to represent the school based on their involvement and efforts in the community. The 10 students worked on fundraising individually, visited the children’s hospital and rehearsed for the pageant,by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Tyler Hansen and Bailey Bichsel perform in a group dance at the Mr. and Miss Gervais Pageant Saturday night. which included group choreography, a talent portion and modeling of casual, formal and athletic wear. Choreography was done by Alyssa Root, a dance student at Western Oregon University, and clothing and flowers for the pageant were provided by David’s Bridal, Mr. Formal, JCPenney, Aunt Tilly’s Flower Barn and Bauman’s Farm and Garden.

“There was a lot of hard work put into the show,” said Mr. Gervais Lazaro “Chalo” Villegas. “I learned that the world’s not just about Chalo; it’s about everyone coming together to help each other.”

This attitude was apparent to judge Mallory Tyler, who serves as special programs director for Kids Making Miracles.

“This is one of the best pageants I’ve been too; it’s very moving,” she said. “I’ve been to several and this one just has so much community support.”by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Daniel LaFollette models his casual wear with Addy McCarger and Daniel Phelan.

She said she is proud of the work of not only the pageant contestants, but also of pageant coordinators Tito Rodriguez, Dakota Sandoval and Brandelyn Ifft, who are juniors at Gervais.

“Tito and Dakota are on the Kids Making Miracles Council,” Tyler said. “We’re going to ask Tito to be chair. They’ve been fantastic representatives.”

Witter added that Gervais has had a representative on the council every year since 2004 except for one.

Other judges this year were Shakelah Morgan, 2014 Mrs. Oregon; Don Boderman, conference and facilities manager at Western Oregon University; and Dan DeMoss, CEO of California Rural Water Association.by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Coordinators (from left) Dakota Sandoval, Brandelyn Ifft and Tito Rodriguez introduce the pageant contestants.

Though there were only two winners, Witter emphasized the importance of recognizing each individual participant.

“The kids this year fantastic to work with,” he said. “Deb Holum and I had a great time working with them. We appreciate the community support and the support from parents.”

The public can still donate to Doernbecher through Gervais. Checks made out to Gervais High School can be sent to Mr. and Miss Gervais Pageant, c/o Gervais High School, P.O. Box 195, Gervais, OR 97026.



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