Pageant contestants 'step it up'
Mr. and Miss Gervais pageant raises more than $15,000 for Doernbecher Children's Hospital
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 Childrens Hospital since 1992.
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 didnt 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.
They really made me feel like I wasnt alone, she said about the staff at the Portland childrens 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 childrens hospital and rehearsed for the pageant, 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 Davids Bridal, Mr. Formal, JCPenney, Aunt Tillys Flower Barn and Baumans Farm and Garden.
There was a lot of hard work put into the show, said Mr. Gervais Lazaro Chalo Villegas. I learned that the worlds not just about Chalo; its 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 Ive been too; its very moving, she said. Ive been to several and this one just has so much community support.
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. Were going to ask Tito to be chair. Theyve 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.
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.