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Miss Spokane Valley has deep roots in area

Hannah Robb, a third generation Valleyite, enjoys painting watercolors and competing in track

The 2010 Miss Spokane Valley Hannah Robb is well suited for her new position representing Spokane Valley. She is the third generation of her family to make her home in the Valley.

Robb, a junior at Central Valley High School, was crowned in a ceremony Saturday that included a final interview and a speech.

Crowned as members of the Miss Spokane Valley Ambassadors court were runners-up Emmalee Ohlstrom of East Valley High School and Madeleine Walsh of University High School. The three girls will represent the city of Spokane Valley at community gatherings, grand openings, the Lilac Parade and other events. Robb earns a $1,000 college scholarship and the runners-up each will receive a $500 scholarship.

Robb’s family arrived in the area in the late 1950s. Her maternal grandparents were Trent Elementary teacher Joe Toeter and longtime nurse Mary Jane Thompson. Her parents, Robert and Sharon Robb, owned Select Farms and now work on their own flower and vegetable farm. Those are community roots Robb is proud of.

Robb said she hadn’t thought of participating in the annual competition until she saw a friend filling out an application. She liked that it was a scholarship program and that it was about Spokane Valley. “It’s just a good way to be a part of the community,” she said.

Robb is already making something of a name for herself as an artist. This summer she plans to sell some of her watercolor pieces at a booth at the Liberty Lake Farmers Market, where she and her older brother will also make and sell crêpes.

“It’s my absolute favorite thing to do,” Robb said of her painting. “It calms me down. It takes me away from school and sports.”

She paints a little bit of everything, but loves to draw people. She’s currently taking an anatomy class so she can make her figures more exact. She first picked up a paint brush in elementary school. “It was that time in elementary when you try everything,” she said. “That one just sort of stuck.”

Robb hasn’t decided whether to attend college in the Northwest or in Georgia, where her father’s family is from. She would like to work in product design. “I want something that’s whole-brained,” she said. “I really love math and I really love art, so I want to do something that combines the two.”

She will have to juggle her new duties as Miss Spokane Valley along with her school work and track. This year she plans to compete in the hurdles and heptathlon, a combination of seven different events ranging from high jump to javelin throwing. Her coaches have worked to put together a schedule that has her practicing two events every day. Robb said she isn’t worried about managing her busy schedule. “I always seem to find a way,” she said.

Robb is excited about her first public appearance as Miss Spokane Valley in the Lilac Parade, a step up from her only other parade experience in middle school in the Junior Lilac Parade. “This one should be really fun,” she said. “It should be a great first experience.”

The annual Miss Spokane Valley competition is put on by the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. Each of the 28 applicants had to write an essay about why they wanted to be Miss Spokane Valley and interviews by a panel of judges narrowed the field to 15 finalists. The winners were judged on academic achievement, public speaking skills and community involvement.