April 23, 2011 in Washington Voices

Pageant sponsor calls quits

Miss Spokane Valley cost ‘prohibitive,’ chamber says
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The 2010 Miss Spokane Valley Ambassador Hanna Robb, center, of Central Valley, is pictured with her court, from left, Emmalee Ohlstrom, of East Valley High School, and Madeleine Walsh, of University High School.
(Full-size photo)

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Miss Spokane Valley will reign no more. The annual competition run by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce has been mothballed for the second time in its history.

The contest began in the 1930s and ended in the 1970s before it was resurrected by the chamber in 2004. “We think it’s maybe time for another group in the community to embrace it and take it on,” said Chamber President and CEO Eldonna Shaw. “The cost was becoming prohibitive for the chamber, and it’s not directly related to our mission.”

The program wasn’t self-sustaining and an announcement was made at this year’s annual meeting about the decision to end the program, Shaw said. “Since the meeting we really haven’t heard that much about it,” she said. “It’s just a time where you have to really look at what you’re doing and make some tough choices.”

Shaw said she is willing to work with any group that might want to take over the program. “We think it’s a wonderful program, but it’s hard to get the sponsorship and the support. We really enjoyed doing it. But these are times when you have to make some difficult decisions.”

Instead the chamber will focus its time and money on other youth programs like the Washington business week for students, the annual Pizza Pop and Power Tools event for middle school girls, and various other scholarship and education programs.

The organization needs to help the greatest number of people with the resources they have, Shaw said. “It was hard to come up with the funds for that.”


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