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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

This year’s royalty pursuing ‘true nobility’ as crowning nears

The Lilac Festival court for 2013, back row from left: Hailey Hyde (St. George’s); Quinne Evans (Shadle Park); Devyn Russell (Northwest Christian); Katie Heitkemper (Lewis and Clark); Brett Rountree (Central Valley); Sara Hyman (The Oaks). Middle row: Emily Staker (Gonzaga Prep); Felicia Jackson (Freeman); Camiele Travis (North Central); Ashley Uhlenkott (Riverside); Savannah Sundseth (Mead). Front row: Michelle Tatko (Ferris); Shelby Schafer (West Valley) and Jade Wong (Rogers). (Jesse Tinsley)

When was the last time you wrote a thank-you card? Each of the 14 candidates for Spokane’s Lilac Royal Court has written more than 100 cards while preparing for the leadership opportunity.

That’s one of the skills needed to be crowned Lilac queen, but etiquette is a big part as well, said Jenifer Eberle, vice president of royalty.

Eberle has received just as many letters from parents thanking them for helping their daughters to be more feminine and better listeners, and giving them a better sense of responsibility.

Each of the candidates also has clocked about 80 hours of community service.

“I think it also gives them an opportunity to work with people outside their peer group,” Eberle said, especially the military. “Because we’re so connected to Fairchild, they have a whole new appreciation for what their military does.”

The group snagged their adopted motto from Fairchild Air Force Base’s Col. Brian M. Newberry, who quoted James Froude when they met during Operation Cookie Drop: “The essence of true nobility is neglect of self.”

Eberle believes the participants all earn a piece of that honor by supporting each other as a group and not promoting themselves.

“We are looking for a team of girls that will serve together and bring out the best in each other,” Eberle said.