Miss Spokane: The lucky ones

Taste Spokane- March 14

This evening, I had the pleasure of being a volunteer for Taste Spokane. This is an event run by the Wishing Star Foundation in Spokane, who help grant wishes for sick children in the area. My job for the night was to accept donations and tell the guests about the awesome child we were raising money for. The evening was all about a 8-year-old boy who has a very rare skin disease, almost making his skin like paper. The official term is Epidermolysis Bullosa. Samuel loves the weather, so for his wish the Wishing Star Foundation is sending to Oklahoma. Here, Samuel will not only be in the weather capital of the world, but he will also have the opportunity to meet the cast of Storm Chasers on Discovery Channel!

Taste Spokane, for those who don’t know, is an event in which restaurants, bakeries, breweries, etc., come and share samples of their products. Each sample is one token, and all of the money raised from buying tokens goes back to Wishing Star. Of course, I had to do a little tasting too! I mean, I was in a room full of decadent food…My favorites were the bundlets from the new bakery in Spokane called Nothing Bundt Cakes (get it? it’s puny!) and the slice of meaty heaven I had from Toby’s BBQ.


 (Owner, Doug and I at the Toby’s BBQ booth.)

St Pattys Parade March 15

The following morning, Hannah, Ashlee and I rode in the very spirited St. Patty’s Day parade. Our beautiful blue mustang took us downtown near Riverfront Park, the Irish bar- which was heavily populated for the event-and then rear the Spokane Arena.


Other parade participants include the Lilac court, the Spokane party trolley, several civic groups and the Spokane Seahawkers- who had this awesome float! Trade you?!


(Fellow Seahawker and I)

Miss Deer Park March 15

Later that day, Elaina, Jenna and I attended Miss Deer Park. This is a different system from the Miss America Organization (MAO), but equally as cool. Differing from MAO, the girls must be a junior in high school, so they can represent Deer Park and the rest of the community their senior year. The contestants were judged on presence and composure, creative and performing arts and fitness.

Congratulations to the new Miss Deer Park, Kelli Hughes and to the two princesses, Kelcie Lenz and Joanna Goodner.


 (Jenna, Kelli Hughes- Miss Deer Park 2014, Elaina and I)

Until next time,


Miss Spokane Monday: The Youth

On Tuesday, March 4 I visited IHOP for National Pancake Day. On this day, guests could eat a short stack of pancakes for free. In addition, they were asked to donate to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). CMN is the national platform for the Miss America Organization, and strives to complete two goals. 1) Distribute funds to children who are unable to pay for medical bills and 2) keep the funds local.
IMG_2482Wednesday morning, I took a trip to Spokane Community College to read to a few pre-school classes in the Head Start/ Early Head Start program. Throughout the week, the pre-school asked public figures to come in and read, as part of the Read Across America program. I read my favorite children’s book “Push Here.” It is very interactive and the kids were so fun and responsive.


I was there in full support of all the lovely Miss Spokane Organization members who were nominated for a Chase Youth Commission Award. Several Miss Spokane princesses walked away with community service awards. Our teen director, Heather Moore, was nominated for the Jim Chase “Asset Builder” Award. We are so very proud of her!


Until next week,


Miss Spokane Monday: The Glitz

Within the last week, I had my first photo shoot and first official appearance as Miss Spokane.

On Saturday morning, Elaina ( Miss Spokane’s Outstanding Teen)  and I showed up to the place where we had been crowned just two weeks prior for the our photo shoot.

Thanks to Rocky Castaneda, James and Kathy Mangis and the Bing Crosby Theatre, some beautiful photos were captured. I can’t wait to see them and share them with you all.

Elaina and I were photographed in our evening gowns, interview outfits, cocktail dresses and a fun outfit, which was probably my favorite to shoot.

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(Sneak peek of Saturday’s shoot.)

Saturday evening, Elaina and I helped with the first ever Crush Hunger event ran by Northwest Harvest. The night consisted of wine and food tasting.

The wine was donated by Vino! in Spokane. There were several food trucks serving sample sized food, that were all so unique. My favorites were the fried risotto, stromboli and bacon cheeseburger slider with..get this..peanut butter. It was very interesting to say the least.

While Elaina and her sister were serving food to the guests, I had the opportunity to serve wine. Now, the set up of the event was quite unique. There were seven tables, which had 5-6 different types of wine. However, each table represented where the wine was made. There were 2 tables of Northwest wine, 1 table of wines made in Walla Walla, 1 table serving international wine and three Californian wine tables.

Going into the event, I knew nothing about wine, other than the fact that there was red and white wines. At the conclusion of the event, I had learned things about wine I would never even guessed.

My favorite part of the night was being able to interact with the guests and tell them more about my title and the Miss America Organization. It is always so fun to see people’s reaction when they learn how much scholarship money the program distributes.

Needless to say, I think my first appearance was a huge success and I can’t wait to see what this next week will bring.


( One of the California wine tables, where I served.)

God bless,


Miss Spokane Monday: The Beginning

Well, it has been just over a week since I was crowned Miss Spokane. Since then, my mind has been racing with ideas for my upcoming year and already preparing for Miss Washington in July. I am excited to say that I have several appearances scheduled for the next couple of weeks, that I cannot wait for. However, to begin my new role, I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with KXLY 920 AM.

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I spoke with Kristi Gorgenson, and we spoke about the Miss America Organization, my platform and Miss Washington prep. I have done several radio appearances before, but this was the first time I had ever done a phone interview. It was really interesting because a gentleman called me and explained who I would be speaking with and in how long. After speaking with him and while waiting, I could hear everything that was on the airing on the radio. Finally, Kristi came on the air, introduced me and the interview began.

Bands battle it out to see who is best

Through the roar of the crowd and the drum roll, five eager bands waited patiently to see if their name would be called as the winner of Battle of the Bands.

On Feb. 10, Eagle Entertainment presented the event in Showalter Auditorium. Each band, who must have had one at least one EWU student as a band member, was allowed to play three songs. After the song, audience members voted for via Twitter.

Audience members voted by retweeting the name of the band they liked the best. Each retweet would count as vote towards that band.

“So we have our winners,” said emcee Tyler Rochon. “Drum roll please.”

Third place was announced and went to the group Mikkelson. Lead singer and junior Justin Mitchell and violin player and sophomore Brendan Colbert walked away with $100.

“We definitely want to continue to do more music, together as a band. We really want to create this sense of community with Eastern specifically,” said Mitchell.

Mikkelson played two original folk songs and closed their set with their rendition of Mumford and Son’s, “Little Lion Man.”

“We’re kind of used to playing more intimate shows at coffee shops and that’s fun too, but it was a lot of fun to get out and play in a large venue like this,” Colbert said.

Second place and winner of $200 went to Twist. This competition was band members Trevor Sherwood, Austin Carruthers, Scott Crites and Justin Patterson’s first show.

Twist, who also played original rock songs and did a cover of a song from The Who, received a standing ovation at the end of their set.

“It was a really good show. They did a really good job for their first show,” said freshman Velvet Sewell.

There were three bands left and one would be the grand-prize winner of $300. With the drum roll still rolling, the emcees announced resident hall CAs Kyle Sauve and Todd Membrey, from Pierce and the snyamcut respectively, of Fireside Lounge, the winners.

“I’m excited,” said Sauve about winning.

“Sky’s the limit,” said djembe player Membrey when asked what is next for the band.

The pair will be playing together at the Mason Jar on Feb. 27.

The other bands who participated were rock bands The Camorra and CW and the Fifth St. Band.

The Camorra’s lead singer Zac McMaster said, “We feel good. This was one of the biggest shows we’ve played.”

Drummer Brett Horstketter of The Camorra added, “There was a lot of good talent though.”

Some bands kept it casual when it came to dress, like Fireside Lounge, who wore matching red resident life T-shirts. Others, like The Camorra dressed up, wearing black slacks and white button up shirts.

Audience member Alexandria Dousette said, ”Overall the show was awesome.”

New clubs hopes to bring harmony to Eastern

In late 2010, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” reached a new demographic of fans who refer to themselves as a “bronies” or “pegasisters.”

Eagles of Harmony, a new club on campus, is calling all bronies and pegasisters alike as they try to uphold and promote the values outlined in “My Little Pony.” These values include kindness, loyalty, honesty, magic and generosity.

According to president Remington Klein, each pony from the show represents one of the five values. When the five values are in place, it creates a harmonious environment. This is where the name Eagles of Harmony derives from.

“We’re basically upholding those five pillars to give back to our community, to give back to the school and also be a medium for creative projects,” said Vice President Ethan Erickson.

Both Erickson and Klein think of themselves as bronies, albeit in different ways. Erickson explained that this is because there are many connotations of the word, both bad and good.

“Brony is anyone outside of the intended demographic, who is interested in the show,” Klein said.

According to Erickson, his definition of a brony is simple: a male who is a fan of the show.

“You have to realize that there is a lot of gross, a lot of terrible and a lot of disgusting ‘why would you make that’ stuff on the Internet based around [bronies] and that is kind of where we get our reputation from. So, I would call myself a brony, but only if we’re defining it by my definition,” said Erickson.

While they disagree on the definition, Klein and Erickson agreed that the “My Little Pony” fan art is what initially drew them to the show.

“I had little sisters who were into the older ponies and I was on the Internet and found a picture of the newer ones and I thought they were visually cool, but I didn’t expect anything of it. Then I kept seeing more and more of it on the Internet and got curious. I researched it and found that there was a huge fandom for it,” said Klein.

Erickson explained it was the fan community that kept him interested.

“I came for the show, but I stayed for the fans because it’s such a big community and it’s such an accepting community. It’s a place where people who are usually labeled as ‘nerd’ or ‘weird’ can be themselves. I like that attitude because I don’t see that in a lot in the world today,” said Erickson.

Erickson said this club is more than just a fan club.

“We basically want to give back to the community based on the good things that we learn from the show and the good things we take away from it,” he said.

On Feb. 9, members of Eagles of Harmony prepared and served meals for teenagers at Crosswalk Teen Shelter in Spokane.

As of now, the club has just over 10 members and Klein hopes to introduce more people to the show and to the club.

Junior Ryan Hartwell said, “Just because the show is for a particular demographic doesn’t mean there can’t be something enjoyable for someone else. It doesn’t matter how old you are as long as you like it.”

Eagles of Harmony is currently working on designing a video game version of the show and are looking for more students to help. The video game is hoped to be a mix between the show and the video game “Persona 4.”

They are currently looking for students who are artists, animators, writers and coders. Those interested in helping to design the video game may contact Ethan at gitrman117@gmail.com.

Even those who just want a place to belong are invited.

“If you are looking for a place to be accepted and looking for a place to do well for others then that’s what we’re about,” said Erickson. “We want to be a safe haven, but also give that feeling away. We want to share this feeling that we have experienced through the show.”


Miss Spokane Monday: The Crowning

And your new Miss Spokane is…contestant #7 Kailee Dunn!


I am so incredibly honored and blessed to represent Spokane, as Miss Spokane 2014! I know I have an amazing year ahead of me and I look forward to all of friendships I will build. Thank you so much to everyone who supported me and I hope to make Spokane proud as your new titleholder. Shout out to all of the young ladies who were up there on stage with me! You all are so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you to my parents, my sisters and friends for coming to cheer (or snap)  for me yesterday! Thank you toMartin Dow for allowing us to throw an awesome awards reception at Glen Dow! Thank you to Rocky Castaneda for his amazing photography! And thank you to the Miss Spokane Scholarship Organization for all of your support. I can’t wait to get to work!

Comedian pokes fun at bread and cake

Comedian Mike E. Winfield has been seen on shows like “Comics Without Borders,” on Showtime, and “Late Show with David Letterman,” and recently students were able to enjoy his show at Eastern.

Winfield performed his comedic act in the PUB on Feb. 5 and was sponsored by Eagle Entertainment.

To break the ice, Winfield began his act with a few jokes about the weather and college life and even spoke about the proper way to pronounce the word Cheney. However, his act truly began when he started talking about his appearance.

Winfield, whose afro adds a few inches to his height, said he gets a lot of questions about his hair.

“‘I just want to touch it. Is it hard? Is it soft? What happens when you put water in it. Do you even need a pillow,’” asked Winfield. “Well, I’m not going to tell you the answer.”

Before using his looks to make people laugh, Winfield made a living by working in a grocery store.

“I worked the steal, otherwise known as the self-checkout stand. I literally got paid to watch people steal,” Winfield said. “My boss wanted me to do something about it, but I knew that I would just get yelled at for trying to stop them.”

He continued to tell the audience about an instance when he and a customer were arguing with each other, and what he had to say next became somewhat of the theme the rest of the night.

“To end the argument you just have to tell them the old saying, ‘You can’t steal the cake mix, if you ain’t stole the bowl,’” Winfield said.

Dumbfounded, the audience sat in silence until Winfield clarified.

“Just kidding, I made that up. But, it’s true isn’t it? How are you going to mix the cake if you ain’t got the bowl,” he said.

Freshman Ra’layzia Cyprian said that was her favorite part.

“It was really funny and I think overall he did a really good job,” Cyprian said. “I think I was laughing the hardest in the crowd.”

Winfield proceeded by telling jokes about grocery store produce, women and relationships.

Freshman Sydney Webster said, “My favorite part was when he was joking around about the bread.”

Webster was referring to when Winfield said silence was the worst in a relationship. He knew when he had upset his girlfriend when she didn’t say it but showed it.

“You know your girl is mad at you when she makes you a sandwich … with both ends of the loaf. She even tried to trick me by turning the bread inside out,” said Winfield.

“I loved it. I thought he was really good,”said Alahn White, a freshman at EWU.

Spokane MLK center reaches out to Eastern

Years after the passing of Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy lives on to encourage students to strive for a higher education.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center, located in Spokane is dedicating to improve the quality of life for children and families in the area.

“We provide a variety of social and educational programs to low income families,” executive director Freda Gandy said

The outreach center offers many different services for both children and young adults to help them get involved in the community and acquire necessary life skills to better their future.

According to their website, they strive to support local families, improve academic and social outcomes for children, improve leadership in youth and teens, encourage community involvement and celebrate Spokane’s diverse culture.

In order to uphold their goals, the outreach center and the EWU Office of Admissions partnered up with the center to create a symposium for 20 teenagers to learn about Eastern and the programs that EWU offers in the summer of 2013. The event was title “Students of Color Symposium.”

This event, Gandy said, was a way for students to realize there are people out there who will help them through the process and encourage them each step of the way.

Jana Jaraysi, associate director of admissions, was involved in the summer symposium and thought it was quite the experience.

“Dr. Jeffries wanted to create an event for students from the MLK Center to experience college life, and to show them they can come to college,” said Jaraysi.

Jaraysi continued to explain that the committee to put this event together consisted of members from not only the outreach center and the admissions office, but also Africana Studies, college of social and behavioral science and social work and the advancement office.

“Many students who are low income, first generation [students] don’t always have the change to spend the night at a university,” said Jaraysi. “Many don’t know how to pay for college.”

To show the students what college tuition amounted to, presentations were done to explain the processes admissions and financial aid.

“This program showed that yes, they can come to school here at EWU … if they put their minds to it,“ Jaraysi said.

The two-day event was planned and run by EWU ambassadors.

Janell Jordan explained that her job as an EWU ambassador was to encourage students to attend Eastern and motivate them to do more.

“[Ambassadors] make the students strive for their goals,” said Jordan.

Gandy agreed and said that her main goal is to see every student of hers go to college.

‘Work it!’ career conference prepares students for workforce

In May 2013, a study from the Georgetown University Center on Education found that 7.9 percent of college graduates are unemployed.

On Feb. 7, the sixth annual Work It! career conference will be held. The goal of this conference is to combat this statistic. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the PUB MPR.

Work It!, presented by EWU Career Services, is geared toward preparing students for the job market and creating networks with business professionals.

Romeal Watson, career service’s internship coordinator and career advisor, said he believes that this conference allows students to take what they are learning from books, classes and professors and apply it to the work force.

“That is mostly what Work it! is about, talking directly with professionals to get inside perspective on what industries are like,” said Watson.

The day will consist of two sessions in the morning and one in the afternoon. Ten different topic areas will be covered, such as social media, etiquette and interviewing. Time has been scheduled at the end of the event for students to network with the various presenters and employers.

The keynote speaker is president and CEO of Desautel-Hege, Michelle Hege, who is also an EWU alumna. She will discuss how students can brand themselves to future employers.

“For a student who is searching the job market, this presentation is really geared towards how to ensure that your personal brand is really strong and is a brand that really helps you stand out from the crowd,” said Hege.

“I am going to share some secrets,” she said. “It’s kind of like you’re hearing what you want the person who is interviewing you to tell you, but they don’t.”

Hege works for the public relations and marketing firm helping businesses with branding and reputation management.

“It’s about differentiating and it’s about preference,” Hege said. “That’s what job candidates want to do.”

Career adviser Shannon Turner said she is most excited about something new they are offering called “The Majors Races.”

“The students from the major with the most attendees at Work it! will have their names entered into a drawing for prizes totaling $500,” said Turner.

She said she believes that this event is overall a great opportunity for students to broaden their perspective of the industry by interacting with business professionals.

“Students who have participated in the past have shared with us that they appreciated the diverse perspectives offered from various panelists,” Turner said.

Senior Theresa Turner attended the conference last year and said she was impressed by the array of professionals as well as networking opportunities.

“It was very beneficial,” Theresa Turner said. “The [employers] really want to talk to you and answer your questions.”

Although this is an all-day event, students are still encouraged to come when they are free.

Turner, who could not stay for the entirety of the event, encourages students to go to any part of the conference they can go to because it is that valuable.

Shannon Turner said she believes that students will gain skills that will set them apart from others looking for a job.

“[Work It!] will prepare students to be more competitive, gain insight in career opportunities and how to actively prepare for them and learn the nuts and bolts of a successful career,” Turner said.

Expected presenters include employers from Itron, Avista, U.S. Marshals, Washington Trust Bank and Northern Quest Resort and Casino.

Admission is $5 per student, and scholarships are available for those who do not have the means to pay. Lunch is included in the registration fee.

If students have not registered, they will be allowed to sign up at the door on the day of the event.

For more information, contact career services at 509-359-6365.

Community marches on Main Street

Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, students gathered in downtown Spokane to celebrate him and answer the question, “What are you doing for others?”

On Jan. 20, about 100 Eastern students joined thousands of community and civic group members who took part in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march.

Afterwards, several attendees completed volunteer hours at several non-profit organizations. Some of the non-profit organizations included House of Charity and The Salvation Army.

Clubs and organizations represented EWU at both the walk and during service hours, like BSU, the Office of Community Engagement and a group of international exchange students.

For the international students, the event was very enlightening and gave them a look into how far America has come in recent decades.

“This is a really good experience, not only because of the history, but because of the diversity,” said senior Noriko Sunada.

“I think [the march] is pretty cool because it gives us a real view of how people should treat minorities,” said Lucy Wu, an international student at EWU. “They are supposed to be equal to everyone.”

Before beginning the march, attendees listened to five speakers and a performance at Spokane Convention Center all pertaining to Martin Luther King Jr. Speakers included Mayor Dave Condon and keynote speaker Rev. Carolyn Gordon.

BSU President Satori Butler said, “[Carolyn Gordon] was by far my favorite. She touched everybody … and she was really inspiring.”

Gordon’s speech, which was themed around “walk it off,” made walkers question why they were at the march.

Senior Megan Schlenker, an Office of Community Engagement intern, thought the theme was really inspiring and personal.

“[Gordon] told us if you aren’t happy with your job and you’re just in it for a paycheck, walk it off,” said Schlenker. “If you feel like you’re not tall enough, short enough, thin enough, pretty enough, then just walk if off.”

“I more or less came because of work and, after Gordon’s speech, I was like ‘No, I need to be here,’” said Schlenker

Once the speakers had finished, the conference room slowly emptied and began their five-block march from the INB Performing Arts Center to the front of River Park Square.

Civic groups and organizations marched with banners while families walked with signs that read encouraging messages such as “Never lose hope.” Eastern students carried a large red banner during the march.

“It was spectacular. It was like Bloomsday without the running,” said international exchange student Jay Chili

Bystanders from on-looking businesses and apartments on Main St. stopped to watch and wave as the marchers strolled by.

When they all arrived in front of River Park Square, they were greeted by Ferris High School marching band and hot chocolate at no charge.

“I love that Spokane does this, even in a mostly white community,” Butler said. “That’s why I came. I felt like all different races came together.”

A ‘Glee’-ful visitor speaks at Eastern

Lauren Potter may seem different, but she is just another 23-year-old with dreams and aspirations, which came true when she received the call of a lifetime four years ago.

Potter, who has Down syndrome, plays sprightly and vivacious Becky Johnson from the TV show “Glee.”

Eagle Entertainment hosted Potter to speak to students about bullying in Showalter Auditorium on Jan. 22. Along with witty one-liners and playful banter, she stole the hearts of the crowd when she shared her amazing journey through life this far.

The crowd exploded when she first walked on stage. When the applause finally dulled down, Potter opened up by shouting a loud and proud  “Thank you, Eastern” and “Go Eagles.” This, of course, created a second round of applause.

Junior Melissa Williams thought the presentation was very funny and cute.

“She is very spunky,” said Williams.

When Potter was a young girl, she said she was dancing before she was walking. She explained that she had always wanted to be an actress and loved to be in front of the camera.

“I have been so blessed to live my dream,” Potter said. “There were those who told me I couldn’t do it, but I listened to the ones who said I could.”

She spoke about her high school years where she made light about dealing with bullies preluding with, “This is a really sad part. I hope you brought your tissues.”

“They made me eat sand and called me the R-word,” said Potter. “Bullies hurt and kill dreams. Now, I have the opportunity to speak out. ‘Glee’ gave me a voice.”

There was a pause in the speech when Potter asked the audience a question.

“How about it, Eastern Washington, will you help me end the R-word?”

For the third time, the audience whooped and hollered.

Potter now uses her voice as an ambassador for Best Buddies, a program devised to create lifetime relationships, employment opportunities and leadership development for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Her favorite part so far is being able to work with President Obama.

Tanner Wirth, who Potter later referred to as “cute boy” during the Q-and-A, said the entire presentation was very inspiring.

“She made me laugh, and I think I turned a little red,” said Wirth.

Kyle and Alaina Stevenson, who have a four-year-old son diagnosed with Down syndrome, thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

Potter mentioned that she is now living in her own apartment and is even dating. According to Alaina Stevenson, Potter answered a few of her fears in regards to her son.

“She was very funny and impressive,” Alaina Stevenson said. “Lauren [Potter] makes me dream big for [my son] and answered a few of my biggest fears.”

When Potter was asked about her dating life during the Q-and-A session, she smiled at the crowd and said, “He’s a cutie. He’s keeper.”

Just like that, Potter continuously left the crowd laughing and wanting more, even when asked how she stays so positive.

“I am energetic and I like coffee and I like junk food,” Potter said.

All jokes aside, Potter believes that the bottom-line when it comes to bullying is that enough is enough.

“Different is different. Different is not bad,” Potter said. “I will never stop reaching for the stars and neither should you.”