At the end of October, the Miss Thurston County Scholarship Program (MTSCP) crowned their 2019 winner. This month, The Sweetest Things in Lacey is partnering with the program to raise money for the scholarship fund. This Saturday, November 17, The Sweetest Things will host a meet and greet with the new Miss Thurston County, Brielle Bryan.

The Sweetest Thing LogoThe opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the program is open to all who are interested. Guests can meet Brielle, a senior this year at Black Hills High School, as well as a few board members with MTCSP. The meet and greet at Sweetest Things will be the first of many events, with the aim for Miss Thurston County to get to know her community. “Our goal for Brielle is to really get her immersed in the community, and involved in community service events,” says Diane Hoosier, co-director of MTCSP.

As Miss Thurston County, Brielle will also make appearances at upcoming holiday events including the Lacey Lighted Parade, as emcee for the Tumwater Christmas Tree Lighting Festival, and appearing in the Downtown for the Holidays parade. Brielle will remain active in the local community throughout next year, developing her Social Impact Initiative, and preparing for the Miss Washington competition, which commences in late June 2019. In the fall, she plans to attend the University of Washington.

Miss Thurston County Contestants
From left: Jane Lowery, Mckynlee Blatter, Kristina Holtrop, Rachael Ostrander, Brielle Bryan, Nyah Hart, Baylie Williams, Maya Rodriguez-Chang, and Brianna Schuette at the 2019 Miss Thurston County Scholarship Program pageant. Photo courtesy: Miss Thurston County

This year, MTSCP gave just under $5,000 in scholarships to the contestants. Miss Thurston County is part of the national Miss America Organization, which is the nation’s largest provider of scholarships to young women. Scholarship and academic pursuit is just one part of what are called the four points of the crown, which are: style, service, scholarship, and success.

This year’s program had nine contestants, the most they have seen in several years. “Every single one of the girls was 100 percent invested and wanted to learn and grow and do their best. The camaraderie between the girls was amazing, they were all so supportive of each other and excited for Brielle,” shares Diane. The pageant also brought back 12 Miss Thurston County alumni, who helped show their continued support for the program.

The program also teaches the contestants many important skills and workshops leading up to the pageant, especially in building communication experience with mock interviews. “I think that is probably one of our strongest things that we do,” says Diane, “is help the girls prepare for their interview skills and get ready for not just the pageant, but those skills can benefit them as they go forward, especially with a young group of girls that haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do that yet.”

It’s no wonder that The Sweetest Things – whose mission is to empower women in business and the community – chose to support and partner with MTSCP. “Miss Thurston County is one of the best examples of organizations that are all about empowering women,” says Sweetest Things owner Jeff Gibson, who has supported the program for several years. “They empower women through scholarships and workshops that teach them skills and build their confidence. It’s so awesome seeing these women grow through the program. I absolutely love seeing that the most, and seeing all the different opportunities that come with them.”

2019 Miss Thurston County Brielle Bryan
Former Miss Thurston County Ashley Engstrom crowns the 2019 winner, Brielle Bryan at the pageant ceremony at The Washington Center. Photo courtesy: Miss Thurston County

There are many ways to support the Miss Thurston County Scholarship Program. They are always seeking community participation from local business or service clubs who may want to work directly with Miss Thurston County, as well for donations toward the scholarship fund.

“We’re really focusing on getting Brielle into the community, so if anybody has events coming up that they’d like to have her there for, they can contact us directly,” says Diane. Individual volunteers are also appreciated, especially those who are interested in participating in practice interviews.

And you can support the program by coming to the meet and greet on Saturday, November 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to learn more about the program. It will be a fun, casual event at The Sweetest Things, with a free mini cupcake for the kids. Miss Thurston County will also be selling SGT Harts BBQ Sauce, by a local company that will donate one dollar to MTCSP for every bottle sold. If you can’t make it to the event, Sweetest Things will be accepting donations with purchases for the remainder of the month.

Find more information on Miss Thurston County Scholarship Program here. Find event information by visiting The Sweetest Things event calendar here.

The Sweetest Things

730 Sleater Kinney Rd. SE
Lacey, WA 98503

Holiday Hours
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

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