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Help needed to keep pageant alive

Boulder City is a town steeped in tradition. If you don’t believe me, just look at your calendar and see how many annual events there are — and that you look forward to every year.

There’s the Spring Jamboree, Damboree, Art in the Park, Wurstfest, Doodlebug Bazaar and Santa’s Electric Light Parade, just to name a few of the big ones.

So it comes as no surprise that the possibility that last year’s Boulder City Scholarship Challenge has seen its final incarnation is being met with optimism that the annual event can be revived.

The co-ed scholarship challenge, a 2-year-old replacement for the decades-old Miss Boulder City Scholarship Pageant, was canceled last year because of family obligations by Dawn Green, who ran the pageant/challenge for 14 years. She did, however, provide a $500 scholarship for each of the five contestants who submitted applications.

This year, the worked needed to organize the event was too much for her and she officially retired. As a result, there will not be any type of challenge or pageant.

But let’s not sound the death knell yet.

Traditions don’t die easily in Boulder City.

And it was over traditional tea on a recent afternoon that I met with Justin Keogh and Chris Leavitt to discuss the need for a new organizing committee to revive the Miss Boulder City Scholarship Pageant.

Keogh, who has served as emcee for the pageant for the past few years, believes the event offers participants so many opportunities to better themselves that it needs to be held. All he needs is a little help from his friends.

“It dissolved under my feet. I just want to see what we can do to put it back together again,” he said. “I don’t want to be the guy who buried Miss Boulder City.”

He is content being emcee, but doesn’t feel it is his place or within his ability to organize the entire event.

Although Leavitt admits he also has no experience in pageants — other than his “first major crush was on a girl who was Miss Boulder City” — he is an expert in project management and organization and believes his skills could be of great use.

The son of Councilwoman Peggy Leavitt and a member of the city’s parks and recreation commission, Chris Leavitt said he is very community minded and it’s “in my nature to be involved.”

Keogh and Leavitt were part of an informal meeting a month ago where a few ideas were bandied about.

Keogh said he sees the pageant being held in the fall, when there will be ample time for the new Miss Boulder City to participate in community functions. In the past, it was held in March and the winner was usually a high school senior who moved away to attend college shortly after earning the title.

Applications could be accepted in the spring, giving the contestants time in the summer to prepare for the competition and get sponsors.

He also envisions a ceremonial switch of duties from one queen to the other at the July 4th Damboree festivities.

The options for how the event should be run are limitless.

“At this point, we have a clean slate,” he said

Keogh said he would like to see some type of float in this December’s Santa’s Electric Light Parade to encourage others in the community to participate in or organize the pageant.

“What we are lacking are people who are good with fundraising, recruitment and coordinating activities,” he said.

So, for now, he is putting out a call to all former Miss Boulder City participants and asking them to step forward and say “I’ll do something; I’ll help.”

Anyone interested in helping organize the Miss Boulder City Scholarship Pageant should contact Keogh at justin_keogh@yahoo.com.

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