My year as Miss City of Sunshine 2013

by She Flies With Her Own Wings

It’s hard to believe that I first stepped on the stage as a senior in high school, not having a clue what this whole ‘pageant’ thing was about… I never imagined that five years later I would be standing here again getting ready to pass on a legacy. It has been quite the journey over these past years…so many memories, laughs, a few tears, but most importantly, becoming a part of this sisterhood and pageant family.

This past year has truly been an honor; from representing and serving Klamath County, to creating awareness and raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. I was also blessed to have the opportunity to promote my personal platform ‘YOUth Empowerment’ by volunteering with Citizens for Safe Schools, Integral Youth Services, other State organizations, and speaking to many classes in different schools throughout the Klamath Basin.   I am so incredibly grateful to have had this experience, but none of this would have been possible without some very important people…

To the board: Teri, Jann, Linda, Patti, Cheri, Cindy, Debbie, Wendy, Sherri, Gale, and Sheri – you are a very unique and special group of women who have devoted your lives to making this program what it is and having a positive impact on young women and this community. There aren’t enough words to express how truly thankful I am for everything you have done and continue to do. You all have seen me through disappointments and accomplishments, and I know I can turn to any of you for anything. You’ve been through it all with me, and I love being able to say I was your girl for a whole five years…and now I’m yours forever!

To my sponsors: thank you so very much for your continued support and generosity year after year to the Miss Klamath County/Miss City of Sunshine Program. I have received over $20,000 in scholarships from competing in the Miss America Organization, and that doesn’t include the donations of hair care, tanning, fitness, jewelry, luggage, the list goes on and on. You help keep us looking and feeling our best throughout our year of service, and truly treat us like royalty. Thank you!

Channing, Vanessa, Alexa, and Nicole! I am so lucky to have been able to share my year with all of you! I know they say the ‘Miss’ are there to serve as role-models and mentors for the ‘Teens’, and although that may be true, you all have inspired and motivated me in so many ways. Thank you for believing in me and for all of your support. I am so excited for each of you and I can’t wait to see where your futures take you!

Lindsey, I have loved having you as my ‘partner in crime’ this year! You have always been able to make me laugh with your quirky humor. I wish we could have spent more of the year together, but I enjoy seeing all that you’re accomplishing in college…even if you did go to the wrong school. (GO DUCKS!)

Lily, you are so bright, loving, and outgoing! You’re one very special little girl, and I can’t wait to watch you grow up! I’ve enjoyed all our time together this year, from appearances to cheering on #7 at baseball games!

Dylan, you got thrown into the world of ‘glitz and glam’ right from the beginning, and that didn’t scare you away. You have been so supportive, motivating, encouraging, and I can’t thank you enough for believing in me! I know you think it sounds cheesy, but you really are an incredible ‘pageant boyfriend’ and I am so blessed to have you in my life.

My family…mom and dad, you guys have been my #1 supporters and biggest fans from day one. Thank you for devoting so much time, energy, money, and faith in me, and my dreams. Jonathan, I know pageants aren’t your favorite thing in the world, but the fact that you have sat through every single one means the world to me!!

Vanessa, getting to share this year with you is something that is priceless to me! I was once asked in an interiew what I would do with 30 extra minutes a day, and I said I would spend it with you…this program made that happen, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Well ladies, you all have come such a long way and accomplished so much! It has been an honor to get to know you all and have been a part of your journey. Remember, it’s not about the crown, it’s about everything else you gain along the way. You all are incredibly smart, talented, and beautiful young women who are deserving of the title…but just remember you don’t have to win in order to be a role model, serve the community, and make a difference. I am so proud of you all!

To the next Miss City of Sunshine, this next year will be one of the most exciting, eventful, and memorable years of your life. Make sure to take advantage of this opportunity and make the most of it! Go above and beyond what you think is possible and what is expected. Tonight starts the beginning of a great adventure, a year of service!

The Miss America Organization is a dream machine – it will change your life and help you become the best possible version of yourself.

I have decided this isn’t a final farewell, or even a farewell at all…this is just the closing of a chapter in my life; one filled with hard work, a huge sense of personal growth and accomplishment…and I’m excited and anxious to see what this next chapter will hold.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who made this year what it has been.


Stephanie Matheson, Miss City of Sunshine 2013