Arts & Culture
The legacy of the Miss Lehi program and its winners honored at brunch
More than 20 women who have worn the Miss Lehi crown and nine Miss Lehi directors gathered on Saturday (April 22) with community supporters to be celebrated for their contributions to Lehi City at the first ever “Forever Miss Lehi” brunch at the Broadbent Community Center.
Since 1962, winners of the Miss Lehi title have been a staple in the community and have been at the center of everything from painting fences to Round-Up Days, from raising awareness about domestic violence to starting conversations with the Utah State Legislature.
The young women involved have made a significant difference in people’s lives through their community service endeavors and by using the platform to educate Lehi City residents on issues that are important to them.
Those at the brunch shared stories and experiences as well as laughter and some tears. Most importantly, a bond of sisterhood was created as each title-holder attributed development and the learning of lifelong lessons to their year as Miss Lehi.
Karen Pope Sujimoto, Miss Lehi 1976, said, “As Miss Lehi, I learned self-confidence and how to present myself and represent a city during the bicentennial year, which was an important year.
“It was a real privilege and honor to represent Lehi and my family and something I have always carried with me,” she continued.
“I was excited about this brunch. There hasn’t been a lot of opportunity to experience something like this and share this with so many good and powerful women who have represented Lehi,” Sujimoto added.
Renita Revill, Miss Lehi Director 1991-1995, said, “This is not just a beauty pageant. These girls are doing important things and this program gives them a platform to not only develop and share their talents, but to also show their intellect and their hard work.
“This program encourages the young women who participate to learn to be their best and be happy with who they are and confident in their abilities,” she continued.
“Miss Lehis are special because Lehi has an amazing pageant system run by people who understand the importance to little girls of being able to see Miss Lehi in their schools, in parades,at the Legacy Center or painting tables at a park because they are role models,” Revill said.
“Miss Lehi is someone that people can look up to. The program is trying to show how important it is to be involved in the community and to not be afraid to share your voice and serve,”she said.
Mary Christofferson Thompson, Miss Lehi 1973, said, “Being Miss Lehi 50 years ago was a wonderful experience in community involvement.
“I became acquainted with the mayor, his wife and with so many wonderful people in Lehi. The best experience for me was being a vital part of Lehi and taking part in such wonderful community events,” she went on.
“Being Miss Lehi helped me to grow and get out of my comfort zone which led to so many other great opportunities. I gained public speaking skills as Miss Lehi, and I learned to be comfortable with who I am.
“It prepared me in important ways for my adult life,” Thompson said. “I have been able to lead and serve in various capacities and it was this program that led to so many other great opportunities.”
For those who had the chance to wear the crown, Miss Lehi is more than a title. It’s a legacy of empowering young women to dream big and to share their voices and inspire the future.
Savana Brown, Miss Lehi 2022, said, “This brunch was such an amazing experience. I have seen the faces and the names of the past Miss Lehi queens, but I have not heard their experiences. “This was really inspiring for me. It has given me a boost to finish my reign strong and live up to their legacy,” she said. “I’m so proud to be a part of such a powerful sisterhood.
“As Miss Lehi, I’ve learned to treasure my community and to be involved. I have been shy in the past and it has been easy to just stay comfortable in my own cocoon and this experience has taught me to reach outward and build connections.
“There are so many great people in this city. Being Miss Lehi has made me a better person. Lehi is an amazing place and I love my city,” Brown said.
Serving as Miss Lehi has shaped the future of many of the title holders. Caitlin Thomas, Miss Lehi 2015, shared that when she served as Miss Lehi, her service platform was suicide prevention.
She said she was passionate about spreading awareness and training HOPE Squads in Lehi schools. Today, she is a clinical mental health counselor working to improve the mental well-being of others. Her service platform catapulted her to her profession.
Alex Richardson Lamoreaux, Miss Lehi 2011, told how her service platform was focused on drug addiction prevention and awareness. Today she is a licensed clinical social worker helping those who struggle with a variety of issues.
Of course, Miss Lehi always wears a crown. She rules as part of a legacy of service and the empowerment of young women.