The month of July starts with the second annual Miss Tooele City Pageant, which will be held Monday at 7 p.m. inside the Tooele High School auditorium.
Tooele City welcomes all to attend the free event. This year’s pageant features 10 contestants ranging from former Tooele High School athletes, drama students and top academics.
Alyssa Banks, 18, will attend Brigham Young University in the fall where she hopes to major in journalism. She hopes to become a sports writer one day. Some of her accomplishments include working as junior class president at THS. She also played three high school sports, including soccer, drill team, and track and field. She lettered in all three sports.
“I have made service a priority during my high school years,” Banks said, “and I want to continue to serve. The opportunity of Miss Tooele City would present me with similar experiences. It’s exciting to meet new people and become acquainted with a wider variety of individuals. Miss Tooele City would give me a chance to give back to my community.”
Britney Bresee, 18, currently attends Snow College and has completed one year at the school. She will return there in the fall to continue her studies in biology. Bresee was named on the Dean’s List at Snow College for both the fall and spring semesters. She competed on the THS swim team during her high school years. During her Tooele years, she taught swim lessons at Tooele Army Depot.
“I think it will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the current and future leaders, and most of all our hometown heroes, all of whom contribute greatly to our community,” Bresee said. “I know that my love for life and my eagerness to progress will help improve Tooele City.”
Kaitlyn Bresee, 16, currently attends THS with high hopes for the upcoming school year. She is shooting for a 4.0 grade-point average. While on the track and field team this past season, Bresee was awarded the Most Improved Athlete honor. Bresee also competed on the tennis team, and she competed in the community triathlon during June.
“I want to come to know more people in Tooele because Tooele City has so much knowledge and wisdom to offer each resident within its boundaries,” she said. “This pageant is a way for me to give back to the community that has given me so much more.”
Ellexis Buck, 17, will attend Utah Valley University in the fall with a hopes of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in movement studies with an emphasis in ballroom. Buck was the first attendant in the Homecoming Royalty for THS, and she competed in the ballroom nationals. She lettered in ballroom twice. She is the second oldest of eight children, who she said are her best friends.
“The people of Tooele are very dear to me,” Buck said. “They have touched my heart and pushed me to dream and set higher goals. This community has given me many opportunities to grow and succeed, and it helped shape the young woman I am today.”
Briana Boulton, 18, will attend Southern Utah University in the fall where she wants to major in exercise science with a minor in nutrition. Her career aspirations are to become an exercise physiologist and rehab patients after heart surgeries. Boulton was the THS valedictorian and sterling scholar for science in 2013. She was also an academic all-state and all-American for swimming.
“Tooele has given me so much — everything from a great education to volunteer experiences to 5Ks and a job,” Boulton said. “I would like this opportunity so I can give back and be a representative of all the good things happening around us here in Tooele City, to promote healthy lifestyles and education to all those around me.”
Ashlyn Cahoon, 20, is currently a nursing major at Brigham Young University. Cahoon returns to the Miss Tooele City Pageant as a co-attendant of the 2012 pageant. She’s a former sterling scholar for English at THS, and received an academic all-state award for cross-country during her high school years. She was also the 2011 THS salutatorian.
“The beauty of the mountains and sunsets, the smiles of the people, and the memories that accompany our footsteps around town are priceless treasures we have as residents of Tooele City,” Cahoon said. “My life has been enriched by these treasures, and I want to be able to give back to the community that means so much to me.”
Sariah Gridley, 16, is currently a student at Stansbury High School. She hopes to attend college one day and become a dental hygienist. Gridley received awards for high testing scores in the areas of food preparation and child development. She also earned an award for her creativity in the school’s reflections contest. Finally, she helped make blankets for charity.
“I would like to be Miss Tooele City in order to show the community the inspirational effect that women can have,” Gridley said. “Young women have the ability to serve selflessly and have an innate nature to care for others. We are a group of women who are full of compassion.”
Breanne Jefferies, 17, is currently a student at Stansbury High School. She one day hopes to become a nurse. Jefferies has lived in Tooele for 15 years, and her ancestors were some of the first to settle in Tooele Valley. She has received the Superintendent’s Academic Achievement awards and had a 4.0 grade-point average. She also received the Rookie Recognition Award for Miss Tooele City 2012.
“I want to be Miss Tooele City because I believe I can be an example to the young girls in Tooele,” Jefferies said. “I want to show the youth of Tooele that they can make anything happen as long as they believe they can, and I want to show them that we all have great potential waiting for us.”
Elisa Saurette, 23, is currently attending Utah State University as elementary education major. She hopes to obtain her associate degree next year. She has served as a student representative for Tooele’s USU representative. She’s also been named employee of the month multiple times for Dr. James Abraham at Advantage Eye Care.
“I have this strong fire within me where I want to do well for others and use my resourceful skills in being a light for Tooele City,” Saurette said. “I am very well balanced and responsible and want to use my time for the greater good of the community.”
Kirsten VanDerwerken, 20, is currently a student at Brigham Young University and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in exercise and wellness. She wants to be a wellness coach and help others improve their lifestyles. While at Tooele High School, she played on the volleyball team where she earned first-team all-region honors and most valuable player. She also was on the THS Homecoming Royalty.
“Tooele City has always been my home,” VanDerwerken said. “This is home because the people I know and love are here. The role of Miss Tooele City provides opportunities to be involved in this community that I love. It especially opens ways for me to give back to this community that has given so much to me.”
Information on the candidates was provided by Kami Perkins, program director for Miss Tooele City 2013, and compiled by Community News Editor Richard Briggs.