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Eccles Foundation’s generosity to rural communities has impact in Sanpete


By Robert Green




Sanpete County residents can be thankful the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation hasn’t forgotten rural Utah when it comes to generosity.

In fact, nearly every city, town and school in Sanpete has benefited from the Foundation’s philanthropy in the past 36 years.

In Sanpete County alone, the Foundation has helped fund buildings at Snow College; restored opera houses, theatres and dance halls; preserved a multitude of landmarks, museums, art galleries and libraries; beautified many cities, roads and streets; and fixed up many parks, playgrounds and schoolyards.

The Foundation has just released a 90-page report that commemorates its 60th anniversary and outlines over $600 million in grants and donations the Foundation has made since 1982 to improve the lives of all Utahns.

It’s no secret the Foundation goes out of its way to help small communities.

Lori Nay, the mayor of Gunnison and co-director of the Casino Star Theater, will attest to this. “The Eccles Foundation has been a savior to rural Utah,” she said. “They are one of the few foundations that reach out and care about rural Utah and the things we care about. They really do invest in our communities in ways that matter. So I think they are an incredible organizations and I am grateful for them.”

The Foundation has helped fund many different projects for Gunnison City since 2004, particularly helping preserve the Casino Star Theater, she said.

The Eccles Foundation has played a significant and crucial role in establishing the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area (MPNHA), said Monte Bona, MPNHA executive director who is  executive director of the Mt. Pleasant Community Development and Renewal Agency.

“They started out giving us a $10,000 grant to help prepare a management plan (for the MPNHA) and over the years they have contributed millions of dollars to many worthwhile projects in Sanpete County,” he said. “We always try to work closely with them as they are extremely helpful with our projects.”

Sanpete County residents have appreciated the benevolence of the Eccles Foundation for a long time now.

A 2003 editorial in the Sanpete Messenger thanked the Foundation for giving more than $2 million to help build the Snow College Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, the Pioneer Memorial Gardens at the base of the Manti Temple and the Greenwood Student Center.

“Where would Sanpete County (or Utah for that matter) be without the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation?” the editorial asked.

Spencer F. Eccles, chairman and CEO, said the Eccles Foundation was created to strengthen communities and touch the lives of people in every corner of the state.

“I can’t help but be an optimist! I love Utah,” Eccles wrote in the 60th Anniversary Report. “I believe in our communities. I firmly believe in our people and especially our youth, who represent the future of our state.

“I feel greatly blessed to be a Utahn and an American. I am proud of our strong values of compassion, integrity and hard work, and of our rich Western heritage—all of which set the stage for a promising future that gives each of us an opportunity to make a meaningful difference.”


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Joseph, played by Liam Herbert, shows off his “coat of many colors” in the Snow College production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which is playing this week.


Come see colorful Joseph save Egypt

and his family at Snow College play


By Lloyd Call

Associate publisher



EPHRAIM—The popular play “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be performed by the Snow College theater department this week, Feb. 27-29, and next week March 5-7 at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, with curtain time at 7:30 p.m.

And, reminiscent of last year’s Phantom of the Opera, in grand theatrical fashion, a gala will be held for opening night. Dress to the nines (your most colorful duds will do) and celebrate the work of the theater for this year and next. “We have exciting new things on the horizon. Please join us for live music, hor d’oeuvres, a silent auction, next year’s season reveals and more,” says director Brad Olsen.

In the play, Jacob, also called Israel, has 12 sons, but his favorite son is Joseph. Besides lots of praise, Jacob gives Joseph an amazing many-colored coat, which makes his other brothers quiver with jealousy. They have Joseph sold into slavery in Egypt, but God has great plans for young Joseph. He goes from an Egyptian household to prison, then to the side of the Pharaoh. Eventually, Joseph confronts and then saves his brothers and family.

Adult tickets are $10, with high school seniors and younger $9; tickets may be purchased online or at the ticket booth before performances.

The narrators are Abby Huff, Hayley Willmore and Jill Carter.

Principal actors are: Liam Herbert as Joseph; Bryce Hammond as Jacob; Carson Lawrence as Potiphar/Pharaoh; Emma Gilmore as Mrs. Potiphar; Tanner Sorensen as Reuben; Tag Tapusoa as Judah; Matthew Prince as Simeon; Neal Stucki as Gad/Baker; Tanner McKay as Zebulun; Jordan Stauffer as Dan; Nephi Zitting as Asher; Drew Brown as Issachar; Michael Moya as Naphtali; Matt Thompson as Levi/Butler; and Andrew Olsen as Benjamin.



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BREAKING NEWS: Free Mormon pioneer heritage concert Saturday night at Snow

By Suzanne Dean




Clive Romney

EPHRAIM—A three-member band known as “Clive Romney and Willingly” will present a free performance of songs that reflect the culture and history of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area this Saturday.

The concert, being billed the “Mormon Pioneer Heritage Festival,” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theater in the Eccles Center at Snow College.

Clive Romney, founder of a nonprofit called Mormon Pioneer Heritage Arts, is the lead singer and instrumentalist. He is known for his ballads about pioneer life.

Other group members include Bob Morphis, Curtis Woodbury, Nathanael Davenport, and a new member, champion fiddler Grace Dayton.

The performance could be classed as contemporary folk, influenced by other genres, such as country, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and orchestra.

Clive Romney’s stories come from all over Utah. But his area of emphasis is Heritage Highway 89 and the Boulder Loop—the home and backyard for Sanpete County residents.


Little Miss Sanpete Valley royalty claim their crowns

By Robert Green

Staff Writer


Although participation in many girls’ pageants in surrounding counties is waning, the recently held Little Miss Sanpete Valley Pageant at the Snow College Eccles Center was a vibrant affair with 25 girls from the age of 4 to 14 competing for the privilege of wearing five crowns.

The Little Miss Valley Pageant is designed as a fun way for young girls to become interested in competing in bigger pageants later on in life, said pageant director Marcy Curtis of Fairview.

“We do five different age groups so more girls have the chance to be queen,” Curtis said. “We hope that the pageant will keep growing and more girls will continue to participate.”

A pageant judge from Nephi, Hannah Robbins said she has noticed the number of contestants competing at her hometown pageants have dropped drastically. She was impressed by the Sanpete girls and loved the idea the idea they were preparing for the future.

The master of ceremonies at this year’s pageant was Little Miss Shea Rawlinson from Fairview along with her dad Shaun.

Each one of the girls competes in personal interview and modeling. Girls ages 6 and up also perform and compete in personal talent.


Royalty winners are:


Little Miss Sanpete Tot


Little Miss Tot Royalty,from L to R: 2nd Attendant Kynlee Bailey, Queen Audrey Stallard, 1sst Attendant Indy Gleave.

Queen: Audrey Stallard, daughter of  Britany Havens of Gunnison.

1st Attendant: Indy Gleave, daughter of Loyd and Katie Gleave of Fairview.

2nd Attendant: Kynlee Bailey, daughter of Kyle and Kaylie Bailey of Ephraim.


Tiny Miss Sanpete


Tiny Miss Royalty, from L to R: Attendant Carrington Ann Viola Dyches, Queen Emma King, Attendant Hailey Mangum.

Queen: Emma King, daughter of Kris and Jaymi King of Mt Pleasant.

Attendants: Carrington Ann Viola Dyches, daughter of Spencer and Brittany Dyches of Ephraim; and Hailey Mangum, daughter of Wes and Emily Mangum of Ephraim.


Mini Miss Sanpete


Mini Miss Royalty, from L to R: 1st Attendant Jaycee Gleave, Queen Kaylee Curtis, 2nd Attendant Ashlyn Williams

Queen: Kaylee Curtis, daughter of Sam and Marcy Curtis of Fairview.

1st Attendant: Jaycee Gleave, daughter of Loyd and Katie Gleave of Fairview.

2nd Attendant: Ashlyn Williams, daughter of Keith and Heidi Williams of Fairview.


Junior Miss Sanpete


Junior Miss Royalty from L to R: 1st Attendant Kenadee Bailey and Queen Brecklyn Thompson.

Queen: Brecklyn Thompson, daughter of Shayne and Natalie Thompson of Fairview

1st Attendant: Kenadee Bailey, daughter of Kyle and Kaylie Bailey of Manti.


Little Miss Sanpete


Little Miss Royalty, from L to R: Attendant Emily Bills, Queen Ava Jensen, Attendant Alana Nielsen

Queen: Ava Jensen, daughter of Kyle and Aimee Jensen of Mount Pleasant.

Attendants: Alana Nielsen, daughter of Colby and Lynsey Zeeman of Sterling and Jame and Jennifer Nielsen of Moroni; and Emily Bills, daughter of Brady and Dusty Bills of Fairview.


Ally Brotherson, Taylor Palmer get top posts at pageant

By Suzanne Dean


Taylor Palmer

EPHRAIM—A young woman who has studied classical piano for nine years and wants to promote volunteerism was crowned Miss Sanpete County last weekend.

Ally Brotherson, 17, who was Miss Mt. Pleasant last year, won the title and a $2,000 scholarship in a pageant that included selecting Miss Sanpete and two attendants, and naming Miss Sanpete’s Outstanding Teen (a junior royalty title) and one Outstanding Teen attendant.

Another feature of the program, staged Friday, Aug. 9 at the Eccles Center at Snow College, was bestowing the Emily Braithwaite Woman of Service Award to an adult woman who has given exceptional service to the community.

And finally, six special awards, which came with smaller scholarship amounts, were handed to several of the 14 young women competing for either Outstanding Teen or Miss Sanpete.

“I was excited for sure—and shocked,” the new Miss Sanpete said in describing how she felt when her name was called. She said the moment was “such an emotional blur” that later she couldn’t remember everything she was feeling.

Ally is the daughter of Rich and Molly Brotherson and will be the fourth member of her extended family to reign as Miss Sanpete. An aunt, a cousin and her mother have all served in the role.

The Miss Sanpete Pageant is the only scholarship pageant in the county affiliated with the Miss America organization. Miss American is eliminating the swimsuit competition this year and increasing the emphasis on talent and on what are being called “social impact statements.”

Talent counted for 40 percent of the points in the Miss Sanpete competition. Ally, who has studied piano with Donnell Blackham of Moroni, played a complex piece on the piano called “Whitewater Chop Sticks.”

Another 15 percent of points were based on contestant responses to on-stage questions, including questions about their social impact goals, while 25 percent of points reflected an evening gown walk that concluded with delivery of their social impact statements.

In response to an on-stage question, Ally said, “Our community needs volunteers, and I would encourage and promote these volunteers, because we have something called volunteer burnout, and we need to combat that so we can have the events we do now.”

Ally graduated from North Sanpete High School last spring, where she was on the honor roll throughout high school; she was senior class vice president, and played basketball and tennis.

She was youth mayor on the Mt. Pleasant Youth City Council; is a registered volunteer for the Honor Flight program, which takes veterans to Washington, D.C.; and will be attending Snow College this fall.

In the Outstanding Teen competition, the winner was Taylor Palmer, 16, who will be a junior at Manti High School this year. She won a $500 scholarship.

For her talent, she juggled balls to a medley of contemporary music numbers. Her summary of her social impact goal is, “Soak up the sun: Encouraging people to get enough vitamin D.”

In response to an on-stage question she said she would promote ice cream among children, since dairy products have vitamin D.

“For teens, I really plan on using social media to my benefit in getting across how getting enough vitamin D can really predict how many people will get mental illness and how if you’re getting enough vitamin D in your system you can be a lot more energetic,” she said.

Taylor is the daughter of John and Linda Palmer of Ephraim. She was sophomore class vice president for spirit at Manti High last year. She has participated in speech and debate, and won first and second places in meets. She has also been a member of the Ephraim City Youth Council and competed in the Miss Ephraim Pageant earlier this year.

The mistresses of ceremonies for the pageant were Bellamy Sorensen of Centerfield, the 2018 Miss Sanpete, and Dexonna Talbot of Spanish Fork, who was recently crowned as Miss Utah.

Bellamy explained to the crowd that the Emily Braithwaite Woman of Service Award is named after a woman who was an attendant to both Miss Manti and Miss Sanpete. Bellamy said Emily Braithwaite had volunteered her talents in many ways between 2000 and her death in 2015 at age of 34.

The winner was Corinne Olsen of Ephraim, a woman who, “when she sees a need, she tries to fill it,” Bellamy said. “…She loves serving the community and must have extra energy to do all she does to serve others.”

Olsen said later that the honor had come as a complete surprise.

She is on the Sanpete County Fairboard and with her family has built the Fun-on-the-Farm exhibit, built benches for the fairgrounds and organized the children’s coloring contest at the fair.

She is the advisor to the Ephraim Youth City Council and volunteers with the Science Club at Manti High School. She has been girls’ camp director in her LDS ward for many years and was instrumental in getting pavilions constructed at the camp. And she has been involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4H.

Olsen lost her first baby during childbirth. Today, she volunteers at Sanpete Valley Hospital when a family has a stillborn baby. She takes photos and makes burial clothes for the baby.

The two attendants to Miss Sanpete are Ashtyn Childs of Centerfield, first attendant, who will receive a $500 scholarship, and Bailey Simons of Manti, second attendant, who won a $300 scholarship.

Ashtyn, 19, daughter of Gary and Annie Childs of Centerfield, is the outgoing Miss Gunnison Valley and a sophomore at Snow College.

Her social impact statement is, “Be uniquely you.” In delivering her statement at the pageant, she said, “Confidence is something we all deserve to have. Together, we can empower each other to embrace our unique differences and be confident in who we are.”

Bailey Simons, 20, is daughter of David and Allison Simons of Manti. A few years ago, she competed in a multicounty pageant and was named Miss Heart of Utah. She was also an attendant to Miss Manti.

She graduated from Manti High School, where she was a straight-A student and star on the tennis team, and attended Snow College for one year. She recently returned from an LDS mission to Germany and will be returning to Snow College.

She had a brother who died from injuries following a car accident. But he saved other lives by donating his organs. In all her queen roles, she has promoted organ donation. She has done extensive volunteer work for the Utah Lions Club Eye Bank.

Her statement during the pageant was, One person can save up to eight lives through organ donations, and 20 people die every day because of the lack of it. You can make a difference, and I can show you how.”

The attendant to the Outstanding Teen will be Hope Marsing, 16, daughter of Nick and Christina Marsing of Manti, who will be a junior at Manti High School this year. At Manti, she has been involved in theater, state honor choir and show choir. She sang a musical theater number as her talent. She was also selected as an attendant to Miss Manti.

She wants to have a social impact by emphasizing “Unfiltered living.” That includes encouraging people to be their authentic selves and not try to conform to society’s “perfect image.”

Her on-stage question was, “If you could be any character from history, who would you be and why? Her answer was, “Probably my future self. My future self would probably be able to tell me what path to take and how to take it, and honestly, my future self would probably tell me to take a breath now and then.”

The six special awards included two prizes to young woman who exemplified the “Spirit of the Pageant” during competition. The winner in the Outstanding Teen category was Kaytlin Estey of Manti, who won a $50 scholarship, while the Miss Sanpete contestant winner was Ashtyn Childs, who won $100.

Karlie Strickland, an Outstanding Teen candidate, and Bailey Simons, who competed for Miss Manti, were named “Elite Fundraisers” for raising the most money to support the pageant and pageant scholarships. Karlie got a $50 and Bailey a $100 scholarship.

The Miss America organization’s main charity relationship is with Children’s Miracle Network, a nationwide network of children’s hospitals. Outstanding Teen candidate Taylor Palmer and Miss Sanpete contestant Dallas Taylor received “Miracle Maker” awards for raising the most money for the charity. Taylor received a $50 and Dallas a $100 scholarship.

The capstone of the pageant evening were the final walks and goodbyes of last year’s Outstanding Teen, Nikki Evans of Manti, and Miss Sanpete, Bellamy Sorensen of Centerfield.

During a taped statement that played as she made her final walk, Bellamy thanked her family and the community for their support during her reign.

“I will always be grateful for the hometown support I’ve received as well as the support from throughout the county,” she said. And to her parents, she said, “Thanks for dealing with my craziness during stressful times.”

She received a cheering ovation, with some in the audience standing.