Search Results for: eccles

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.

Fair Carnival Drone Shot

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Hope Marsing

Kaytlin Elisabeth Estey

Taylor Elisabeth Palmer

Karlie Kate Strickland

Miss Sanpete and Outstanding Teen Pageants are tomorrow


EPHRAIM—The 58th Miss Sanpete County competition, along with the Miss Sanpete County Outstanding

Teen Competition, will be held this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Eccles Center for Performing Arts at Snow College.

The mistress of ceremonies will be Dexonna Talbot of Spanish Fork, who won the Miss Utah Pageant several weeks ago.

Ten young women from around the county will compete for Miss Sanpete County, while four younger contestants will compete for Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen.

The pageant is affiliated with the Miss America organization. Under Miss America rules, the Miss Sanpete title is open to young women ages 18-25, while the Outstanding Teen competition is open to 14-17 year olds.

“These candidates are prepared and excited to serve our community,” said Abby Ivory of Fountain Green, pageant director. “They are smart, talented and driven toward success.”

Within the past year, the Miss America organization has changed pageant configurations and rules nationwide. Candidates no longer participate in the swimwear competition. More emphasis is placed candidates’ “social impact statements” (formerly known as platforms) and on pre-pageant and on-stage interview skills, said Krysten Boore, pageant public relations director.

Miss Sanpete County candidates will compete in four areas: talent, interview, evening wear/social impact statement and onstage question.

Candidates competing for Miss Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen will compete in talent, interview, evening wear/onstage question and lifestyle/fitness. However, the lifestyle/fitness component will not involve posing in a swimsuit.

The Miss Sanpete organization will award more than $3,500 in college scholarships to this year’s competitors.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Adult tickets are $7; tickets for children 4-11 are $4; and children under 4 are free. Each adult ticket holder will receive a program, with additional programs available for $1.

Candidates for Miss Sanpete County are:

            Nikki Evans is the daughter of Robert and Tiffany Evans of Manti. She will perform a lyrical dance for her talent. Her social impact statement, “Teens behind screens,” focuses on educating the community about internet and social media safety.

            Aubree Jensen is the daughter of Corey and Arleen Jensen of Sterling. Aubree will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” She plans to inspire children to become better readers.

            Ally Brotherson is the daughter of Rich and Molly Brotherson of Mt. Pleasant. For her talent, she will perform a piano solo. Her social impact statement is “L.I.V.E. The acronym stands for “Learn the needs, get Involved, Volunteer Enthusiastically.” She plans to bring awareness to the need for volunteering.

            Cari Jo Carmody is the daughter of Tom and Candy Carmody of Manti. She will perform a ballet en pointe. Her social impact statement, “The power of positive thinking” focuses on teaching children how to change their thinking patterns.

            Ashtyn Childs is the daughter of Gary and Annie Childs of Centerfield. She will perform a jazz dance for her talent. Her social impact statement, “Be uniquely you,” focuses on teaching kids how to love themselves despite their differences.

            Dallas Taylor is the daughter of Matthew and Ralaina Taylor of Ephraim. She will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Learn to A.C.T., taking steps to prevent suicide.” Her goal is to improve suicide prevention.

            Jillane Olsen is the daughter of Scott and Melissa Olsen of Manti. She will perform a piano solo for her talent. Her platform, “B.R.E.A.T.H.E.,” focuses on cultivating strong mental health.

            Keyera Braithwaite is the daughter of Brian and Misty Braithwaite of Manti. For her talent, she will perform a contemporary dance. Her social impact statement is “Kindness is key.” Be kind to yourself, be kind to others and be kind to your environment.

            Bailey Simons is the daughter of David and Allison Simons of Manti. She will perform a German vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is, “Save lives, change lives: organ donation,” and her goal is to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.

            Kathryn Christensen is the daughter of Alan and Becky Christensen of Manti. She will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement, “Music Heals” focuses on the healing power of music.

Candidates for Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen include:

            Hope Marsing is the daughter of Nick and Christina Marsing of Manti. She will perform musical theatre for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Unfiltered living,” where she plans to bring awareness to the negative impact of conforming to society’s “perfect image.”

            Karlie Kate Strickland is the daughter of Cody Strickland and Harmonie Poppleton of Ephraim. She will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Break the silence on human trafficking.” She would like to raise awareness about this growing concern.

            Taylor Palmer is the daughter of John and Linda Palmer of Ephraim. She will perform a juggling routine for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Soak up the sun: encouraging people to get enough Vitamin D.” She would like to raise awareness of Vitamin D deficiency and its health effects.

            Kaytlin Elisabeth Estey is the daughter of Frank and Lisa Estey of Manti. For her talent she will perform a contemporary dance solo. Her platform is “Don’t be a cyber-bully.” She plans to educate the public on the damaging impact of cyber bullying.





What it means to be Queen

By James Tilson

Associate Editor




EPHRAIM—Two young women won countywide contests last year using platforms aimed at helping young people realize the dangers of overusing social media.

EPHRAIM—Two young women won countywide contests last year using platforms aimed at helping young people realize the dangers of overusing social media.

Bellamy Sorensen, Miss Sanpete County 2019, and Nikki Evans, Miss Sanpete County Outstanding Teen 2019, both ran on platforms of helping other teens understand how the use of technology and media can be helpful, but overuse can lead to harmful side effects.

“You have a crown on your head, but that’s not what being Miss Sanpete County is about,” Sorensen says. “It’s being a role model for others, and living as an example. It’s showing kids there are role models for them to emulate.”

Sorensen’s platform was: “Unplug: The effects of technology and media.” She says the “Unplug” initiative had one main goal. She wanted to help youth and children learn how to fight the urge to be connected to a device, and have the willpower to unplug from the addiction of technology and media.

During her year of service, Sorensen sought to practice what her platform taught. While she competed at Miss Utah, Sorensen turned off her cell phone and went social media-free for the entire competition.

Sorensen also used her time teaching piano lessons as another example of doing something else. “By showing my kids that you don’t have to be plugged into social media all the time, I hope to show them they can set their phone down and have fun,” says Sorensen.

Evans’ platform was “Teens behind screens.” According to Evans, her platform “helped the community recognize the part cell phones have in our lives and how the time spent on electronics can create a problem in the way we communicate to one another.”

Evans aimed more at teaching teens about privacy and safety concerns. “By teaching the public about the measures taken by each app to ensure safety, everyone can contribute to a safer online environment by filtering offensive content and reporting dangerous accounts or comments.”

Both Sorensen and Evans competed at the state level, Sorensen at the Miss Utah Pageant and Evans at the Miss Utah Outstanding Teen Pageant.

Although neither won, both agreed it was a wonderful and growing experience. “The Miss Utah competition was truly a life-changing event that makes me want to continue to do better and show others the great examples that the Miss America Organization wants us to be,” said Sorensen.

Evans, a senior at Manti High School this year, plans to compete in the regular Miss Sanpete County Pageant coming up next Friday, Aug. 9.

After high school, Evans hopes to work toward an education in physical therapy. Evans says, “My aunt does it, and she loves it. It looks like a friendly, safe environment.”

Sorensen will be working toward her radiology technician degree at Weber State University.

The Miss Sanpete County and Miss Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will be Friday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m., at the Snow College Eccles Center. Tickets will be available at the door, which open at 6 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children aged 4-11. Each adult ticket comes with one pageant program. Additional programs are $1 each.