Siuslaw News | Rhody Court Committee brings together tradition, new ideas

April 2, 2022 — “The rationale so numerous of us are concerned is our past historical past with Rhody Court,” reported Kim Erickson, party planner for the 2022 Rhododendron Court docket.

Twelve customers of the Siuslaw local community are component of the exertion to carry this year’s Rhododendron Courtroom — and the complete Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Rhododendron Competition — “Back in Bloom,” the theme for this year’s Rhody Days.

Associates of the committee, sponsorship chairs Kay King and Jennifer Waggoner, Erickson, Tamara Cole as senior court docket communications chair and Jo Beaudreau from internet marketing, achieved to talk about their options for the 15 customers of the Rhododendron Courtroom and their causes for volunteering.

“Jennifer was Queen Rhododendra,” Erickson ongoing. “Vanessa (Buss) was both of those a Junior Princess and a Senior Princess, and her mother and father ran the celebration for many, numerous years. Jenna (Bartlett) has been included in the committee for many years. Wendy (Krause) was runner up from Jennifer’s 12 months. And then I was a junior princess. 

“I imagine that that is why so quite a few of us have decided that we want to do it — because we want to continue to keep the Rhody Court likely and hold it alive. Mainly because of how a great deal it meant to us and that it nevertheless indicates to us.”

For Waggoner, “I you should not know that I’ve at any time worked with this kind of a neat group. Anyone usually takes a piece, and then the upcoming working day it’s finished.”

Beaudreau additional, “It’s a lot of like awesome back and forth, far too. It is constructing every single other up and producing it greater and larger for absolutely everyone. We every single have our specialties.”

The significant committee usually means that the college students get a good deal of person attention and even more chances to interact with the public.

Having so a lot of committee users “helps construct relationships with the youngsters. They all have diverse people that they get in touch with about diverse things,” Waggoner claimed.

For Beaudreau, “They all know we’re in this article for them, as well, which is vital, specifically now coming out of COVID. There’s a community of supporters at the rear of them.”

The Junior Court docket is composed of Siuslaw initially-quality Princess Katelynn Riddle, next-grade Princess Myla Streck, 3rd-quality Princess Chanel Chatham, fourth-quality Princess Giavanna Flosi and fifth-grade Princess Lily Lewis.

The Senior Court is created up of 10 seniors from Mapleton and Siuslaw high faculties. Princess Alexia Clark, Princess Haylee Cole, Princess Alex Fuller, Princess Cameron Kentta and Princess Alizabeth Norton will be competing for the title of Queen Rhododendra at the Coronation in May possibly. In addition, Prince Jason Garcia, Prince Chad Hughes, Prince Camp Lacouture, Prince Joseph Shepard and Prince James Smith will be competing for the title of King of the Coast.

“We are so fortunate this year,” Erickson mentioned. “I’m sure each year they say this, but we are so lucky. We have the most wonderful group of young ones that are quite responsible. They want to be out and they want to be executing factors. They’re previously rather concerned in the local community.”

The Rhododendron Court docket Coronation will be held Thursday, May well 19, at the Florence Events Middle, 715 Quince St., and tickets are on sale now.

“For the Coronation by itself, if persons are not able to occur in individual, it truly is O.K., mainly because we are livestreaming it,” Erickson claimed. “When tickets go on sale by means of the FEC, they’ll have the alternative to acquire a ticket to be ‘cheeks in the seats,’ or they’ll have the choice to invest in the dwell stream. And so grandma or aunt and uncle on the East Coast can enjoy the coronation the same evening.”

In the highway top up to the coronation, the users of the Junior and Senior Courts are traveling to with area service businesses, these as the Florence Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, Soroptimist Global and Siuslaw Tale Spinners Toastmasters, as perfectly as some other entertaining field trips. In addition, associates of the court docket will attend the May 2 Florence City Council meeting to receive the proclamation honoring 115 several years of the Rhododendron Festival.

Some of the Senior Courtroom activities have been to meet with sponsors and learn about daily life immediately after high university. This has involved an etiquette meal, shopping with Sew & Sole and Word of Mouth Home Décor and a distinctive lesson for the Senior Princes by Shervin’s Tire and Automotive.

In accordance to King, “At Shervin’s, the boys had a cleanliness lesson first. Just about deodorant, fingernails, things like that. And then they acquired how to tie a tie. And then he taught them how to transform a tire, cost a battery and other expertise.”

Beaudreau claimed, “Those are all everyday living lessons they will have with them permanently. We claimed afterwards, ‘We should have finished that, as well!’” 

“Our partnerships have absent further than just the enjoyment,” Waggoner stated.

The Rhody Court Committee is applying the five months the court docket users are making ready for the coronation to educate them about contacting men and women on the telephone, scheduling clothing alteration, creating thank you notes and interacting with folks of all ages. It’s aspect of the goal to have the court be ambassadors both equally in just the local community and for the community as the seniors head off to lifestyle soon after significant college.

A whole lot of the things to do are possible because of to the sponsorships from place companies and local community associates.

“The sponsors are the jewels in our crown,” Erickson reported. “That’s why we have acquired the ruby, the diamond and emerald sponsor degrees.”

Committee members Al Rojas and Beaudreau took drone footage of some of the sponsors, which will be performed throughout the coronation. 

Sponsorships are spending for scholarships for the Senior Courtroom and the coronation itself, along with some of the court’s neighborhood appearances, food stuff for their activities, advertising and design and style and a stipend towards their clothes.

The committee didn’t want finances to be a explanation why any child couldn’t take part in this year’s court docket.

For King, who attended Mapleton College District and was unable to be on the Rhody Court docket when she was in higher college, “Not just for the group, but for individuals coming into city, getting a court is crucial, and an important portion of the chamber. It has really motivated a great deal of enterprises to arrive on board this calendar year.”

In the previous, men and women would sponsor just a person of the courtroom associates.

Waggoner stated, “We felt like we could do so a great deal a lot more, so that’s where by we broke it absent from the personal court docket member sponsorships to a broader, company sponsorship as a full. That has genuinely allowed us the flexibility to raise so a great deal additional.”

Simply because of the fascination in sponsorships, the committee has introduced an extra scholarship for the seniors. Aspects on the quantities will be produced closer to Rhody Times.

In addition, the Rhododendron Courtroom will be doing the job with Melissa and Tony Phillips to do a thank you tour to drop of sponsorship signs and say hello there all the sponsors at the ruby level.

“They’ll bounce off the bus and go into small business and thank them,” Waggoner stated.

Some special sponsors are working specifically on the Rhododendron Senior Court Float, like designer Brian Sandahl, Pro Lumber, R&R King Logging and customers of the committee.

“We’re accomplishing two fantastic floats, a junior float and the senior float,” Waggoner mentioned.

The Royal Float Sponsor is PeaceHealth Peace Harbor. 

Waggoner said that Sandahl, a rather new resident of Florence, mentioned, “I’m definitely acquiring an thought of what it is like to be component of a little city.”

One particular specific section of the court docket is not only the local community mentorship that takes place, but the bonds crafted involving the Junior and Senior Courts.

This calendar year, the courtroom has shaped mentorship pods, in which a Senior Princess, Senior Prince and a Junior Princess all operate and attend functions with each other. 

“The Junior Princess is in fact receiving mentorship from two folks this way,” Erickson said. “We like our juniors, but unquestionably some of them have a lot of strength. Having two seniors helps.”

The Junior Princesses also really do not participate in all the functions, because some of them are for the duration of the significant university lunch period of time or involve transportation.

“With our seniors, they can travel on their own or carpool alongside one another. But with the juniors, most of the mother and father are at perform. And so we consider to not do a ton of that,” Erickson claimed. “We’ve made it very clear to the young children, we do have a good deal of situations likely on. We have extra events this calendar year than we’ve experienced in the previous.”

All the court members are questioned to look at their very own schedules and transportation and retain in interaction with the committee.

Some events will be enjoyable for all the court docket — a tour of the Sea Lion Caves, the Rhody Mosey, quite a few of the situations throughout Rhody Days.

“I needed to carry back again a couple traditions,” Waggoner explained.

King continued, “The authentic rhododendron parades have been on the drinking water. So they’re likely to acquire a Coast Guard boat experience up the Siuslaw River on the Saturday of Rhody Weekend, and then acquiring off at the docks. Then they’re going to wander up to the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum to seem at all the memorabilia and have a satisfy and greet.”

The museum has the heritage of the Rhododendron Competition, which is typically on screen throughout the month of May perhaps.

A further nod to Rhody Days heritage will occur in the type of buttons, specially created to say, “I was Rhody Courtroom Royalty.”

“People can generate their calendar year in and dress in them that weekend,” Waggoner mentioned.

The official 115th once-a-year Rhododendron Competition buttons are at the moment for sale for $3 a button. Numerous of the button bins go to unique Rhody Court docket customers, but some go to the entire court docket. 

“Rhody buttons have presently been flying off the cabinets,” Erickson claimed.

People are encouraged to get involved with the Florence Region Chamber of Commerce’s Rhody Days, as a result of seller and parade apps, shopping for tickets for the carnival and a lot more. For a lot more facts, pay a visit to

Rhododendron Court Committee 

Kay King — Sponsorship 

Jennifer Waggoner — Sponsorship 

Tamara Cole — Communications with Senior Courtroom 

Jenna Bartlett — Workforce Administrator 

Wendy Krause — Coronation Director 

Jo Beaudreau — Advertising and marketing and Inventive Design 

Kim Erickson — Celebration Planner 

Vanessa Buss – Senior Court Chaperone 

Sara Mann — Senior Court docket Chaperone 

Al Rojas — Senior Courtroom Chaperone 

Wendy Huff – Junior Courtroom Chaperone 

Crystal Osburn — Junior Court docket Chaperone 

More committee help has been from Meg Spencer, Will Yurman and Brian Sandahl.

Diamond Sponsors

Apex Helicopters

BJ’s Ice Cream

Christina Voogd, Principal Broker, Berkshire Hathaway

Coastline Highway Construction

Florence Dental Clinic

Florence Motorsports

Jean Koning

Oregon Pacific Bank

Soroptimist Worldwide of Florence

A few Rivers On line casino Vacation resort

TR Hunter True Estate

Royal Float Sponsor

PeaceHealth Peace Harbor 

Ruby Sponsors

Burch’s Roofing

Coldwell Banker Coastline True Estate

Darlings Marina and RV Resort

Evergreen Concrete

Florence Heating and Sheet Steel

Rotary Club of Florence

Scott Ryland Plumbing

Sea Lion Caves

Shervin’s Tire and Automotive

Siuslaw News

Stitch & Sole

Word of Mouth

Emerald Sponsors

Burn’s Riverside Chapel

Coastal Health

Delta Gamma

Goodman’s Floor Covering

John’s Portray and Design

Kitchen Klutter

Ray Wells, Inc.

Sue Gilday, Condition Farm Coverage

Torex ATV rentals