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Miss Lassen County 2020: The Pageant You Didn’t Get to See

Friday, July 31st, 2020

The 2020 Miss Lassen County pageant contestants: Tristen Struthers, Breanna Hawks, Molly Bettancourt, Autry Satica, Julia Bias, Ronnie Merrill, Brooklyn Smith and Rylee Friddle.

Because of COVID-19 concerns and social distancing mandates very few people got to see this year’s Miss Lassen County Scholarship Pageant, held last Friday at the Lassen County Fair Grounds, in the midst of Cal-Fire’s Hog Fire base camp. It was a surreal evening, and what will undoubtedly be one of the most unique Miss Lassen pageants we will ever see.

For those of you who were unable to attend the pageant in person, here is what happened that evening on a makeshift stage, on what would normally be the midway of the Lassen County Fair.

Pageant night at the fairgrounds, in the middle of Cal-Fire’s Hog Fire camp.

Miss Lassen County Autry Satica – Contestant photos by Karen Westfall Photography

By Shelley Bennett

On Friday July 24th, tall, blonde beauty Autry Satica was crowned Miss Lassen County 2020 in a scholarship competition that secured a spot in Susanville’s history.

Satica earned high marks in the Community Service category, also taking that award sponsored by Guess Plumbing and a $1000 Scholarship provided by Kirack Construction and the Lassen Association of Realtors.

Satica is the daughter of Doug and Carrie Satica and is very active in volleyball, basketball, FBLA, and student leadership at Lassen High School. She will serve as president of the Class of 2021.

Satica spoke on the topic “Making a Difference One Starfish at a Time” for the talent portion of the show encouraging the attendees to focus on how they can help someone in need and was sponsored by Michelle Hunter, Farmers Insurance and Zaengle’s Carpet One Floor and Home.

Satica’s coronation marks the first time Lassen County has had mother/daughter titleholders as her mother Carrie (Zaengle) Satica was Miss Lassen County 1991.

Satica feels “blessed to have been given this opportunity” and looks forward to being “a voice for the youth of our community” and “supporting our small businesses and community events.” She also gives thanks to her sponsors and comments that she cannot “wait to see what this year has in store” for her and the court.

Ambassadress of Susanville Julia Bias

Ambassadress of Susanville Julia Bias wowed the crowd with her vocal rendition of “Oceans” and won both Most Talented sponsored by J and J Performing Arts and Most Photogenic sponsored by Julie Kirack of Town and Country Real Estate.

Bias is the daughter of Wayne and Tara Bias, a four-year member and captain of the LHS Drill Team and was sponsored by Red Lion Inn and State Farm Insurance. She is also the recipient of a $300 scholarship provided by The Hair Studio and Morning Glory Dairy.

Princess Molly Bettencourt

Princess Molly Bettencourt danced her way into the audience’s heart with a jazz routine to “The Greatest Show.” She was sponsored by the Squad 140 Club and Susanville Elks, BPOE 1487.

Bettencourt is the daughter of Cliff and Jessica Bettencourt and is a 4-year member and captain of the LHS Drill Team. Her $200 Scholarship was given by The Beauty Corral.

In addition five more contestants showcased their talents and speaking skills in front of a crowd consisting of family members and sponsors in true Covid-19 fashion.

Tristen Struthers

Tristen Struthers, the daughter of JT Struthers and Marilyn Kerby, played “Seven Years” on the piano and looked radiant in a sparkling silver gown. She was sponsored by Pizza Factory and Savage Feed.

Brooklyn Smith

Brooklyn Smith, daughter of Scott and Jennifer Smith inspired the crown with a speech titled “Not all Heroes Wear Capes”, which was very fitting since the pageant took place in the middle of a Cal Fire base camp at the Lassen County fairgrounds.

She was also chosen Miss Congeniality by her fellow running mates and was sponsored by Susanville Paint Center and Country Real Estate. The Miss Congeniality award was donated by Change Takes Place.

Rylee Friddle

Rylee Friddle, daughter of Ryan Friddle and Donna Alexander, spoke on the topic “Living Your Best Life” inspiring others to find their joy and sparkled onstage in a crimson, mermaid-style dress.

She was sponsored by Milwood Florist and Diamond Mountain Seamless Gutters.

Ronnie Merrill

Ronnie Merrill, daughter of Ed and Tawnya Merrill, showed her creativity in a rap/dance/dramatic interpretation of a Will Smith classic, she called “Life in the ‘Ville” which accurately portrayed her athletic and club active self. She was sponsored by Auto Pro Collision and Holly and Richard Egan of The Egan Ranch.

Brianna Hawks

Brianna Hawks, the daughter of Jason and Jenell Hawks, stunned the crowd with her song choice “Hallelujah” and shined in a pink, beaded gown. She was sponsored by Susanville Supermarket/IGA and Rocking Circle M Ranch.

Local dance studios also took the stage to provide breaks for the contestants and entertainment for the audience.

MSYG and the Lovelies from House of Dance perform at the pageant

Seanne McElrath’s dance troupe from House of Dance performed an athletic and hard hitting hip hop routine to a Super Hero mashup.

Jessica Wade’s choreography never disappoints and was varied with two performances “River“ a contemporary piece by the J&J Junior Competitive team and “Saved My Life” a battle jazz by the J&J Teen/Senior Competitive team.

Jillaine Singleton’s Advanced Jazz/Contemporary class danced a dramatic number “Survivor” representing Joan’s Studio of Dance.

Miss Lassen County 2019 Hailey Gregor was featured as she introduced her Princess Jayleih Dodge and gave a heartfelt and bittersweet good-bye presentation. Gregor noted that her year was full of personal accomplishments and thanked her small and beautiful community for their love and support. She will attend the University of Nevada in the fall.

Ambassadress Elena German was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. All three members of the court have been an asset to Lassen County and will continue their success as college freshmen next year.

Princess Jayleih Dodge and 2019 Miss Lassen Hailey Gregor – ‘Retired’

Our new Little Miss and Mr. Lassen were introduced and crowned. Little Miss 2020 Miss Clara Sue Hoffman was crowned by Mariah Wolcott while new Little Mr Easton Bias was given his title from Wyatt Cook .

New Princess Ariana Cain will take over from Ella Anderson and 2019 Prince Wyatt Bruce passed the hat to Kaleb Clapp. The play day, organized by Tasia Harrison, took place earlier in the month.

The scholarship competition was an homage to the strength and resilience each contestant has shown since shelter in place began.

Hailey Gregor crowns new Miss Lassen County Autry Satica

The “Wonder Women” theme was very appropriate and introduced in a strong and physical opening number “Salute” choreographed by Jillaine Singleton and referenced throughout the night in speeches and talent choices.

Directors Shelley Bennett and Jen Wood also demonstrated persistence in making sure this much loved tradition of the Lassen County Fair actually occurred, despite setbacks and challenges.

From the moment Emily Vorlicky’s “Star Spangled Banner” started the show to the final awards ceremony with emcee Jeremy Couso, the audience was captivated by eight of Lassen County’s most outstanding young women.

Princess Molly Bettancourt, Miss Lassen County Autry Satica and Ambassadress of Susanville Julia Bias

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