Reina Almon is no stranger to winning on the statewide stage; her newest state title will put her on a national stage and potentially in the national limelight.
Almon, a graduate of West Valley High School, was named Miss Washington at last weekend’s pageant in Burien, south of Seattle. Her next stop will be in September at the Miss America Pageant, which after several years in Las Vegas is returning to its longtime home in Atlantic City, N.J.
Almon earned her trip to Burien by winning the Miss Yakima County title in 2012. Previously, she won the Yakima County Outstanding Teen title in 2008 and followed that up by winning the state competition in 2009. The Outstanding Teen contest is affiliated with the Miss America organization.
We’re starting to see a trend here; just a few years ago, Wapato native Elyse Umemoto claimed the Miss Washington crown and was a near-miss at the national level, taking second runner-up at Miss America in 2008. Umemoto remains in the limelight; she is scheduled to compete in the next season of the “Survivor” television reality show.
Almon’s Miss Washington duties will cause her to take a year off from her studies, which are substantial. She will be a senior at Eastern Washington University, where she is studying government with a pre-law concentration, and her main interest lies in environmental and sustainability issues, where the technical, social and political academic worlds converge. Her interest also has taken her to an internship at The Lands Council, based in Spokane, which focuses on Northwest environmental preservation. Another cause of hers is fundraising for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Pageants at this level challenge the contestants in a number of talents. Congratulations to Reina Almon for meeting that challenge; we wish you well in Atlantic City.
• Members of the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board are Sharon J. Prill, Bob Crider, Frank Purdy and Karen Troianello.