Gresham’s Gabrielle Neilan, featured in the Gresham Outlook, won “Miss Congeniality” at the June 16 Miss USA competition, a nice consolation prize for the young lady who brought quite the inspiring story to the pageant in Las Vegas.

A one-inch scar on her throat — “My battle wound,” she tells the Outlook — shows the result of thyroid cancer surgery.

Surgeons removed the organ that regulates metabolism and hormone levels just two weeks before the state competition last November, and Neilan still beat out 14 other women to be named Miss Oregon USA.

Neilan, 22, says she wasn’t fazed by the thyroid cancer and subsequent surgery, which required two weeks of quarantine.

The scar is a blemish, she adds, but “when I see it, I see strength more than anything.” The cancer is in remission, she says.

A certified phlebotomy technician, she won a four-year scholarship to Lindenwood University in Missouri through the Miss USA organization, and is considering becoming an oncology nurse.

National Mai Tai Day

It’s June 30, and Trader Vic’s Portland, 1203 N.W. Glisan St., says it will be celebrating with happy hour prices all day.

As the story goes, Trader Vic’s was created in 1934 by “Trader” Vic Bergeron, who converted his saloon in Oakland, Calif., into a tropical retreat decorated with artifacts he collected during his extensive travels to the South Pacific. There are now 27 restaurants in 12 countries, including Portland.

Bergeron created the original Mai Tai cocktail in 1944. The original recipe includes squeezed lime, lemon juice, simple syrup, orgeat, orange curacao and Royal Amber Rum (two ounces), all shaken with crushed ice and garnished with mint.


A shout-out to a Portland couple celebrating anniversary No. 70.

Bryant and Afton Alder were married June 28, 1943, and have seven children, 32 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren. Bryant was a longtime dentist in Portland, retiring in 1991. Afton was named Mrs. Oregon in 1966 and was a runner-up in the Mrs. America contest. In addition, she was chosen by American Mothers Inc., as the Oregon Mother of the Year in 1995.

by: COURTESY OF VIBC - DJ Anjali of Portland joined bhangra dancers on stage at the recent Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration.

Dancin’ with the best

Noted Bollywood fans DJ Anjali and The Kid (featured in Jan. 25, 2012 Tribune) recently returned from Vancouver, British Columbia, where they headlined two nights of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration. They shared the stage with United Kingdom bhangra musicians and Anjali danced with bhangra pros.

“It was a huge deal for us,” she says. For photos, see

O’Doherty’s journey

Caili O’Doherty, a Portland native who attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, recently ventured to Barranquilla, Colombia, as part of the Berklee Rhythm Collective. The program was part of an initiative to promote Colombian and U.S. relations and understanding through music education.

Concert canceled

The Oregon Symphony has a very good 2013-14 planned (see:, even with the cancellation of the annual Waterfront Concert because of funding cuts by the city and Regional Arts and Culture Council. An attempt to find sponsors for the event came up short.

The Oregon Symphony hopes to resume the Waterfront Concert, held annually during Labor Day weekend, next season.

The season begins with

“ABBA — The Concert,” featuring the world’s preeminent ABBA tribute band and the symphony, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6.

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