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Pageant started as a way to recognize senior women for outstanding service in the community

COLUMBIA COUNTY RSVP PHOTO - The 2018 My Fair Lady court. Pictured left to right, top row:  Jeanne Kangas, Patsy St. John, Carla Bodenhamer; bottom row: Sharon Brown and Mary Ann Shaw. Five senior women were honored and introduced as this year's My Fair Lady court.

Sharon Brown of Scappoose; Patty St. John of St. Helens; Carla Bodenhamer of Rainier; Mary Ann Shaw of Vernonia and Jeanne Kangas of Clatskanie will serve as members of the 2018 court and later compete for the title of queen during the My Fair Lady pageant at 1 p.m., July 18, during the Columbia County Fair & Rodeo.

Each incoming member of the court has volunteered in her community in some capacity, and will continue to serve for the next year, showing up at community events.

The new court was celebrated during an afternoon tea event at the Columbia County Shrine Club Wednesday, May 30.

Incoming members were accompanied by friends and family, while outgoing 2017 MFL members, county commissioners and members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program greeted them.

The MFL pageant was started as a way to "recognize senior women for their outstanding service in our community," writes Monica Cade, director of the Columbia County RSVP.

RSVP coordinates the pageant each year, with help from sponsors.

Sharon Brown (Scappoose) — Brown has lived in Oregon her whole life. She was born in Salem, and raised on a 150-acre farm in Lyons. She graduated from Stayton High School and moved to Scappoose in the early 1970s. Brown has one son and one daughter, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She did clerical work for Rose Valley Telephone Company, worked as a bookkeeper for Fred Schall Oil Co., and a financial assistant for Marsh & McLennan before retiring in 2009, though she continued as a foster parent for five years. She has volunteered with the tulip sales for Easter Seals for the last 10 years, and volunteers regularly for the Scappoose Thrift Store.

Patty St. John (St. Helens) — Born and raised in Portland, St. John moved to Columbia County in 1988. Married for 33 years, Patty and her husband have two sons, one daughter, and seven grandchildren. She attended school in Portland and graduated from James Monroe High School, then continued her education at Portland State University and Kaplan University. St. John worked as a receptionist at Pacific University, a manager at both Nordstroms and Servo Mation, and worked as a driver for St. Helens Taxi. She was active as a volunteer in her children's lives as a soccer team mom, T-Ball coach, and Girl Scout Leader. She presided as PTO president at John Gumm, and president of the softball association. St. John started as a classroom helper in 1992, and continues today mentoring and tutoring elementary age kids.

Carla Bodenhamer (Rainier) — Bodenhamer is also a lifelong Oregonian. She was born and raised in Portland, having graduated from Cleveland High School and went on to attend Pacific College of Beauty, graduating in 1970. She moved to Columbia County in 1971. Bodenhamer worked as a meat and seafood clerk/trainer for Safeway, a fab II technician at Armstrong World Industries, and a quality technician for US Gypsum Corp. In the past, she volunteered at the Olympic Elementary School off and on, and at the Beaver Valley Grange for 35 years. Currently, she volunteers for the Rainer Senior Center. She lived in Vernonia before settling in Rainier. Bodenhamer has been married for 47 years, with two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.

Jeanne Kangas (Clatskanie) — Born and raised in Clatskanie, Kangas returned to Columbia County in 1996 after living all over the world in places like Uruguay, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Indonesia, Fiji Islands, Philippines, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Spain. After graduating high school in Clatskanie, Kangas attended Willamette University and went to Western Oregon University her senior year. Kangas is widowed, but she and her husband were married in 1957 and shared their lives together for 57 years. She has four daughters and eight grandchildren. She worked as an elementary school teacher in California and Arizona and now remains active in the Clatskanie community, volunteering for the Clatskanie Garden Club with tending the Veterans Memorial, the Kiwanis Club, and providing meals to kids through the Backpack Program. Kangas is a deaconess for Clatskanie Baptist Church, has served

as past president of the

PEO, and is currently the 2018 president of auxiliary for the Gideons International.

Mary Ann Shaw (Vernonia) — Shaw was born in Hillsboro and raised in Vernonia. She loves Columbia County and says there is no place she would rather call home. She graduated from the Vernonia School District and continued on to the Pacific College of Beauty, where she graduated in 1970. Aside from being a wife and mother, Shaw has worked as a beautician since 1970, and has also been the co-owner of Shaw Logging Supply Company since 1980. She's volunteered for the Boosters and the Vernonia Chamber of Commerce in the past, and for St. Mary's Catholic Church since 1966. She has been married for 38 years with two sons, three daughters, 13 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

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