Circumstance inspires Mountain Festival princess to serve
Every year, five women are chosen to represent Sandy as local royalty in recognition of their community service and dedication.
As a recipient of two heart transplants and one kidney transplant, one might assume Tracy Hoyle's needs preclude her giving. Because of her experience, however, Hoyle now gives back through multiple local organizations, earning her a place on the 2019 Sandy Mountain Festival Queen's Court.
A Sandy native, Hoyle was "surprised" to hear she was nominated to be on the court. "I'm not one that likes recognition," Hoyle noted. "I kind of like to fly under the radar."
But her involvement invited recognition. In recent years she's helped in the Sandy High registrar's office, been a member of the Pioneer Baseball board, the Sandy High booster club, led the organization of the Senior All-Night Party and acted with the speaker bureau of Donate Life Northwest to educate people about organ tissue donation.
"One of the reasons I volunteer with Donate Life is what (my family's) been through," Hoyle explained.
Starting in 2000, a virus threatened Hoyle's life and required her first heart transplant. Later, that heart's viable life ended around the same time that the medication she was on shut down her kidney, leading to a second surgery. The doctors told her because of her health history she'd likely not have children, but her son Trent was born soon after.
"One of the reasons I volunteer with Trent's school is he wasn't supposed to be, so I want to see him more. I also love working with the kids."
Aside from the love for her son and others who share her story, Hoyle volunteers because she sees a need.
"I don't think enough people volunteer," Hoyle said of why she's so involved. "And there's so much need out there. Whether it's baseball or booster, I feel like there's not enough funding, (so) the volunteers are so necessary."
Having lived in Sandy most of her life, Hoyle said it's the "small-town feel" paired with proximity to Portland that's kept her in the community. "I also feel like Sandy is a 'neighbors watching out for neighbors' kind of town," she said.
The vendor fair usually is Hoyle's favorite part of the festival. "I love seeing the broad spectrum of all the different things people can make," she said. "I'm in awe of all of the artists that come to Sandy."
A close second, she added, is elephant ears.
Hoyle's past participation in the Sandy Mountain Festival has mostly been through the Booster Club booth, but she's excited to be more involved this year. "I grew up here, so I've been attending (the festivals) forever," Hoyle said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know the other ladies on court and gaining friends."
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