The Signal talked to Miss Clatsop County Haylie Moon and Miss North Coast Caitlin Hillman about the cancellation of this year’s Miss Oregon and Miss Oregon Teen competitions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Haylie Moon, Miss Clatsop County

Q: How has the coronavirus pandemic changed your plans as Miss Clatsop County?

Moon: As Miss Clatsop County, I was looking forward most to attending speaking events such as the Crab and Seafood Festival, as well as appearances at the Clatsop County Fair. Luckily my volunteer work that is directly related to my Social Impact Initiative (“Speak Up, Reach Out”) is considered an essential service at this time, so I am able to continue working with them weekly. In regards to staying active online, May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I am participating in a monthlong challenge where I post every day on my Miss Clatsop County Instagram page in hopes of spreading awareness and educating the public about mental health and mental illness.

Q: What are you current plans?

Moon: I currently volunteer weekly with a youth crisis line service called Oregon Youthline. As a Miss America program candidate I also raise funds throughout my year for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals (the local one is Doernbecher Children’s Hospital). In the meantime, I am a nurse on an acute psychiatric unit at the Portland VA.

Q: Who would you like to thank?

Moon: I would love to send a thank you to my parents who have been with me though this pageant journey for the past five years. All of the amazing volunteers who have supported the Miss Clatsop County Scholarship Program along with all of the local businesses that have supported myself and my fellow titleholders over the years. Most of all I would like to send a big thank you to our community in general during this hard time for doing our best everyday to keep this community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very grateful to have to opportunity to continue my year as Miss Clatsop County, and am so excited for the Miss Oregon pageant, even though it will not be held until 2021.

Caitlin Hillman, Miss North Coast

Q: How disappointing was it to see the cancellation of the Miss Oregon pageant?

Hillman: I am definitely very disappointed with the cancellation of Miss Oregon, because I was excited to prepare to compete at the state level as a Miss for the first time. I have been competing as a teen since I was 13, and was always looking forward to competing as a Miss my senior year of high school. I am very thankful that I get to be Miss North Coast for an extra year, and still get to compete at Miss Oregon next year and have more time to prepare.”

Q: What are your current plans?

Hillman: This summer, I was really looking forward to representing the North Coast at many local events and be able to work with organizations. This is my last summer before I go to college next year, and I was really looking forward to making the most of it as Miss North Coast. My platform is “The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences,” and I had just begun working with an organization called “Every Child Oregon” that helps with foster kids that experience these ACE’s. To try to make an impact on children’s lives during quarantine, I have been reading a book every morning for John Chapman’s radio station 98.1 (KSWB). This has been great for me because I know that I am making an impact on at least a few people’s lives. Once I am able to do events, I am very excited to connect with so many more children.”

Q: Who would you like to thank?

A: I just want to say thank you to all the volunteers that help make this program thrive, even if it is not an ideal situation right now. Another thank you to my family and many many others who have reached out and connected with me during the weird time and allowed for me to still be able to serve in Clatsop County. I am more ready than ever and very excited to serve as Miss North Coast this upcoming year.”

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