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Kimball named Bonners Ferry DYW

by EMILY BONSANT
Staff Writer | May 2, 2024 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Bonners Ferry High School Junior Riley Kimball was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Bonners Ferry on Saturday, April 26, at Beckle Auditorium at Bonners Ferry High School. 

Riley said she was shaking on stage when hand-in-hand with the other participants waiting for the final results. 

“I was trying hard not to cry the whole time,” she said, adding she did not expect to be named DYW. She thanked the community, local DYW organizers and the other participants.

“I have made so many good best friends because of this (program). I genuinely don’t think I would have had a good experience if I wasn’t with the people I was with.” 

Riley Kimball, the daughter of Chad Kimball and Laura Neumeyer was sponsored by the Moyei Shrine Club. She received a $2,600 scholarship to the college of her choice, the official DYW Medallion, a photoshoot with Copper Ridge Photography and will represent Bonners Ferry at the Idaho State DYW program in October. 

Additionally, with her piano and vocal rendition on “New York State of Mind,” Kimball won the talent award, earning a $850 scholarship. She also won one of the two scholastic awards, winning a $1,000 scholarship.

With this year’s program theme “All American,” during the self-expression portion of the program, participants were asked what the term means to them. 

“Despite how many cultures there are in this county, each and every one of us will stand for the national anthem,” Riley said. “All-American is awarded to some athletes, but it also represents pride, unity and the belief that no matter what state you're from, we will all help each other no matter what. Just as my fellow participants have supported me tonight.”

When taking the stage for the last time, A

    Little Misses perform routine at the Bonners Ferry DYW program on April 26.
 
 


na Chase, the 2023-2024 Bonners Ferry DYW said farewell and passed on the DYW medallion to Kimball.

“I stand here before you today with a heart full of gratitude and a touch of bitter sweet emotion,” she said. “As you DYW of Bonners Ferry, I have been honored and humbled to have represented our amazing community for the past year.”

She said the experience has made her both challenged, uplifted and has caused her to make many new connections while spurring self-reflection. She reminded the participants that they are shining examples of excellence and determination. 

When reflecting on the experience of the best year, the best part was representing Bonners Ferry at the state level. 

“It was so amazing to meet girls from every corner of Idaho and get to know them and be built up by them,” she said. 

Sydney Hinthorn was named first runner up and received a $1,950 scholarship. Her talent was vocals and piano solo performance of “More Hearts Than Mine,” by Ingrid Andress.

Alexandra Fodge was named second runner up and won the self-expression and fitness awards. Alexandra also showed off her fitness skills during her gymnastics routine, which was set to the theme song of the cartoon “Fairly Odd Parents.” She received $3,200 in scholarships.

Sydney Beckle, thought only standing at 5 feet, made her presence known when she was lifted above the other participants to end the fitness routine. She wowed the crowd during the talent portion reciting the Future Farmers of America Creed while honoring her Ecuadorian heritage and by receding a portion of the creed in Spanish. 

Sydney was named third runner up and won the interview award, earning a total of $2,200 in scholarships. 

Brooke Petesch won one of two scholastic awards. She left the crowd laughing in the talent portion, as she shared how to prepare for a hike — or rather, how not to prepare, jokingly recommending the use of poison ivy and collecting water from slow moving streams.

Ivy Rice won the Be Your Best Self and the Spirit of DYW awards. The former award was voted on by fellow participants, earning Ivy $1,700 in scholarships. For her talent she gave a short speech, or “Ivy Talk” about breathing. 

With 14 participants, the evening could have dragged on, but this was not the case for the DYW program. Participants were split into groups of seven and performed different categories throughout the night. Rather than have two separate groups perform the fitness routine back-to-back, the second group performed the talent portion, keeping the audience entertained.

June Marshall displayed her love for musical theater and her gifted soprano range with a rendition of “Ballad of Jane Doe” from the musical “Ride the Cyclone.” 

Amanda Koehn recited a self-composed poem “Love is Life,” moving the crowd with her thoughtful lines. 

With a Wii game controller in hand, and flamboyant exercise attire Ellie Falck did a dance routine reminiscing her childhood playing the “Just Dance Games.”

When asked what All-American meant to her, she said it isn’t a definition, but a person. Her great-uncle, Tim Mercer, was a star athlete at BFHS and was awarded athlete of the year by Prep Track and Field magazine. Many of his school records still stand to this day. 

“Tragically in August 1975, he lost his life in an automobile accident. Even though he is gone he has left a legacy, image and impact on many people's lives,” she said. “He is my All-American.”

Victorina “Trina” Johnson did a dramatic reading of “Sisters.” Sydney McLaughlin had the crowd standing as she played the “Star Spangled Banner” on the violin. 

Starting only with the letters DYW on a canvas, Morgen Tye painted a portrait upside down that showed a striking resemblance to Kris Crocker, Mistress of Ceremonies. 

Renea Barnes performed a self-titled clarinet piece, “Renea’s Summertime.” Kimberly Lucas performed a vocal and piano solo “No Matter What,” dedicated to her parents. 

All participants are interviewed by the judges the day of the program, as 25% of the judging. The judging panel are former DYW (formerly Junior Miss) participants from outside Boundary County. The scholastics category, worth 25%, was decided by presenting all participants' transcripts to a trained educator that considered GPA, strength of the schedule, standardized test schools and overall academic achievement.

The judges ranked the following categories during the program, talent worth 20%, fitness worth 15% and self-expression worth 15%. 

This year the Little Misses, which consists of sixth grade girls, outnumbered the DYW participants. They were mentioned by the participants every Friday morning and meet with them for lunch twice a week. They performed a routine at the program as well.

    (Left) Riley Kimball receives the Bonners Ferry DYW medallion from Ana Chase, the Bonners Ferry DYW of 2023-24.
 
 
    (left) Riley Kimball, 2024-25 Bonners Ferry DYW, escorted onto stage by her father, Chad Kimball.
 
 
    (left) Sydney Hinthorn, first place runner up, escorted on stage by her father, Travis Hinthorn.
 
 
    (left) Markynn Pluid presents Alexandra Fodge, second place runner up, with the Fitness Award.
 
 
    (left) Avery Bayer present Sydney Beckle, third place runner up with her placement award.
 
 
    2023-24 Bonners Ferry DYW Ana Chase plays Billy Joel's "Piano Man" for the last time in front of the Bonners Ferry crowd.