Fathoms crowns Clay as queen of Royalty Court

South Kitsap High School student Nic Clay has secured a crowning achievement in local pageantry, earning the title of queen at the close of the 2024 Fathoms O’ Fun Festival Royalty Scholarship Pageant March 23.

Clay was one of seven members of royalty crowned that evening at Harper Church in SK. Miah Stromach was selected as the Royalty Court’s duchess for a second-consecutive year, and Zach Olgen and Elizabeth White were crowned as senior prince and princess respectively. Imogen Gardner, Dakota Schmith and Aubery White were all crowned junior princesses.

Members of the Fathoms Royalty Court serve as the public face of the organization at various festivals and events, building their skills in public speaking and encouraging work in the community. They are also a crucial part of the annual Fathoms O’ Fun Festival and Grand Parade.

Royalty director Helene Jensen said, “There’s nothing like seeing a child come to you shy and not really able to speak without having someone in between to being someone who has the confidence to be able to speak in public and to be able to feel good about who they are.”

Jensen expressed her excitement to see participation in the pageant continue to grow since the COVID-19 pandemic’s end, though the effects are still keeping numbers lower than in the years before.

“There’s a lot of anxiety amongst kids today, and breaking through that fabric is hard,” she said. “We’re trying to break through that trial of them going through that.”

The reintroduction of a male presence on the Royalty Court was another point of emphasis for Jensen, who said Olgen’s participation sends a big message that chivalry is very much alive.

“He takes care of the girls, opens doors for them, helping them off the float, all these gentlemanly things. It helps a young lady understand what it’s like to accept that kind of help and that it is OK to do that,” she said.

Other awards from the pageant were presented as follows:

Nic Clay: $500 for Soroptimist International of Port Orchard Essay Award; $250 for Kitsap Bank Senior Best Written Essay; $100 for Impromptu Question Award; $50 for Talent Award;

Miah Stromach: Volunteer of the Year for most appearance hours; $150 for Congeniality Award.

Imogen Garnder: $250 for Kitsap Bank Junior Best Written Essay.

Elizabeth White: $50 for Formal Wear/Modeling.