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City and county queens

Miss Prineville JoBeth Hamon and Miss Crook County Joanna Knower will be vying for the crown of Miss Oregon in June

by: Kevin Gaboury/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Miss Crook County Joanna Knower (left) and Miss Prineville JoBeth Hamon (right) pose in front of the Crook County Courthouse.

The winners of the Miss Prineville/Miss Crook County Pageant JoBeth Hamon (Miss Prineville) and Joanna Knower (Miss Crook County) are getting ready to compete in Miss Oregon, which will occur in Seaside during the last week of June. The girls, in their crowns and sashes, sat down with the Central Oregonian to talk about the upcoming pageant.
   Central Oregonian: How does it feel to be representing Prineville and Crook County at Miss Oregon?
   Hamon: I'm really excited because we both know each other. So it's going to be really fun to be able to be there and be representing Prineville, because I know that not many people know where Prineville is, so it's really nice to be able to get over there where people don't know what we're doing.
   Knower: I'm excited because I've lived in Prineville my entire life and it's just giving me the chance to go out and tell other people about the place that I absolutely love. So it's really fun for us to do this together because it's not often that you get two beautiful young women who are so involved in school and theater and love being around each other, and get to go together.
   C.O.: What are you doing to prepare?
   Knower: I'm raising a lot of money right now for Children's Miracle Network.
   Hamon: Yeah. That and kind of making sure I keep everything together, like practicing my talent to make sure I don't lose everything that I learned (laughs). I'm also researching my platform.
   C.O.: How do you plan to further your social platforms?
   Knower (who is supporting Sparrow Clubs): I talked to the Sparrow Club offices in Bend and asked how I could help more in central Oregon, not just Prineville. I'm planning a benefit concert for the third week in April and Mayor Wendel is actually making a public decree for that. Tyler Smith, who has bone cancer, is our Sparrow this year, and this is a week devoted to raising money for him.
   Hamon (who is raising awareness for and helping to end genocide in Darfur): I'm also planning a benefit concert and it's going to be later in May. We also raised some money earlier in the year and sent it over there, as well as starting a STAND (Student Anti-Genocide Coalition) group at the high school. We're going to send letters to politicians and let them know that this is something we want to see changed.
   C.O.: How do you feel about the stereotype that beauty pageants are only about looks?
   Knower: To be honest, if it was just a beauty pageant, I probably would not have won. But I think that both of us are very good public speakers and our theater background helps us a lot with that. It was so much harder than just a beauty pageant.
   Hamon: It's really a lot about the interview, which is an experience.I've never done anything like that before.
   Knower: It's all about poise, and about how you held yourself onstage. And it's about how well-spoken you are. Your ability to just bring up an answer and look calm and collected about it (laughs).