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Cycling, action blend with Princess Tyler

Jaye Tyler says she’s a newcomer to Sandy.

“We’ve only been here 21 years,” she said.by: POST PHOTO: NEIL ZAWICKI - Jaye Tyler loves to ride her bike. She also loves to volunteer.

Her résumé for community involvement and volunteer activity is impressive: She works with the Chamber of Commerce Careers in Education Committee to help kids learn about professional careers through the chamber and with local businesses, and also helped coordinate the Principal for a Day program. And she is active in Relay for Life, a fundraising race that benefits the American Cancer Society.

“In the past I’ve been a team captain and a volunteer,” she said. “I was on the steering committee, and was on the Portland area steering committee.”

Tyler has a personal interest in the cause; cancer runs in her son’s family, on his father’s side. She said the volunteer work can get to be a lot at times.

“There are some times when it’s five to 15 hours in a week,” she said, “because when you’re getting closer to the event, it’s getting really intense. Feet get tired.”

Tyler also has volunteered with the Sandy Mountain Festival for three years. For this reason, it may seem logical that she would end up nominated and then selected as a court member. But Princess Number 1 does not know who it was who nominated her in the first place.

“I’d love to tell them thank you,” she said. “But it has to be a person who knows about your volunteer work. It’s been a great way to get to know people in the community and make good friends.”

Tyler said being involved with the festival this year has brought her back in touch with some familiar faces.

“It’s pretty fun to see some of the people I used to work with.”

Nonetheless, as with every other festival princess, Tyler is surprised by the itinerary for the court.

“It’s a whole different perspective,” she said. “I never realized all the meet and greet opportunities that the court got to do. It’s year-round. We act as the ambassadors for the festival to promote it for the next year.”

Promoting the festival shouldn’t be a chore, for Tyler. She’s clearly a fan.

“It is huge,” she said. “The best thing for me is seeing all the activities and the artists in the park. They’re all so passionate about their craft. And you get to see all your friends and eat great food.”

When she’s not volunteering, she Tyler works as a Human Resources manager at AEC Technical Publications in Sandy. And when she’s not doing that, she’s riding her bike. Actually, she finds ways to parlay that activity in to civic work as well.

“I absolutely love bike riding,” she said. “So I go as often as I can when the weather is good.”

Tyler said the longest ride she’s done to date was from Gresham to the Saturday market in Portland, and back again. On July 20, she’ll participate in the Tour De Cure in Hillsboro, a mass bike ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association. Her father, Leon Leonard, a diabetic, will join her. Leonard is 75.

“I’m signed up to do the 43 miles leg,” she said. “This will be the first time I’ve ridden in a group like that.”

With all her civic involvement and enthusiasm for the festival, it is obvious that Tyler would rather spend her extra money on her cycling, and when asked about her dress for the parade, she is predictably dismissive.

“Macys?” she replies when asked where she got it. “Navy blue?” she says when asked about the color.

The question marks were emphasized.

“It wasn’t a high-end dress,” she said.

Perhaps her accessory will trump the dress. Her escort is her son, 17-year-old Jesse Tyler, an alto sax player with the Sandy High School jazz band. His festival name is “Jazzy Bear.”