SEQUIM — A Sequim woman will represent the Olympic Peninsula this spring at the Mrs. Washington America Pageant in Olympia.
Magan Waldron, who was crowned Mrs. Olympic Peninsula this year, said the annual pageant is a chance for her to raise awareness about a cause close to her heart: Operation Uplift.
For her, that’s the top priority.
The volunteer-run nonprofit is a cancer support organization in Port Angeles that provides free mammograms, offers two breast health clinics per year and provides support for survivors.
“Cancer touches everyone, both directly and indirectly,” said Waldron, 36. “I lost my grandpa to lung cancer. My mother-in-law had a rare form of cancer. She beat it, but I have seen cancer affect so many people.”
Operation Uplift “is such a phenomenal organization that is solely funded by Clallam County residents,” Waldron said.
“What they do is nothing short of amazing.”
The Mrs. Washington America Pageant will be at 5 p.m. May 20 at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia. Waldron will compete against 27 other delegates.
Waldron hopes by bringing her voice up to the state level, she’ll be able to better spread the word about Operation Uplift, which was founded locally in 1983.
“I would love nothing more than to see it go statewide,” she said. “We’re such a small community. If we can do it, they can do it.
“If I am Mrs. Washington, I would love to rally my sisters at the pageant.”
Waldron has competed locally numerous times and continues to compete on the state level.
She competed for the title of Miss Washington USA in 2001, making it to the top 10, and in 2004 was voted Miss Congeniality by all the delegates.
She was a top 12 semi-finalist in the Mrs. Washington pageant in 2015 and recipient of the Mrs. Washington America Community Service Award. She missed the 2016 pageant because she was planning her sister’s wedding but is enthusiastic about competing this year.
“I love competing,” she said. “It pushes me to do more in my community and it makes my voice louder.
“It makes Operation Uplift more known across the community and state.”
Waldron, a 2000 graduate of Port Angeles High School, works in public relations for the Olympic Peninsula Title Co. branch in Port Angeles.
She has been married to her husband, Klayton, for 11 years. They have a son, 6-year-old Kooper.
For now, she is just preparing for the pageant, a preliminary for the Mrs. America and Mrs. World pageants, and is continuing to look for sponsors.
She said she is anticipating Black Diamond Bridal will finish her dress today and that she is working on last-minute details.
She is hoping for more sponsors so she “can make a nice healthy donation to Operation Uplift,” she said.
Donations can be made to her GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/2fdbe7h4.
“I encourage people to follow my journey on my Facebook page,” she said.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].
Executive Editor Leah Leach contributed to this report.