On Friday night at the Miss Utah pageant, the Huish family took the stage to present a very special award in honor of a very special little girl.
Sadie Huish was the oldest child in the Huish family. She had a magic and a light to her that shone brightly from the very beginning, and her family frequently said, “If you could bottle up Sadie’s laugh and sell it to the world, you would be rich!”
A few months after Sadie turned 5, her family discovered that she had brain cancer that would — with or without treatment — eventually take her life.
This is where Sadie’s story and the Miss America program came together. As part of the experience of the Miss Utah week, each titleholder attending the pageant chooses a Little Miss to accompany her.
During Sadie’s fight against cancer, she was chosen as Little Miss Eagle Mountain by the 2008 titleholder, Kim Onions. She built a great friendship with Kim and with Miss Eagle Mountain 2009 Jessica Bare as well. With her cancer progressing, though, Sadie was too sick to attend the Miss Utah pageant in 2009 and soon passed away on June 25, 2009. She was laid to rest in her beautiful white Little Miss dress and her Little Miss crown.
Since Sadie’s passing, the Huish family has selected a local titleholder from the women competing at Miss Utah to receive the Sadie Huish Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is dedicated to preserving Sadie’s memory and honoring the titleholder who has gone above and beyond in serving her community and working on her chosen platform issue.
This year’s Sadie Huish Memorial Scholarship award winner is Miss Orem, Amanda Flinders. Her platform is titled, “WE Remember YOU: Connecting Generations by Honoring Veterans,” and focuses on serving veterans of America’s armed forces.
Amanda first began to develop her platform while working as a nursing assistant at a rehabilitation center. She met a veteran there who felt forgotten by the country he served, and that meeting inspired the motivation to change things.
As Miss Orem, Amanda visited schools with members of the American Legion and headed up a letter-writing campaign that garnered more than 1,800 letters for servicemen and women. She also organized the WE Remember YOU Veterans Honor Ball in Orem and worked with sponsors and Utah Valley University to create four $1,000 scholarships to award to UVU student veterans.
“My platform was born out of my sense of urgency that there was a need that should be met immediately,” Amanda said, referring to the need to make veterans feel seen and appreciated. “It amazes me what happens when people join together to cheer on and rally others.”