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Provo pageant seeking sponsors

Organizers of the Miss Provo Scholarship Pageant are moving forward with plans for their April pageant, even though the city of Provo has dropped its support as part of an effort to trim the city budget.

"Provo City has provided funding and resources to the Miss Provo Scholarship Pageant for many years and would like to continue but can no longer afford to do so," says a tersely worded statement on the city's Web site.

Assistant pageant director Marna Sudweeks said seven girls have signed up for this year's pageant so far, with a Thursday deadline for applications. Pageant organizers were preparing to go to the city's two high schools and encourage participants to sign up when the city announced it was pulling its support.

Now pageant organizers are looking for sponsors.

"We are continuing with workshops and hoping that citizens and businesses will say, 'Yes, we do want our city promoted,' " Sudweeks said. "We do need sponsors. If we don't have sponsors, we can't put it on."

In addition to dropping financial support, which amounted to $7,860 in the 2009-2010 city budget, the city will no longer provide the Covey Center as a venue for the pageant or any support from city staff.

Renita Revill, executive director for the Miss Utah Scholarship Pageant, said the state has the largest pageant system in the nation, with 53 contestants scheduled to compete June 14-19 in Salt Lake City.

— Marc Haddock