Leigha Luschnat loves to draw and paint, and much of the inspiration for her art is the community she loves – Pitt Meadows.
Her dad Roddy figures that makes her a fitting representative as Miss Pitt Meadows 2012.
He was the one who suggested she apply to be such when Leigha brought the application home from school, Highland Park elementary.
Roddy grew up in Pitt Meadows on his parents beef farm on the north side of Harris Road and understands the significance of Pitt Meadows Day and the role Miss Pitt Meadows and the Royal Party play in it.
The Miss Pitt Meadows tradition began in 1937, when the event was a May Day celebration and a May queen was picked.
The first Miss Pitt Meadows was crowned the following year from a group of Grade 6 students.
Members of the Royal Party range from first graders to sixth graders, all chosen by pulling their names out of a hat.
As Miss Pitt Meadows, Leigha will have to give a speech on Pitt Meadows Day, and write it herself, about her interests and what she loves about Pitt Meadows.
“She loves Pitt Meadows,” Roddy said.
Leigha splits time living with her parents in Maple Ridge and Burnaby, but still attends school in Pitt Meadows, because of her friends and the Highland Park, in part because of the teachers there.
She played on the school’s Grade 6 basketball team this past season and enjoyed it. After school, she enjoys going hanging out with her friends, riding bikes, especially on the dikes. One of her friend’s families has a plane and Leigha has flown with them to Pitt Lake, where they go swimming.
Leigha also visits her grandparents farm, where she often visits the stables to pet the horses. In the summer, she picks blueberries.
But, as her father said, what she enjoys most is art – charcoal drawings and pastel paints.
“She’s really into art. She loves to draw.”
Mostly fence lines and landscapes, which are abundant around Pitt Meadows.
Roddy has two framed and hanging in his Maple Ridge home. The others, of which he insists there are many, he stores.
When she found out she had been selected Miss Pitt Meadows, Roddy said “the world stopped for about 30 seconds.”
She is very excited to getting a dress and is looking forward to the day, June 2.
In the meantime, she’s getting ready. Leigha is friends with last year’s Miss Pitt Meadows, Rose Smyth, who’s talked to her about how to prepare for the day, and other responsibilities.
As this year’s Miss Pitt Meadows, Leigha will also be an ambassador for the city, making speeches during the Canada Day ceremony, and laying a wreath on Remembrance Day.
“She’s looking forward it,” Roddy said.
• The retiring Miss Pitt Meadows is to be at the Pitt Meadows Day festivities to pass the crown down.
Children wanting to be a part of the Royal Party and meet eligibility criteria are asked to fill out an entry form. All entry forms received are put into groups according to their positions in the Royal Party. Each group is placed into a hat and names are drawn. Miss Pitt Meadows is drawn prior to the attendant’s so that each girl has a chance of becoming Miss Pitt Meadows.
Pitt Meadows Day Royal Party 2012:
• Miss Pitt Meadows – Leigha Luschnat;
• First Attendant – Hayley Leatherdale;
• Second Attendant – Paige Fanning;
• Third Attendant – Emily Westland;
• Medallion Bearer – Isabella Rex;
• Record Bearer – Mariah Berndt;
• Flag Bearers
• Flower Girls – Alexandra Ayley, Jaelyn Banns, Riley Hansford, Maia Richard, Joanna Robinson, Emma Bailey, Charlotte Williams, Taryn Hoffman, Tiara Cross, Hannah Walter.