COVID-19 restrictions did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 2020 Loggers Playday court. If anything, they spurred these six young women to greatness.
“We went right to the end thinking we can do this,” said longtime Playday Committee member Lisa Anderson. “We did away with all the out-of-town acts — the clown wasn’t going to be able to make it anyway, obviously, because he comes from Canada. But also no one climbing the pole, that tree act, none of that — nothing. It was just going to be a local loggers event — that was all. But….”
In the end, Playday had to be completely scrubbed, like every other major annual event statewide since spring.
Katie Burnett, Emily Daniels, Emiley Elders, Ainsley Estes, Elizabeth Folkers and Amelia Moir — all students at Hoquiam High School — have known since they were named to the court that Playday was up in the air because of statewide health precautions. Still, they masked up and made their rounds to sell buttons within their community and in front of Swanson’s, Safeway and Walmart.
The six princesses tallied a total of $13,629 in Playday button sales and donations — more than has been collected in many years.
“They did such an incredible job,” said Anderson. “They just went so far above.”
For the girls, it was a matter of community pride — and, for some, family pride.
Amelia Moir, the daughter of Hoki and Annette Moir, was named Playday queen last month. Her history with Loggers Playday stretches back to the beginning: Her great-grandfather started competing the very first year, her grandfather was committee chairman in 1979, and her father and uncle served as co-chairs in 1996.
“Playday means a lot to me. I’ve been going to meetings since the time my dad could put me in a baby carrier,” she said.
Amelia raised $4,654 in button sales and donations, placing her at the head of the pack. It was not an easy task, but she was determined to earn the title of Playday queen, largely to carry on her family’s legacy.
“My dad told me from Day One that he wasn’t going to pull any strings to make me win. So I had to work extra hard, because I wanted to prove to everybody else also that I was doing this on my own; I wasn’t doing it because of my connections,” she said.
“I will say it did help that I have been involved for a really long time,” she added. “I knew that committee members were supposed to wear a button at each of the meetings. So as soon as people would show up to the meetings, I’d check everybody out, make sure they had their button — and if they didn’t, I would sell them one.”
The court’s record sales total also is a positive reflection on the Harbor as a whole, she said. “To me, it showed that even in the chaos of what’s happening, our community is still willing to stand behind its youth.”
Because of uncertainty over how things will play out with the pandemic, most of the annual public gatherings through year-end have likewise been canceled — including the plethora of parades in which the Playday court usually participates. Only December’s Festival of Lights is still a possibility for them at this point.
The only public appearance the court has been able to make was to wave from the former Levee Lumber parking lot as the HHS Class of 2020 parade went by in June. Anderson said the committee was hoping at least to be able to drive the truck through Hoquiam with the court on board on the date Playday was to have occurred this month, but they couldn’t get the permit.
Still, they are making efforts to ensure the girls get their time in the sun. They’ll be featured in next year’s program (since none was printed this year), and they will be invited to participate in all of the 2021 court’s activities (except button sales).
“Next year they’ll all be ‘honorary court,’ and they’ll be asked to come back … to ride on the float with the 2021 court,” said Anderson. “I know some of them are going away for college next fall. But whether it’s all of them or even just one of them, we will make it work.”
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The Playday queen and princesses are all Hoquiam High School students.
Amelia Moir, the daughter of Annette and Hoki Moir, represents the fourth generation of Playday bigwigs in her family. She is varsity cheer captain and has participated in soccer, cross country, golf and Food Ball. She plans to study sports management/marketing at Oregon State University next year.
Katie Burnett, 16, is entering her junior year at HHS and is a Running Start student at Grays Harbor College. She is on the HHS soccer, basketball and track teams, and she enjoys hiking, fishing and hunting.
Emily Daniels, daughter of Scott Daniels, is involved in soccer, ASB and Food Ball at HHS. Her long-term goal is to study nursing at GHC and then Eastern Washington University.
Emiley Elders, 17, is maintaining a 3.9 GPA at HHS while serving as ASB president and playing soccer, basketball and fast-pitch softball. She hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and become a State Patrol officer.
Ainsley Estes is involved in band, drama club and golf at HHS. She also serves as yearbook editor and ASB secretary. Logging and forestry have been in her family for many generations.
Elizabeth Folkers, daughter of Mike and Amy Folkers, is an HHS senior and a Running Start student at GHC. She participates in volleyball, track and band. Her family has deep roots in the local logging industry, going back to her great-grandfather.