Miss Lake Tahoe 2017 Gives Back

Katarina Clark is Miss Lake Tahoe 2017. She spends most of her time in school and volunteering with organizations like CASA and the Special Olympics Program. Madison Cleveland has the story.

Katarina Clark as Miss Lake Tahoe 2017. (Photo used with the permission of Katarina Clark)

A Little about Miss Lake Tahoe 2017

Katarina Clark has been competing in pageants since she was 6 years old. She decided to compete in pageants because she was in competitive dance and she thought that the 2 things, pageants and dancing, went hand in hand.

Clark is not only Miss Lake Tahoe 2017, but also a barista at the Starbucks located on the University of Nevada, Reno’s campus. She loves to read and dance when she is not busy with school or her volunteer work. Her favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Her favorite song is, “ah man… any Ed Sheeran song,” Clark said. She is currently attending the University of Nevada, Reno with the hopes of becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Clark volunteering with the Special Olympics. (Photos used with the permission of Katarina Clark)

Below is a video that Clark’s mom, Yvette Clark, posted on her Facebook of her performing to the song Survive.

To watch the video below log into your Facebook.

Katarina Clark representing Miss Lake Tahoe 2017 at IHOP’s National Pancake Day to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. (Photo used with the permission of Katarina Clark)

What is CASA?

CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, is an organization that Clark is heavily involved in. CASA is an organization that supports foster children in different communities, Washoe County being one of them. Foster homes are able to provide security, but having another reliable person and support system can be essential while growing up, which is where the CASA comes in. The CASA is also the child’s voice in the courtroom, a place where they tend not to have one.

Clark is able to volunteer more closely with the organization because of her involvement as the Philanthropy Director with her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, whose philanthropy focuses on CASA specifically. Her job as Philanthropy Director, “is to raise as much funds and awareness as possible for our amazing cause,” Clark said.

Another way that Clark is involved in the foster care system is through her family. Her family participates in the foster care system by taking in different children. Her family has helped out of over 60 children within the past 12 years, and only 2 have had CASA’s. This is why she works so hard to try to promote CASA and show the need of CASA’s to the community.

Katarina Clark and Brooklyn Reich cheering on some of the teams during the kickball tournament. (Photos By: Madison Cleveland)
The co-host for the Kicks for CASA events, Brooklyn Reich and Katarina Clark. (Photo By: Madison Cleveland)

Kicks for CASA

The philanthropy event Clark co-hosted this year with the sorority’s Chief Marketing Officer, Brooklyn Reich, was called Kicks for CASA. This is the first time the sorority has ever held this event. They were able to get 17 teams signed up as well as get donations from the community. The event was a single elimination kickball tournament that was open to students and staff on campus as well as people within the community. They are hopeful that this change in event will increase participation in the community as well as raise as much money as possible for CASA.

Alpha Tau Omega won first place, Alpha Epsilon Pi came in second place, and Zeta Psi came in third place.

“The idea is that the community as a whole can come together for this kickball tournament,” Clark said in regards to what the goal for Kicks for CASA is.

Moments captured from the Kicks for CASA event. (Photos By: Madison Cleveland)

The Kicks for CASA Kickball Tournament was able to raise $3200 in the first year. Kappa Alpha Theta is hoping to continue to grow the event in the following years to be able to raise even more money for CASA. One of their other events they put on to raise money for CASA is Coffee for CASA, where they go to local coffee shops and promote CASA to the community.

Members of Kappa Alpha Theta checking teams in, coaching a fraternity to success, and cheering on the rugby team. (Photos By: Madison Cleveland)
Clark showing support for CASA at the Kicks for CASA philanthropy event. (Photo By: Madison Cleveland)

Why CASA?

In the Miss America and Nevada program, it is required to have a platform, a cause that the contestants donate their time to, throughout the year. This is one of the reasons that Clark decided to compete for Miss Lake Tahoe. Her platform is, I Am For the Child: CASA Advocacy. Her main goal is to raise awareness about this program as well increase the number of CASAs in the community.

“Every child going through foster care that has witnessed trauma deserves a CASA in their life,” Clark said.

Clark will go on to compete for the Title of Miss Nevada in June 2017.

Timeline of Katarina Clark’s Pageants