Runner-up in statewide pageant takes on sexual assault

Chloe Furnstahl will be partnering with the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center to continue talking about her platform.

Chloe Furnstahl and Congressman Dave Reichert met in early may and talked about the resolution of her sexual assault case and the issues she and her family faced in the state’s legal system. Courtesy photo

Chloe Furnstahl and Congressman Dave Reichert met in early may and talked about the resolution of her sexual assault case and the issues she and her family faced in the state’s legal system. Courtesy photo

BONNEY LAKE — A local Miss Pierce County Outstanding Teen winner may not have moved up the Miss Outstanding Teen food chain, but her efforts in speaking up about sexual violence have been noticed by some important figures.

Chloe Furnstahl, 14, from Bonney Lake was crowned Miss Pierce County Outstanding Teen last March, and was the runner up in the Miss Washington Outstanding Teen competition at the end of May.

This was Furnstalh’s first-ever pageant, and she was one of the youngest girls in this year’s competition.

“I didn’t really think I would get that far,” Furnstahl said in an interview. “I thought I would make it top 10, and that would be it.”

Placing second means she can try again for Miss Washington Outstanding Teen, but she’s not convinced that’s something she wants to do, especially with all that’s going to be happening between now and the next Miss Pierce County Teen pageant.

Furnstahl was also named a top five finalist in the Teen in Action portion of the Miss Washington Outstanding Teen competition.

All pageant competitors have a platform, and submit essays on their platform to judges. Of those, the top five essays are chosen to have an in-person interview, where a winner is selected.

Furnstahl’s platform is “Victim to Victorious,” and focuses on how difficult it can be for survivors of sexual assaults to navigate the legal system.

She herself is a survivor of sexual assault, and Furnstahl and her parents spent five years inside the Washington court system before a jury ruled in her favor.

Her platform didn’t get the top award, but it did attract the attention of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center’s Speakers Bureau, which Furnstahl will be training with to be a public speaker for them later in June.

Being a part of the Speakers Bureau will give Furnstahl the chance to talk to a wide range of people about her experiences on sexual assault, from media outlets to social service groups and even lawmakers.

Separate from KCSARC, she also spoke about her platform at luncheon hosted by the Tacoma Elks Club on June 9.

You might think these speaking events would be more than enough to rattle her, but “I’m more nervous about going to high school,” Furnstahl said.

She’ll be starting at Auburn Riverside in the fall, and will be joining the school’s Bella Voce choir.

__________

This story was first published in The Courier-Herald.

More in Northwest

Homelessness authority approved by King County, awaits Seattle vote

The agreement would consolidate emergency services for people experiencing homelessness.

The King County Courthouse is located at 516 Third Ave. in downtown Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Council approves $600,000 to increase security at King County Courthouse

The funding will be split evenly between increasing deputies, security and social services.

In this September 2019 photo, George Kirkish, owner and founder of Palouse Winery on Vashon-Maury Island, pours a glass of wine for Lori Coots during tasting room hours. (Kevin Opsahl/Sound Publishing)
King County Council approves controversial winery, brewery ordinance

After five years, the county has updated regulations surrounding alcohol production and tasting.

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is among supporters of statewide “just cause” legislation to protect tenants in Washington. However, some landlords say removing the ability to quickly remove tenants limits their ability to get rid of problem renters. (Courtesy image)
Tenant advocates prepare for another push in Olympia

Following wins in Burien and Federal Way, just cause evictions are on the 2020 Legislative agenda.

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Fire along Twisp River Road in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest in 2018. Courtesy photo
Wildfire response: State unveils funding legislation proposal

Last year, Department of Natural Resources responded to record number of wildfires.

A new report, complete with recommendations to the Legislature, has been released by a statewide task force that was formed to address a lack of child care in Washington. File photo
Report outlines lack of child care in Washington

In King County, supply doesn’t meet demand for child care.

Vehicles passing through flooded street. File photo
King County Flood Control District to vote on 2020 budget

The budget will fund a variety of programs across the county.

Sound Publishing file photo
King County Council authorizes staff to draft road levy ballot measure

The county is projected to run out of capital funding for roads and bridges by 2025.

Most Read