Farewell Celebration held for Gila River Royalty

GRIN Staff

Gila River Indian News


The reign of Gila River Royalty 2023-2024 is nearing the end. A year representing the Gila River Indian Community brought Miss Gila River Mavis Thomas and Jr. Miss Gila River Eleanor Lynch to the brink of being current title holders to the doorstep of the “former Miss Gila River” sisterhood going back six decades.


The Gila River Royalty Farewell, held Feb. 24 at the District 3 Multi-Purpose Building, showed the strong bond between Thomas and Lynch as well as words of appreciation from those in attendance including family and friends with remarks from Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis.


Thomas and Lynch each spoke before their guests with Thomas also performing a dance presentation and Lynch presenting gifts to family and friends.


Gov. Lewis was on hand to express his thanks to both young ladies as well as their families for their continued support and encouragement, guiding Thomas and Lynch over the course of a year.


Gov. Lewis shared memories of each titleholder from their many appearances together and travels across Indian Country to the little moments that he hopes they carry with them throughout their next journey.


He also expressed his gratitude to the families, who’s involvement was essential to each lady’s ability to wear the crown and sash.


Former Miss Gila River Kelsey Martinez and former Jr. Miss Gila River Eliana Rhodes introduced themselves and shared words of encouragement to the soon-to-be former Gila River Royalty.


Martinez and Rhodes then presented Thomas and Lynch with gifts and hugs during an emotional portion of the program.


Special guests also came forward with their own messages to share during the evening that additionally included a meal and music provided by a DJ. The event closed with a dance among the guests and goodbyes for Thomas and Lynch who will be part of a long legacy of former Gila River Royalty.