Strawberry Festival crowns Royalty

Queen Hintze joined by Princesses Morales and Thomas

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Strawberry Festival made “Magical Fantasy” the theme of its 2009 April Friesner Memorial Royalty Scholarship Pageant in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium March 14.

The Royalty Candidates’ pageant performances followed the seven public appearances they’d already made in February, before Marysville city and school district officials, as well as local civic organizations, and both their public speaking ability and their respective talents were showcased during the pageant program.

Sara Clayton was crowned as this year’s Junior Royalty, while M-PHS senior Azzlinn Morales and junior Rebecca Thomas were crowned as the Senior Royalty Princesses, receiving scholarships of $2,000 each. Fellow M-PHS junior Shelby Hintze took this year’s crown for Senior Royalty Queen, with its $3,000 scholarship.

Thomas played the piano to a prerecorded video of one of her tumbling performances. Hintze sang an a cappella version of “Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes.” Samantha Hall, also an M-PHS junior, performed Russian dance, while Erinn McPherson, a senior at the Marysville Arts and Technology High School, delivered a monologue on “the perfect kiss.” Lakewood High School senior Jessica LaPlante sang “Strawberry Wine,” with guitar accompaniment by her escort, LHS senior Spencer Ludington. Morales concluded the talent portion by playing Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.”

The talent performances were mixed in with speeches from the Royalty Candidates, on how they interpreted the theme of “Magical Fantasy.” LaPlante told a fairy tale of a young woman who had learned the dangers of drugs and alcohol from her parents’ example, but had gone on to achieve many dreams. Morales recalled how she’d founded the group “Random Acts of Kindness Everyday” at M-PHS, in hopes of improving the community and making it a more magical place. McPherson explained her “magical fantasy” goal of starting her own kosher bakery, where children and adults alike would seek out her sweet baked goods. Hintze admitted that, as a child, she’d had both an imaginary dog and an imaginary boyfriend, and asked the audience to consider their own childhood dreams, and the progress they’d made since then. Thomas used the Harry Potter novels as a metaphor for the potential that she believes everyone has inside of them, just waiting to be tapped. Hall concluded the speech portion by describing how the act of dancing makes her feel.

The Royalty Candidates were put on the spot with impromptu questions, selected at random. When asked what she would do as principal of M-PHS, Hall suggested that she would eliminate the Smaller Learning Communities, “so everyone could graduate together.” When asked to name someone who had influenced her, Morales couldn’t name just one individual, but she credited both friends and family with providing positive examples and support. The audience laughed when McPherson’s randomly selected question was, “What’s your career goal?” She added to her earlier answer that she planned to support the food needs of the underprivileged with her bakery as well. When asked to give a single change that she would make to the community, Hintze suggested that the school facilities need improvements. LaPlante responded to a question about personal traits that qualified her to be Strawberry Festival Royalty by citing the leadership skills she’s developed during 12 years in Girl Scouts. Thomas received the final question, which asked, “What would you do in case of an emergency?” The audience laughed as she explained, “I’d stop, drop and roll, evacuate the building and call 9-1-1.”

LaPlante and McPherson tied for the Bob Klepper Memorial Congeniality Scholarship, which awards $50 to the Royalty Candidate who pre-sells the most tickets to the April Friesner Memorial Royalty Scholarship Pageant.

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