The Pride of Vista Lions Club held the 2016 Miss Pride of Vista Scholarship Pageant this past Saturday, March 12. This Miss Pride of Vista Scholarship Pageant is the only non-profit scholarship pageant exclusively representing Vista. Young girls and women experience the joys of community service, friendship, and personal growth by participating in the program
The Little Miss Pride of Vista and the Junior Miss Teen Pride of Vista pageant was held from 3 pm to 5 pm at Madison Middle School, the home of the Mustangs. We arrived at 2:45 to find the auditorium already half full. The stage had been beautifully decorated with an undersea landscape suitable for a mermaid habitat. It turns out the set design was the hard work of Director Christine Amely, one of Lions who has been involved with organizing the Miss Pride pageant for many years.
The Little Miss Pride of Vista and the Junior Miss Teen Pride of Vista contests had a total score of 50 points that the contestants could accrue. A biography that was completed during a rehearsal was worth 10 points. On stage questions were worth 15 points and the girls could receive another 25 points for Poise and Personality. This was determined from their self-introductions and their on-stage walks.
Together the Little Miss Pride of Vista and the Junior Miss Teen Pride of Vista contestants performed an opening dance number. The audience loved it. The dancing was followed by self-introductions from each girl and then a video of the year in review.
When the video was over, Dylan Johnson, the 2015 Little Miss Vista, gave a remarkable farewell address. She talked about how fast the year had gone by and all the things she had done. She said riding in the Monster truck at Vista’s Christmas Parade was “Super cool”. She had lots of “thanks” that went out to her “sister queens”, her mom, her nana, her family, and her best friends. She sent a special thank you to Megan Ayala and Christine Amely for helping her “grow” over the past year. I caught a glance of Megan wiping away tears when Dylan had finished.
Speaking next, Angelina Leonardi, the 2015 Junior Miss Teen Pride of Vista thanked the pageant for giving her confidence to believe she is “capable of accomplishing anything”. She told us how much she had enjoyed volunteering at the American Legion and meeting new people. She expressed gratitude to the Pride of Vista Lions for the opportunity. Her sister Michaela and her mom received her praise for their help. She said her mother had taught her “to be independent, strong, and to never give up”.
What maturity and intellect these two girls exhibited! The girls had spent the year representing theMiss Pride of Vista Pageant, the City of Vista, the Vista Chamber of Commerce, and the Pride of Vista Lions Club. The girls had received a trophy, a crown & sash, flowers and other gifts at last year’s pageant. Tonight they had another special honor bestowed upon them. Deputy Vista Mayor Amanda Rigby presented the girls with City proclamations signed by Mayor Judy Ritter and the Vista City Council. Rigby read the proclamations that were filled with “where as’ “ that outlined the girl’s many deeds this past year and ended with proclaiming March 13 and March 14 to be special days in Vista. March 13, 2016 was designated Dylan Johnson in the City of Vista and March 14 was designated Angelina Leonardi Day in the City of Vista. The audience gave both girls a standing ovation.
We were only half way through the first program and the excitement level was high. Everyone was watching intently as the 6 contestants for Little Miss Pride of Vista and the 7 contestants for Junior Miss Pride of Vista performed their individual contestant walk and answered some tough questions that were drawn randomly from a bucket. Some of the answers to the questions they were asked could have come from much older women. For example, “Lunch with my Grandma”, “No more homelessness”, “Loyalty”, “Beach Clean-up”, and my favorite, “Success is an accomplishment that makes you happy”. Their impromptu answers were indicators of their strong character and values.
Contestants for Little Miss Pride of Vista were; Elizabeth Perez, Cailee Hayman, Fallon Johnson, Mariela Garcia, Stacy Rodriguez, and Amelia Herrera. Contestants for Junior Miss Pride of Vista were; Nayeli Beas, Sally Gonzalez, Briana McFall, Amani Carroll, Peyton Henslee, Sabrina Zary, and Analiya Alspaugh.
It was a tough afternoon for the Judges. Rome Torres, Grace Cruz, and Grace Andoh were evaluating the Little Miss Pride contestants and Sonia Molina, Karen Walker, Suze Diaz were scoring the Junior Miss Pride of Vista contestants. It was a task that I could not have done. The girls were all so marvelously poised. They were also all so very cute. Yes, I know that’s not the right criteria but every one of them reminded me of my beautiful great granddaughter.
The awards for Congeniality were announced first. Elizabeth Perez and Sally Gonzalez took these awards home. Then they announced the People’s award.
This was determined when audience members placed a $1 bill in a paper sack with the contestants name on it. A total or $611.00 had been raised for tonight’s charitable donations. Calee Hayman and Amani Carroll had garnered the most votes.
The 2016 Little Miss Pride of Vista Princesses are Fallon Johnson and Stacy Rodriguez.
The 2016 Junior Miss Pride of Vista Princesses are Briana McFall and Sally Gonzalez.
The 2016 Little Miss Pride of Vista is Elizabeth Perez.
The 2016 Junior Miss Pride of Vista is Sabrina Zary.
The next portion of the Pageant was for Miss Teen Pride of Vista and Miss Pride of Vista. There was a one hour break to take photos and clear out the audience before continuing here at Madison Middle School. New Judges were coming in to replace the judges that had done their duty so well.
While waiting for the next pageant to start I met Miss California American Beauty, Lorraine Fears. She was the 2010 Miss Pride of Vista. She is a Vista High School graduate and is planning to shortly open a business here in Vista. She told me that the last ten years had gone by in “the blink of an eye”.
The format for the Miss Teen Pride of Vista and the Miss Pride of Vista competitions was similar to what we had seen with the younger girls. There is a total of 100 points awarded instead of 50. The interview was held earlier today and is worth 30 points. Personality, self expression, community awareness, community involvement, diction and poise are factors that determine the score.
Personality and Themeware are worth 25 points. Overall appearance, poise, posture, and projection of personality during self-introductions are used to arrive at each girl’s score. Somewhat similar is the category of Poise and Gown where the point value is again 25 points. Overall appearance, poise, posture, and projection of personality, while wearing the gown they have chosen, establishes the mark given.
Lastly, the Impromptu Questions, which are worth only 20 points, can make the biggest difference. There are no right or wrong answers. The answers are evaluated for poise, personality, delivery, and creativity. The questions were tougher and could not be based on politics, religion, or current events.
I was sitting in a very good location. In the row in front of me were Marines from HMLA 369 and from the 1st marine Division Headquarters Battalion. They were serving as escorts for the contestants in the Miss Teen Pride of Vista and the Miss Pride of Vista competition. They were enjoying their special duty. Directly in front of me was the CEO of the San Diego Center for the Blind, Kim Gibbens. This organization has a facility here in Vista and was one of tonight’s charities. To my right was Javier Collazo from American Legion Alvin Myo Dunn Post 365. On my left was my wife and beauty queen, Mary.
The judges for the 2016 Miss Teen Pride of Vista competition were Melanie Mitchell, Paige Hilken, Zero Dean, and Michelle Strege.
The judges for the 2016 Miss Pride of Vista competition were; Joe Green, Sierra Nowak, and Melissa Murphy Beamish.
The contestants for the 2016 Miss Teen Pride of Vista were; Caitlyn Snow, Rosie Slaton,Athena Stedman, Summer Stevenson, Tiffany Kaiser, Julz Martinez, Madison Hughes, Destiny Landeros, Christina Perez, Brianna noble, Cecilia Montoya, and Aleena Record.
The contestants for the 2016 Miss Pride of Vista were; Noella Arenas, Katrina Nunez, Melinda Ramirez, Jacky Colon, Aurianna Bigbey, Beatriz Torrez, and Michaela Leonardi.
The 2015 Miss Teen pride of Vista, Allyce Calloway not only gave a great farewell speech but shared her singing talent with us. She has a beautiful voice. Her heart is beautiful too. She told us, “that prior to competing I had no idea how active, hardworking, and unique the people in Vista are.” Deputy Mayor Amanda Rigby returned the stage to present Allyce with a proclamation that proclaimed March 15, 2016 as Allyce Calloway day in the City of Vista.
Aleena Record received an award for ‘Recruiting the most Sponsors” and Tiffany Kaiser received an award for “The Best Smile”. Congeniality awards went to Caitlain Snow and Noella Arenas.
The 2016 Miss Teen Pride of Vista is Aleena Record. The 2016 Miss Teen Pride of Vista princesses are Destiny Landeros, Madison Hughes, Brianna Noble, Tiffany Kaiser, Athena Stedman.
The 2016 Miss Pride of Vista is Jacky Colon. The 2016 Miss Pride of Vista Princesses are Katrina Nunez, Melinda Ramirez, Aurianna Bigbey.
Proceeds from the 2016 Miss Pride of Vista Pageant were split three ways. Operation Hope and the American Legion Post 365 each received $840.00. The San Diego center for the Blind received $1,385.00.
The winner of the Miss Pride of Vista Pageant receives a $1,500.00 cash scholarship, a Silver and Diamond Ring from John Shakarian Jewelers, and other prizes. Miss Teen Pride of Vista receives $1,000, a Silver and Diamond Pendant from John Shakarian Jewelers, and other prizes. All First princesses received $250.00 and all 2nd thru 3rd princesses received $100.00. The Little Junior Miss Pride of Vista and Little Miss Pride of Vista receive an array of gift cards and other prizes! All contestants received a 5 X 7 professional portrait and a teeth whitening from Dr. Ginger Hansen. Congratulations to the all 2016 Lions Club Pageant Queens and Princesses.
The Pride of Vista Lions Club sponsored its first pageant in 2003 to continue the tradition of having Vista represented in the FOF pageant, and was thus recognized by the 22nd Agricultural District of the State of California as the official pageant for Vista. This continuity allowed Vista’s unbroken representation in the FOF program. The name of the area pageant was then changed from Miss Vista to Miss Pride of Vista to recognize the designation of the Pride of Vista Lions Club as the official sponsor.
All Pride of Vista Pageants are proudly sponsored by the Pride of Vista Lions Club. For more information contact Christine Amely at 760-716-9477 or visit their website; Miss Pride of Vista Pageant at http://www.missprideofvista.com
You can also like them on Facebook – www.Facebook.com/MissPrideofVista
For more information about who the Pride of Vista Lions are and what they do, please visit their website at www.povlions.org.