Miss Cinco de Mayo Pageant directors, board members and the current court gathered Wednesday at El Valle Restaurant in Sunnyside to welcome nine contestants who will vie for the 2007-08 title of Miss Cinco de Mayo.
The nine candidates marks an increase over last year's five contestants.
"It has to do with the current court," Amy Rubio, one of the pageant directors, said of the large number of girls who signed up to compete for the 2007-08 title.
The current court has been out in the community for nearly a year increasing the awareness of the Miss Cinco de Mayo court, she said.
Rubio also said this will be the last year juniors will be eligible to compete for the title and said that might have something to do with the large turnout. The senior year for most of these girls is extremely busy so organizers of the pageant will limit participation to sophomores only in future years.
The nine contestants are Alejandra Bobadilla, Mayra Serna, Melinda Amaro, Anel Alanis, Jessica Alvarez, Jamie Valencia, Rocio Ramos, Jeannette Hernandez and Cecilia Cienfuegos.
Bobadilla is a 17-year-old junior at Sunnyside High School and is involved with the cheer squad, leadership club, the pep club, math club, link crew and is class treasurer. Away from school she volunteers her time working as a secretary at St. Joseph's Church. After high school she would like to attend a four-year university. For her talent in the pageant Bobadilla will perform a dance routine.
Serna is a 16-year-old junior at Sunnyside High School and is involved with the leadership class, sports and clubs in school. She will perform a dance for her talent in the pageant and would like to either attend Gonzaga University or Stanford University once she graduates from high school.
Amaro is a 16-year-old junior at Sunnyside High School who is involved with the Grizzliettes dance team. She participates in the link crew at the high school, the fire squad, the drama club and FBLA. Her talent in the pageant will be dancing and she would like to attend the University of Seattle to obtain a degree in criminal justice once she leaves high school.
Alanis is a 17-year-old junior at Sunnyside High School and is involved with the pep club, the Spanish club and the rally squad. She will dance during the talent portion of the pageant and Alanis hopes to attend a four-year college where she will work on her law degree.
Alvarez is a 17-year-old junior at Sunnyside High School where she is involved with the pep club, FBLA and the prom committee. She lists her hobbies as having fun with her family and friends and doing community service. She will give a dance performance for her talent in the pageant and want to attend a community college before setting off to attend university after high school.
Valencia is a 16-year-old sophomore at Sunnyside High School and lists the pep club, French club and the ski club as her school activities. Her hobbies include reading and writing and attending youth group meetings. Valencia will read poetry she created during the talent portion of the show. She hopes to attend Washington State University after high school and major in international business.
Ramos is a 15-year-old sophomore at Sunnyside High School. She is involved with the pep club and will sing for the talent portion of the pageant. She would like to attend a university after high school and focus on a law career.
Hernandez is a 15-year-old sophomore at Sunnyside High School and lists the pep club as her school activities. She also likes to play tennis and her talent in the show will be singing.
Cienfuegos is a 16-year-old junior at Sunnyside High School and is a youth leader at St. Joseph's Church. She is involved with Upward Bound and works part-time at McDonalds. Her talent will be dancing in the pageant and she hopes to either go into the U.S. Air Force or Washington State University to work towards becoming a pediatrician.
Rubio said the candidates started practicing last Tuesday for the pageant and are already selling raffle tickets for $1. The current court will be soliciting donations from the community and these items will be raffled off at the pageant, which will take place Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m. in the Sunnyside High School auditorium.
Tickets for the pageant will go on sale some time in the middle of March.
Corey Russell/Daily Sun News
The 2007-08 Miss Cinco de Mayo candidates are (L-R) Jeannette Hernandez, Mayra Serna, Rocio Ramos, Anel Alanis, Melinda Amaro, Alejandra Bobadilla, Jessica Alvarez, Cecilia Cienfuegos and Jamie Valencia.