GRANDVIEW - It was a party in honor of Grandview's 100th anniversary this past Saturday, and the young ladies vying for Grandview Junior Miss helped celebrate in style.
Marlee Andrews, daughter of Donald and Helen Andrews, was named Grandview Junior Miss 2009-10 after telling those attending the 33rd annual Grandview Junior Miss Program she loves the fact that "We have freedom of speech" in the U.S. when questioned during the self-expression segment of the event.
She performed the musical number "S.O.S." before the crowd gathered at the gala. She was also presented with the "Be Your Best Self Award."
Serving on the Grandview Junior Miss court with Andrews will be Brandy Ridenour and Amanda McLean. Ridenour is the daughter of Elizabeth Alba and Randy Ridenour. She awed the audience with a baton and flag routine taught to her by her great-grandmother Dot. She also told the crowd she would jump into the book The Great and Terrible Beauty by Libby Bray if she could be a part of the story.
Ridenour was recognized with the Immanuel Lutheran Community Service Award. She won the talent and self-expression portions of Saturday's program.
McLean, a drama student and ballet dancer, performed a pointe ballet dance to Disney's "Be Our Guest" and told the audience the words she believes are best to live by are, "Always be yourself." She explained, stating believing in who you are is the best gift you can provide yourself.
She is the daughter of Rick and Vicki McLean and was presented with the award for her fitness routine.
Also at the program was Washington Junior Miss Polina Carlson. She performed a dance routine, exhibiting grace and poise for those attending the Grandview event.
Carlson was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and at the age of 12 was adopted by a couple in Leavenworth. In a brief interview, she said she believes in the Junior Miss program because it gives girls a sense of empowerment in today's society.
"It's not rare, but it is special and I believe it also provides them (young ladies) with growth experiences," she said.
Carlson went on to say she believes the experience of serving as an ambassador for one's community is unique and provides one with a sense of honor. She hasn't yet been provided the opportunity to travel outside of Washington, but looks forward to representing the state when she competes at the national level in Mobile, Ala. this coming June.
"I will be able to educate others about this state," she said.
The Grandview Junior Miss contestants included Vicky Hall, Giovani Gomez, Komal Naran, Marisol Lara, Biviana Razo, Nicole Charvet and Gloribel Mondragon.
Lara was presented with a $100 scholarship and named the winner of the "Spirit of Junior Miss Award." She also was presented with the award for the interview category.
Naran was the scholastic winner at the 2009 event.
As for the 2008 court, co-finalists Litzuli Campuzano and Michelle Mosley each thanked the community and the many people who helped make the past year a memorable one. They and 2008-09 Grandview Junior Miss Cheyen Schenck agreed being a member of the royal court with their two best friends was a wonderful experience. Schenck provided her farewell via video.
The party ended with the crowd celebrating the community's 100th anniversary and its newest Grandview Junior Miss grinning from ear to ear.