Fifteen young ladies, ages 16 to 21, have dreams of becoming Miss Fallbrook 2014 and the winner will be revealed at the official finale on Saturday evening, April 5, at Potter Junior High School auditorium. The theme of the evening will be “A Tribute to Women in History.”
Soroptimist International of Fallbrook, who operated the pageant for decades, has resumed responsibility of it again and is actively working with the contestants in the newly-reorganized Miss Fallbrook Ambassador ‘Live Your Dream’ Program.
“This will be the 77th year of the pageant,” said Maureen O’Reilly, vice president of Soroptimist International of Fallbrook. “2014 will be a stellar year for this event, given the number of contestants.”
Program director Keri Richmond agreed. “We are very excited and happy with the turnout.”
Richmond said over the last several years, turnout has been very low. “Last year there were only three contestants,” she said.
“When the Fallbrook Soroptimist club decided to take this event back, we felt it was time to make some changes to the program,” explained Richmond. “The most important change was to let everyone know that this is not a beauty pageant. We wanted the focus of this program to be about education and community service.”
“The second thing we did was to change the name to Miss Fallbrook Ambassador ‘Live Your Dream’ Program,” she continued. “We took out the word ‘pageant’ because people associate the word with beauty or beauty contests, and swim suits and that is not what this program in about.”
“Miss Fallbrook is an ambassador for our community,” said Richmond. “She performs a great deal of community service.”
Richmond said the ‘Live Your Dream’ part of the program “is a Soroptimist community that connects people online to do volunteer work offline that helps women and girls to live their dreams.” All contestants have joined the program, which makes them part of a group who dream of making the world a better place for women and girls.
The young woman who is crowned Miss Fallbrook, as well as the first and second runner-ups, will receive scholarships.
This year’s competitors are a very diverse group.
“There are contestants still in high school and others who are working and in college,” said Richmond. “There is also diversity in the ethnicity of the contestants.”
“They are all lovely young women and very diverse,” said O’Reilly.
Contestants are learning from coaches how to walk on a stage and how to project their voice and talk properly into a microphone. “We are teaching them how to remain poised while standing on stage,” said Richmond. “They will also attend classes in interview skills and public speaking. They will learn a dance routine that will be performed at the event. Each contestant will also choose a great woman in history to research and write an essay about during a proctored session after a practice.”
In addition to participating in regular rehearsals for the grand finale, contestants are responsible for finding sponsors.
Richmond said there are three level of sponsorships for local businesses:
Gold ($500) – sponsors one contestant who will represent the business throughout the pageant year; receives a full page ad in event program; and two free tickets to the pageant.
Silver ($250) – shares sponsorship of one contestant with another business and contestant will represent both sponsors during the entire pageant year; receives a half-page ad in the program.
Bronze ($125) – shares sponsorship of one contestant with three other businesses and contestant will represent all four sponsors during the entire pageant year; receives a quarter-page ad in event program.
Members of the community are also welcome to donate to the event, which will result in scholarships and charitable aid provided by Soroptimist.
The Miss Fallbrook candidates will be attending several public functions leading up to the pageant and will attend the Miss Carlsbad Pageant in March to see a similar event.
Richmond said also in March the contestants will help the Fallbrook Land Conservancy with a fundraising mailer.
Tickets for the April 5 event finale are now available at Major Market and the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce office. They are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.