Leah (16 with braces), 2nd Runner-up in 2006 pageant; Rachel St. Marseille, Outstanding Teen; Amanda Shaw, 3rd Runner-up; Gennah Rodriguez, 1st Runner-up
Tonight was a special evening for me. Leah began competing with us six years ago, when she was 14 years old. There are pictures of her with braces on her teeth and her just learning to play the harp. Flash forward to six years later when she stood on stage as a regal and stauesque young woman about to be crowned Miss Garden Grove. Although I would have been equally ecstatic for any of the other contestants to win the title, I must say that I swelled with a sense of pride and satisfaction to watch an amazing young lady achieve a goal that she had been striving to obtain as a young teen. This girl is going to savor every moment of her year and will be an amzing representative for our city.
I am equally as excited for our new Outstanding Teen....Jessica Tonti. She has never competed before, but will be a force to be reckoned with at the state competition. She has been able to watch one of her dear friends, former Outstanding Teen Jennae Duran, represent the City of Garden Grove during the past year and will rock the house in Fresno next year.
I have heard from many guests in the audience on Friday that this year's "crop" of contestants had some of the best talent they had ever seen on the Miss GG stage. I couldn't agree more. I am so thrilled for Leah and Jessica as they begin their year of service, but am also in awe at the amazing group of girls who competed for the title. Any one of them would have been an awesome representative.
With that being said.......I want to throw out a shout to Leah, who has been waiting for six years to sit on top of the Miss Garden Grove Float. 2010-2011 is your year! Enjoy it, relish it and take it all in. I am so proud of both you and Jessica........it's going to be a great year.
Leah, 15 with braces too, at the bottom/foot of the float (2nd Runner-up). This year she will be at the top!