631days since
Hispanic Seafair Festival!

Verónica's Blog



SATURDAY May 21, 2011
I was crowned Miss Hispanic Seafair 2011-2012!

MONDAY May 23, 2011
  I had my first interviews with UNIVISION which aired that same day! Look out for my next interview, soon to air!
                                                                           

THURSDAY May 25, 2011
I attended the ECC Gala Awards, an event that highlights the accomplishments of the Minority Organizations that give back to the UW Community.

At the time, I am anticipating the beginning of the Miss Seafair Scholarship program.The events that are lined for the months of June-July are incredible and I am looking forward to every opportunity. Keep checking into our website: hispanicseafair.org, as well as my blog... STAY TUNED!!!




FRIDAY, May 27, 2011- First Photo Shoot with Mary Gomez Camba
I had a photo shoot at the UW campus with Mary Gomez and wore Divine Brilliance jewelry that looked simply DIVINE! Natalia Lopez did a fantastic job with my make up! It was so fun to get glamorous and take a variety of beautiful pictures... check them out!  







SATURDAY  May 28, 2011
Early morning, I was getting ready for our first annual College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) Celebration for the first cohort of CAMP students at UW! CAMP is a program that assists first year students at UW with the transition between high school and college. These student are first generation college students that come from migrant backgrounds. I mentor a group of INSPIRING students (8/13 are pictured below) who are wrapping up their first year at UW. 






To continue my eventful Saturday, I had the 
opportunity to attend the Seattle Japanese Queen Scholarship Celebration. I met so many wonderful people and Royalty from Honolulu, San Francisco and Los Angeles! All four contestants did such an incredible job- very impressing women!
                                                





I was able to go home for a portion of Memorial Day Weekend- which I loved! I hadn't been home for almost 3 months. I would have to say that is one of the greatest challenges of having been a Candidata for Hispanic Seafair and will be a challenge now as Miss Hispanic Seafair- Weekends are definitely busy! But not going home as much has only made me appreciate my family and my community even more.
This week, even though it has been only 4 days, has been CRAZY, with wrapping up my SIXTH quarter at UW and getting ready for finals next week- STUDY STUDY STUDY time!


WEDNESDAY June 1, 2011- Seafair Orientation
I had the opportunity to meet the 10 other contestants for the 2011 Miss Seafair Scholarship Program and several directors of the program, including Beth Knox, CEO/President of Seafair and Kisa Nishimoto, the current Miss Seafair! We were treated to some DELICIOUS Pizza and finished off a successful day with Amaretto Gelato- so yummy! I am in for an amazing summer with Seafair.

OTHER NEWS:
I had mentioned in a previous entry that I had a photo shoot with Mary Gomez for StudioSeven Photography. Well Mary surprised me with an AWESOME video that truly embraces the experience of that photo shoot. Here's is the link:


I would also like to share several publications since the coronation for Miss Hispanic Seafair. Thank you to all these organizations!

TU DECIDES- Bilingual Newspaper:

Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity at UW:

BlueShoes Media and Scribd.com:

Univision KUNS Seattle:

KNDO/KNDU News Station Yakima/Tri-Cities (video soon to come)

Keep reading my blog, as my experiences are only beginning to unfold! Feedback? I would love to see what you think or have to say- email me at misshispanicseafair@gmail.com!

SATURDAY June 4, 2011- Admiral's Tea
 
                                  
The Miss Seafair 2011 candidates and current Queen had the opportunity to experience the "Admiral's Tea" event! Our day began at Burien early in the morning. We were then taken downtown to catch the ferry that took us over to Bremerton- that ride made me feel like a celebrity- being escorted is definitely a treat :) Our ferry ride to Bremerton was fun and filled with windy pictures! Once we got to the base, we were introduced to Admiral Douglass T. Biesel and his wife. His house was AMAZING and so was the food we enjoyed! President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt visited and stayed at the house. 



THURSDAY June 9, 2011-Univision KUNS @ UW
Univision KUNS Seattle paid me a visit at UW,
filming me on campus as part of a story for Hispanic Seafair.
I can't wait to see the segment on TV!
Teresa Gonzalez and I pictured above


FRIDAY June 10- UW, La Raza Graduation

I emceed La Raza Graduation for my second year! (Picture below). This event has been so fun to be a part of. While it's bittersweet to see so many of my friends moving on, I can't help but feel so proud of all the Latinos that are achieving and going on to make wonderful contributions in our communities. Maria Jimenez, this year's La Raza Commissioner did a fantastic job organizing the Graduation and I of course have to give Magdalena Fonseca a huge THANK YOU for working with me to prepare for my job as emcee. I am already looking forward to next year's event! 

As of now, I am officially done with school- YAY! But the real work starts now- at least with Seafair. 
Questions, feedback, or comments? Email me at misshispanicseafair@gmail.com.




 

SATURDAY June 18, 2011- Miss Seafair Royalty Tribute Luncheon, 
Golden Princess Cruise Ship 

What an experience! This event introduced the contestants to the public as official Princesses for the 2011 Miss Seafair Program similarly to how the Fashion Show Fundraiser introduced the Hispanic Seafair Candidatas to the public. There is also a Little Miss Seafair Mermaid component to the luncheon, where little girls get to experience getting crowned as Princesses by Kisa, the current Miss Seafair.It was so great to meet the young girls, especially knowing that they look up to us all as role models. They were each so happy to share time with us and very much admire us all! As Princesses, we really do hold a huge responsibility to represent not only the organization but ourselves in the best way possible because we have the ability to influence and impact young people's lives. 





SATURDAY June 18, 2011- Habana Sodo with Steelo

I had the opportunity to join Steelo for a special performance that took place at Habana Sodo. Total VIP Treatment =) Check out Steelo's facebook fan page and learn more about this great duo:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steelo/16499238828
And I recommend listening to "My Queen" (Amazing song!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_BgT9a8N6E

TUESDAY, June 21, 2011- Season of Seafair Kick- OFF!

Seafair officially began its 62nd year! YES, 62 years of Seafair are being celebrated this year and it was an incredible experience to be a part of the kick-off at Westlake in downtown Seattle. All Princesses played a part in that kick-off by taking on an assignment- spreading the love of Seafair around Seattle by passing out all sorts of Seafair goodies to businesses. The goal was to visit 15 businesses and pick up business cards along the way. My location was South Lake Union (which is 50% under construction!!) but my team and I had a great time regardless! We sure met a lot of interesting people along the way, enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and I learned that running around Seattle, wearing a huge and beautiful crown results in a mix of puzzled expressions, huge smiles on children's faces and tons of questions. After our assignments, we had the opportunity to try on Jessica McClintock gowns, which we will be wearing at Torchlight Parade/Coronation for Miss Seafair 2011 JULY 30 @ Westlake Center... the gowns are sponsored by Seafair! THANK YOU!!!   


SATURDAY June 25- Coronación de la Comunidad Panameña

One of my favorite events thus far! As Miss Hispanic Seafair, I was invited to support La Comunidad Panameña at their celebration and coronation of their second Queen. I was treated to DELICIOUS food and the best hospitality. I felt as if I was right at home. I learned so much about the beautiful Panamanian culture, had the opportunity to join in on the baile and could not have asked for a better experience or more beautiful weather!

            
    Yummy food------------------------------Me and Gloria, wonderful woman!------------------------- The 2011 Candidatas------------------------- 2010 Queen and 2011 Queens



SUNDAY June 26, 2011- Café-teando Special Guest

I remember reading about the show, Café-teando a couple months ago and never did I think I would be asked to be the show's first special guest =D Well, how could I say no? I was ecstatic!! What an honor!! Café-teando is a bilingual show that discusses topics of interest for not just Latinos, but anyone that wants to learn more about a certain topic or feels strongly about an issue that affects society in one way or another. I won't let you know the topic I got to discuss just yet... you can wait and watch the show for yourself, which will be airing July 25, 2011! I had a fantastic time on the set with the crew and truly applaud these individuals for taking on such a huge project with the purpose of educating Latinos, and our communities at large. I am sure they will be nothing but successful as they continue to work hard towards their goals.  
Check out Café-teando's first show- topic- Cheating! 
Become a fan of Café -teando on facebook! www.facebook.com/cafeteandoshowfanpage






MONDAY June 27, 2011- Miss Seafair Public Speaking Event and Birthday!

Mi Cumpleaños!!! Officially 20 years old- goodness, where does the time go?!? I remember the day I was about to start Kindergarten and thinking if life would ever be the same because as a 5 year old, I thought I was taking the biggest step in my life. And look at life now! I am so blessed and forever thankful for the many opportunities I can say I have experienced and the great people I have met along the way. No cambiaria nada en mi vida- I would not change a single thing about my life. The good, the bad, I love it all and hope that I continue to make my dreams a reality as I get older and wiser.
So of course I wasn't going to take a break on June 27, even though it was my bday! I enjoyed my day and got spoiled like no other BUT I still had a public speaking event to attend for Miss Seafair- our first judged event. I was excited because I love public speaking! 
-After my introduction, my first task was to share about my family, followed by a question regarding education, and then my fondest Seafair memory thus far. When I remember the other question, I will come back and write it! I felt happy and proud at the end of the event because I know that I answered straight from the heart and I have found that is always the best strategy when it comes to public speaking! Picture of Contestants and current Miss Seafair, Kisa, after our event
Intelligent and Beautiful Women is what we are!





TUESDAY June 28, 2011- Meeting my Seafair Mentor
As a current Princess for the Scholarship Program for Women for Seafair, I and the other contestants are paired up with a professional mentor. My mentor is Verónica Guajardo.   I can honestly say there are few other professional woman in the Seattle area that would have been a better fit for me as a mentor (and I'm not just saying that because she has a great name!). She is an amazing resource and person that really cares to help me develop my professional skills and my "tools" for success. She is the Assistant Director of Community College Programs for the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) Program in Washington. She even has me doing research on Graduate School, something I would not be even thinking about as seriously as I am after our first encounter. 



WEDNESDAY June 29, 2011- Personal Interview for Seafair
Yesterday, I had my personal interview with the Seafair judges! This component is worth 25% of the entire judging. Regardless of having a bad hair day (I burned myself with the curling iron right before leaving to my interview), I felt great before and after the interview... once again, I always find that I express myself best when I do not spend so much time thinking about what to say and simply let my heart take it away. The interview was about 10 minutes but it felt like 5 because I had so much to say! The questions ranged from personal questions to questions about the Puget Sound  area and the Seafair organization!


UNIVISION:  
I want to share the segment Univision was working on about me:
I am so thankful to Teresa Gonzalez, who spent quite some time on this project, as well as the entire Univision KUNS Seattle team. 
Every time I even hear my name on Univision, I feel as if my aspirations are becoming so REAL. 
It really is an incredible experience and blessing!!



WEDNESDAY July 6, 2011- Commercial with Univision for Hispanic Seafair Festival

I was asked to go into the Univision studio to do a voice-over for a commercial that is currently airing on Univision KUNS Seattle, promoting the Hispanic Seafair Festival on July 31st. I was very nervous because this was my first time doing a commercial but how could I say no! It was so much fun! The challenge was saying everything on the script in 30 seconds. But the third time was the charm and I must say it didn't sound too bad. Hearing my voice is always a weird thing to me though. I can't help but wonder, do I really sound like that?? I certainly have a lot of respect for reporters, announcers and radio presenters- it is certainly NOT easy to sound so flawless, while speaking so fast! 
(Picture in the recording studio)







July 7-9, 2011- Lambda Theta Alpha, Latin Sorority, Convention in San Diego!

Off to San Diego I was! My academic sorority held our national convention in San Diego. Hundreds of my sorority sisters from all across the country united in sunny California for a couple days, during which we attended a variety of workshops and enjoyed a beautiful resort! It was an incredible experience for me, as this was my first convention. It was so great to meet my sisters that reside in states all over the country and of course I enjoyed the sunshine- something we unfortunately do not get enough of in Seattle :/ One of my favorite workshops was the self-defense workshop. I learned many great tips and tricks that I'm sure would come in handy if I ever find myself in a bad situation. When people think of sororities, many negative stereotypes may come to mind, but I am grateful to have joined this academic sorority because I am developing great leadership and networking skills during my college years, all of which will be great assets to my future as a professional. 



SUNDAY July 10, 2011- My First Parade: Kent Cornucopia Days!

What an exciting day! But it didn't start off too exciting. I landed in Seattle from San Diego around 11:30pm on saturday night. I was picked up by my friend, Rachel Serna's father and taken to their house, where my car and keys were- or so I thought. Due to some miscommunication, my keys were actually in San Diego (this is my car and apartment keys) and there was no way I could get my keys back until Sunday night. THE SITUATION: I was at my friend's house, with no keys to drive home or get into my apartment- and I had a parade on Sunday, the next day. I was pretty frustrated and exhausted so going to that parade was the last thing on my mind. I thought, well Seafair will have to understand because I have no transportation, no dress, shoes or crown so how can I show up to this parade? Well, I must say, I am incredibly blessed because I had angels all around me helping me through this situation. My director, Michelle Font, helped to save the day! She picked me up early in the morning and we went off to the mall. I got my make up done at Sephora (oh, I also had NO make up!), I did my hair in the entrance of the bathroom at South Center Mall (with a compact mirror), borrowed one of Michelle's dresses as well as her crown- the FIRST Miss Hispanic Seafair crown and lastly, I was grateful she had some shoes for me in the trunk of her car. One size too big but I made it work! It was not funny at that point, AT ALL, but now, I can't help but laugh at the situation. 

I was at the mercy of the kindness of others- something I am definitely not used to but it all worked out in the end just fine and I made it to my first parade! And I am glad I did. I had a blast and felt like a celebrity, role model and Princess. When you are on that corvette, wearing your crown and sash, you are a hero to those kids waving at you. When it comes to the Hispanic community, they want to see who is representing them and I am proud to say I am. I learned that it's okay to ask for help and even though I want to have everything under control, there will be times when I need to adjust to unexpected situations. Oh, and I will be making duplicates of my keys real soon! (Picture: me in the long, tan dress)




THURSDAY July 14, 2011- Community Service Presentations & Creative Expression

NERVOUS is the first word that came to mind when I woke up and realized that in a matter of hours, I would be judged on 2 presentations for Seafair. But my nerves later became excitement because both my community service & creative expression are personal and special to me. "Follow your heart" were the words my Director, Michelle Font told me and I did just that. I was definitely relieved after both presentations were done, but above all, incredibly proud. The 1 thing I would change would be to have had my parents present for my event- especially during my creative expression, a monologue inspired by the novel, Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor, and the inspiring story of my parents- Mexican immigrants who have sacrificed everything in order to give my siblings & I the BEST future. However, I know they are proud of me, no matter what! Los quiero muchisimo y estoy MUY agradecida de tenerlos en mi vida ♥






FRIDAY July 15, 2011- Glamour Magazine Deadline!

Every year, Glamour Magazine holds a contest- The Top Ten College Women Competition. And well, how could I let this opportunity pass? 10 winners are chosen every year and flown out to New York City for a grand experience. The "Top Woman" out of those ten receives $20,000 and the other nine receive $3,000 and all ten are published in Glamour Magazine. I had been working on this project for several weeks- writing my essay, listing awards and my community services, so I was glad to be done with it and now I am anxious to hear back from the magazine. I am not sure how many women applied this year but it will be interesting to see what the outcome is! I am so GRATEFUL to Teresa Gonzalez, Univision Reporter who put together a great DVD with my interviews as Miss Hispanic Seafair to include with my submission and Rachel Serna, who brought this opportunity to my attention. Now, to patiently wait for the results!






SATURDAY July 16, 2011- Milk Carton Derby at Greenlake











There are many skills I possess, but building boats out of milk cartons is not one of those 
skills so I was a bit apprehensive about this Seafair event. My first reaction- is that even possible? But it turned out to be one of the greatest events thus far! The day was a little gloomy but the sun decided to make an appearance as our day progressed. We got to Greenlake and had the opportunity to sign autographs for a couple hours before the constructing began. Meeting and talking to young girls and different people from the community was amazing. One man even asked me to autograph his hand- definitely a first! We were treated to a delicious lunch before getting to the building. Creativity was definitely in the air, as we learned what tools we had to use- 1 plywood sheet, dozens of empty half-gallon milk cartons, 4 1-gallon milk containers, nails, hammer, chicken wire, plastic ties, staples and stapler. Monica Kumar, one of the Seafair Princesas actually had a plan so it was great to have her as our leader. We had an hour to build this boat, to hold 4 people! Once we got the boat to the water, we were happy to see it floated! The 4 girls, however, decided to actually swim and take the boat back to shore that way, because it was faster. I commend them for their wonderful job, swimming in the cold water and finishing the race! Oh, and we built the boat with our crowns on- also a first! =)



SUNDAY July 17, 2011- White Center Parade & Bon Odori Festival

 
White Center Parade: My second parade would have been extra amazing... WITHOUT THE RAIN! I love Seattle but summer with rain is just not my kind of mix! But the show goes on and so did we- with umbrellas! There were more people out for the parade than I would have imagined so I couldn't have been more thankful to them all. I wore a gorgeous dress that my friend, Rachel Serna gave to me as a birthday gift- she is the meaning of kind and genuine :)





Bon Odori Festival: 
After our parade, we had about 3 hours before the next event. We ate, slept and then got ready for Bon Odori. I must say, having that extra time to relax and really get to know the other Seafair Princesses has made me realize how blessed I am to be in this program. I am becoming a part of a supportive family, one that includes professionals, mentors and my new 10 best friends. We find the most random things to talk about and I love it! Half of the time, were laughing at what we say- specifically, I'm laughing with Jamei June, never at her ;)                  
        

Bon Odori was (I'm sure you can guess) amazing! I was immersed in the Japanese culture like never before. We spent some time in a Buddhist Temple, learned about the Bon Odori Festival, got treated to a delicious dinner, took many pics in between everything and finally ended our time dancing in the street in a line of over 150 people. The rain even cleared up as we showed off our moves =) Rica Mackert, the current Japanese Queen and her court were all wearing Kimonos- traditional Japanese garments. I learned that in the Japanese culture, exposing your wrists and neck is found to be attractive. They were all tightly wrapped in their Kimonos, and actually had towels underneath, so that no curves could be evident. I found it so  interesting to learn about the differences in what is considered "BEAUTIFUL" from culture to culture. 

 
MONDAY July 18, 2011- 2nd photo shoot with Mary Gomez Camba 

  



My second photo shoot was even better than my first (I didn't think that was possible!) It's always fun to get in front of the camera! I will be with Jaime  and Teresa from Univision tomorrow (July 20th) during the Sounders/Manchester soccer game at Century Link Field, promoting the Hispanic Seafair Festival so I talked to Mary Gomez about printing pictures from my first shoot to hand out, which then turned into organizing an entire second photo shoot! Natty Lopez did a great job with my make up and  the pictures came out INCREDIBLE- I blame it on Mary's talent =) I am sure we took well over 100 shots- here's a preview!







OTHER NEWS: 

 There is sooooo much coming up with Seafair, including coronation on July 30th, SO GET YOUR TICKETS: http://www.seafair.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=918 and witness the crowning of Miss Seafair 2011. 

July 31st is the HISPANIC SEAFAIR FESTIVAL from 11-7pm @ Seattle Center! If you want to volunteer, let me know! 
Also, check out the second article by the office of Minority Affairs and Diversity at UW, where all 11 Seafair candidates are mentioned: http://depts.washington.edu/omad/uw-students-competing-for-title-of-miss-seafair-2011/#more-3926

And lastly, check out the 1st edition of The CAMP Times, a newsletter that I am the editor for. I worked with the first cohort of College Assistance Migrant Program students as a mentor at UW and I am proud to share more about them through this publication. Enjoy! https://docs.google.com/viewer a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B1oltxQ6drpqY2E2NDI5NTAtN2RhNy00ZDcyLTk0MDEtNjY0YmEzZjZkMWEz&hl=en_US

Muchas Gracias! Keep reading my blog and Feel free to email any comments, questions or feedback to misshispanicseafair@gmail.com



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions that I 
receive time and time again... just in case you were wondering!


                                             1. Is the crown heavy? 
The crown can be deceiving. While it is big or as I like to say, elaborate it really is not very heavy- or maybe my head just got used to it. 

2. How do you keep the crown on your head?
Keeping the crown on my head was definitely a challenge I faced when I was crowned and had to start wearing the crown to different events/appearances but I have learned to keep the crown secure with plenty of bobby pins!
 
3. Do you have to buy all the dresses you wear?
No! I would be broke if I bought every gown I wear. Luckily, my director, Michelle Font has been very involved with pageants so I can borrow a lot of her dresses. The only time I purchase dresses is if I find any for a great deal. Recently, I bought 2 for less than $15 each!
 
4. Does someone  help you with hair & makeup for events?
   The only times I have had my makeup done is during the photo shoot    
  sessions and when the incident with my keys occurred (Kent Parade). 
   Besides that, I'm responsible for hair and makeup for any events.

5. Are you tired? 
I love this questions! Yes and No. I never thought I would be involved with Hispanic Seafair and then Seafair for literally 7 complete months. At the end of the day, especially after several events and parades, I am EXHAUSTED. One thing that keeps me going is knowing that these experiences are a privilege to experience so I need to make the most of my time this year... basically, being too tired is NOT an option for me.





WEDNESDAY July 20, 2011- Univision at the Sounders vs. Man-U Soccer Match
















One of the greatest events I have gotten to take part in since Hispanic Seafair Coronation (I probably say that about everything I do!) I was invited to help Univision before the game at Century Link Field, promoting the Hispanic Seafair Festival, handing out pictures and taking pictures with the eager soccer fans. I truly had so much fun! Not to mention that I got to see the game afterwards. 67,052 in attendance was the largest ever crowd for a soccer match in the Pacific Northwest and I was there! The only thing I would change- Seeing Chicharito play- Mexican soccer player who currently plays as a forward  for ManU, being the first Mexican to do so. He was also the 2011 Gold Cup's top scorer with 7 goals, named MVP of the tournament! He had sooooo many fans at the match that day (including me)!


SATURDAY July 24, 2011- West Seattle Hi-Yu Parade & Des Moines Waterland Parade 




 














West Seattle Hi-Yu:This was a LOONNNGGG Seafair day- Getting ready since 7am and being done until about 8:30pm! We began our day with a reception before the West Seattle Hi-Yu Parade. This parade was so much fun, with great attendance and so much ENERGY! When you have enthusiastic people attending the parade, you can feed off their energy and it ultimately makes your time that much more enjoyable.



Des Moines Waterland Parade:  










Before heading to Des Moines, we were treated to lunch at Vince's Italian Restaurant- Thank you so much to the sponsors that invest in the Princesses and overall to the Seafair Foundation =) After an Italian feast, we were off to Des Moines. We were greeted by the Mayor of Des Moines, followed by a reception where we got to meet different leaders of the Des Moines Community, including another Veronica ;) Des Moines Municipal Court Judge Veronica Alecia- Galvin. She was talking to us about Law School and how in her opinion, no matter what you do in life, having an education in Law is the best education you can ever receive... after a few minutes, she even had me thinking about Law School! As I sat there and listened to her, I was thinking how great it is that I am able to make these connections and network with people that are full of knowledge and so well connected. Finally, off to the parade! One more successful parade full of wonderful people, excellent weather and fun memories to cherish for a LIFETIME!


   


SUNDAY July 25, 2011- Chinatown Parade 
Colorful (as is the picture showcasing all of our wonderful gowns) is the word that comes to mind as I recap on this parade! What an experience!! When people told me this parade is one of the parades that gathers the biggest crowd, they were not kidding! Hundreds and hundreds of people were out for this parade and so was the sun! The energy was amazing and so were all the people/groups in the parade.
                                                             


MONDAY July 25, 2011- Café-teando Show Premiere!

Café-teando aired their second show with me me as their FIRST Special Guest!!! Topic: "Beauty vs. Brains"- check out what I had to say!
The crew made me feel so welcomed as a guest and I could not be more thankful and honored- GRACIAS!





















TUESDAY July 26, 2011- Coronation Rehearsal & Princess Banquet at Salty's on Alki Beach

Coronation Rehearsal: On Tuesday morning, coronation seemed to be years away- but it's almost the big day! ahhhh! We had practice with the KIRO 7 production team to make sure that the day of coronation, everything runs smoothly. On the left, the red carpet that we will be using for the day of coronation at Westlake center! 







Princess Banquet: The Seafair Commodores did a FABULOUS job of organizing this event where the scholarship awards were awarded to the Princesses. Kisa Nishimoto gave a touching speech about her year as Miss Seafair, hundreds of pictures were taken, a delicious dinner was enjoyed and I had a great group of people showing me their support. I walked away with $1,400 in scholarship money for winning Best Personal Interview and the Public Speaking award. I could not have been happier or more proud =D Congrats to all of the Princesses.


 






WEDNESDAY July 27, 2011- College Panel & Greenwood Parade

Panel: I had the opportunity to volunteer at El Centro de la Raza as part of a panel of college students and spoke to Latino students in high school, about the great experiences they can take advantage of once they get to college such as study abroad and the honors program. I love to share the experiences I have had with the hopes of inspiring and motivating others to chase after what may seem to be impossible to accomplish. Everyone can be doing great things so long as they push themselves to do it. I really believe that every person has the power to make of their lives what they choose to... hard work pays off! 








Greenwood Parade: The last parade before torchlight! I am going to miss the parades- I love being able to interact with people and getting to know the different communities of Seattle. Not to mention spending time with the kind Corvette drivers who volunteer their time to make our participation in parades possible, the commodores who ensure that we make it through the parades safely and hearing people's reactions to my crown- that's always fun! I never thought I would be in a parade- now I can say I've been in 6... & the BIG PARADE coming up SATURDAY! 



   
 









Other things...

1. COMMERCIAL! Check out the commercial promoting the Hispanic Seafair Festival- does the voice sound familiar? 

2. CORONATION!!!! The coronation for Miss Seafair 2011-2012 is happening Saturday July 30th @ Westlake Center from 7:30-8:00 and it will be televised on KIRO TV (Someone needs to record it for me- please!). Following the coronation is the Alaska Airlines Torchlight Parade. My family is coming so I am very excited to see them all! 

3. HISPANIC SEAFAIR FESTIVAL- It's coming up! Sunday July 31st at the Seattle Center from 11am-7pm. 
Bring all your friends & family. There will be food, entertainment, legal clinic, arts & crafts and sooo much more! 
I CAN'T WAIT!!











SATURDAY July 30, 2011- Miss Seafair 2011-2012 Coronation & Torchlight Parade

The day we had all been waiting for! Our journey as contestants for the Miss Seafair Scholarship Program had started not too long ago, & coronation was now upon us. The nerves were high- who would become the next Miss Seafair? We met at Kennedy High School at 5pm- 2.5 hours prior to coronation. However, we almost didn’t make it to Westlake on time! We left Kennedy at 6pm but almost every street, once we neared downtown, was closed & even with the “Seafair Pass” we couldn’t get through. A very nice police officer actually hopped into our Suburban so that we could get through the closed streets. The officers understood we were in a desperate hurry to get to the coronation that they actually stopped the runners that were participating in the Torchlight Marathon- we’re talking about thousands of runners pouring through the streets of Seattle- sorry if you were 1 of those runners. Once we finally made it to the site of the coronation in front of the Grandstand Bleachers, we literally had 10 minutes before KIRO aired the entire program LIVE on TV! 

I was crying as I got off the Suburban and kept telling myself to get it together. It was seconds after arriving at Westlake that I learned that my Family was not going to be at coronation. I felt so sad because they hadn’t been able to attend any of my Seafair events throughout the summer, and this was the LAST one! But then I realized that I would have many other Hispanic Seafair events they could attend in the future and plus, I wasn’t going to win so they wouldn't be missing out on anything... telling myself that over and over again made me feel better. Also, I realized that I couldn’t ruin my makeup when I was about to be viewed on live TV by over 750,000 viewers.
Coronation started and now seems like it lasted only a second. After a series of events, the KIRO anchors began getting down to business. Second Princess was called- Veronica Pupava. First Princess, Angelica Casimiro. And then it was the moment of truth. Miss Seafair 2011-2012… Veronica Quintero. WHAT?!?!? That could not be me. But it was. Recall- I had made myself feel better that my family was not in attendance by telling myself that I had no chance of winning But I WON! So then my plan was ruined and I felt sad once again that my family was not there to witness this moment. What else was going through my mind? Well, my mind wasn’t really at coronation. I was taken back to the year 2000 when I was stuck in a Hospital for a year, getting treated for a disease that I thought wouldn’t allow me to see a day past the age of 10. And now I was getting crowned as the First Latina Miss Seafair. Life works in wondrous and mysterious ways! Once my mind snapped back to reality, it was time to move and receive the crown, an unforgettable moment that will be engraved in my mind forever. As Kisa Nishimoto, Miss Seafair 2010-2011 crowned me I thought about the big responsibility that she was passing on to me. Kisa set very high standards for the next Miss Seafair! I also vividly remember seeing my Hispanic Seafair Director, Michelle Font’s reaction when I won. Tears were streaming down her face and she kept saying, “Mi Reina!”-  (“My Queen!”) and we were both as shocked as could be! When the KIRO reporters were done interviewing me, I was taken to the BMW that I was going to ride in through the Torchlight Parade. We went to the Space Needle to get in line for the parade. The entire parade route was about 2.5 miles with over 100 entries. I waved to thousands and thousands of people for over 2 hours. Due to all the practice I had waving during the parades that took place in the summer, my hands weren’t too tired by the end. I guess the only difference between the other parades and the 2011 Torchlight Parade was that I was going through the parade route in the front & as MISS SEAFAIR!

SUNDAY July 31, 2011- Hispanic Seafair Festival and Pista Sa Nayon

When I woke up on this day, I had to ask myself… What HAPPENED?!? Did I really become Miss Seafair yesterday? The shock of having won was still very much alive and I don’t think I will truly get over the shock of what happened on July 30th at Westlake. I knew that my first day as Miss Hispanic Seafair and Miss Seafair would be a busy, life-changing day! My family stayed with me during that weekend which I am so grateful to have had my family and my best Friend, Michelle Pinales with me. To know that I had my loved ones by my side as my life was literally changing made the moments one thousand times more incredible. I got ready for the 31st Annual Hispanic Seafair Festival and the 21st annual Pista Sa Nayon, Filipino Festival. I drove to JFK in Burien to meet with my Seafair Princesses, Angelica Casimiro and Veronica Pupava, Chaperone and our driver. We arrived at the Hispanic Seafair Festival soon after it had started and my heart was racing! I could not contain my enthusiasm and excitement. This was my first time attending the Hispanic Seafair Festival! Once we arrived, I was presented to the community by my Director, Michelle Font. When she presented me, I fought so hard to control the tears! She said that she was very proud of me and stated that I was the first Miss Hispanic Seafair to ever become Miss Seafair! Hearing those words sounded surreal and once again, I had to fight to hold back the tears and not choke up when I spoke to everyone at the Festival. Once again, a shock that will last my entire lifetime. It’s an honor to know that I am representing the Latino Community as Miss Seafair. I went on stage and introduced the royalty present: Angelina Kayyalaynen, Miss WA USA 2011, Kristell Pearson, Miss Raices Panamenas 2011, Angelica Casimiro, Seafair First Princess and Veronica Pupava, Seafair Second Princess. On stage, we danced to some salsa and I was presented with my HUGE $5,000 scholarship award and a beautiful bouquet of red roses.

          
                                                   PISTA SA NAYON:
After about an hour at the Hispanic Seafair Festival, we were escorted to Seward Park for the Pista Sa Nayon Festival. It’s interesting to note that before the Hispanic Seafair Festival took place in the Seattle Center, it used to take place in Seward Park! Being there was very special to me because I was going back to the roots of the Hispanic Seafair Festival and witnessing site of  the origins of an organization that has expanded so much over the years. We were presented to the Festival attendees and something  I will never forget is all the YUMMY food we were given. I cannot even begin to describe the warm hospitality that we experienced at the Festival. Thank you so much to the Filipino Community, for receiving us with open arms and for sharing your beautiful culture with Seafair. After Pista Sa Nayon, I drove back to the Hispanic Seafair Festival and the crowd had literally tripled! Easily, over 500 attendees and the sun was beaming... but not nearly as much as I was!! I was presented at the Festival once again and this time, my entire family was present! The only faces that mattered at that moment were those of my beloved family members. 

My effort, time & passion- it was worth every second when I saw my family. I spent the remainder of the festival meeting people, taking pictures & signing posters… a time that was so fulfilling. Nothing compares to the times I spoke to young girls that told me they wanted to be just like me. Just as that day had been surreal, so was hearing those words. We tend to go through life hoping that we make a lasting impact on at least 1 person & my hope was
becoming a reality. 
                                                                                                         
    
MONDAY August 1, 2011- Contract Signing @ Seafair Office

This meeting was LIFE-CHANGING... I know I say that about everything I do but I really do mean it! I had the chance to be welcomed into the world of Seafair as MISS SEAFAIR! I met with President/CEO Beth Knox, Program Chair, JoAnne Ludwig and Foundation Manager, Jill Farley. We went over event details for Fleet Week 2011, rules, regulations and responsibilities that come with the title of Miss Seafair.



TUESDAY August 2, 2011- Chief Petty Officer’s Party @ Safeco Field
















            The first event for Fleet Week- Chief Petty Officers from ships hosted by Seafair and the Seattle Navy League attended this event. I had the chance to mingle with the crowd followed by a warm introduction. The food was so much FUN and yummy! Bite-sized corn dogs, pretzels and hot dogs to stay true to the typical concessions style food served at games and other delicious types of foods to choose from. I assisted with the cake cutting during the event- the first of MANY cakes that I would be cutting that week! Wonderful first day of FLEET WEEK 2011.  

 
WEDNESDAY August 3, 2011: Mayor's Reception


 This event took place at the Seattle City Hall, with a view almost as great as the view from the Columbia Tower. The Seattle Deputy Mayor welcomed the visiting Fleet Officers, Captains and special dignitaries to Seattle. The food consisted of appetizers that were DELICIOUS! I had never seen so many different types of gourmet cheeses in my life! I was introduced and I assisted King Neptune XLII Tom Skerritt and Queen Alcyone XII Joni Earl, Chief Executive Officer of Sound Transit with the knighting of the new Coast Guard Admiral.
                     


Officer’s Reception @ Columbia Tower

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Moments after the Mayor’s Reception, we walked over to the Officer’s Reception at the Columbia Tower (the building with the BEST view in Seattle). 300 officers from ships hosted by Seafair and the Seattle Navy League attended this event. I was introduced and was called to deliver a few welcoming words to all the Officers in attendance. I was so NERVOUS seconds before my brief speech but as soon as I got ahold of the microphone, thankfully only ELOQUENCE came out of my mouth. This event presented me with the opportunity to cut the second cake of the week- with a sword! Such a fun cake- cutting experience!! Miss Navy League, the beautiful Cara Rudd was also in attendance during the event. Love you Cara =)



THURSDAY August 4, 2011: Breakfast and the Blues @ Boeing Field

On this day I was up b
y 6am, getting glammed up for Breakfast and the Blues! This event has got to be one of the most special/memorable events I experienced. This event is a fundraiser for the Seafair Foundation, raising money not only for the Scholarship Program for Women but also the Ambassador Program and Community Events. Jill Farley did a FABULOUS job organizing this huge event. The night before this event, JoAnne, my Chaperone told me that I would be speaking during the breakfast. I would have about 5 minutes to share my story and how Seafair has helped me and will continue to help me in my journey as a scholar, leader and as Miss Seafair. I thought of writing out a little speech but I figured that if I spoke from the heart, I would deliver the most genuine speech. When my time came to stand on stage, behind the podium that faced over 500 attendees, my knees and hands started shaking and my throat went dry. But I regained my composure and began to speak. I spoke about my hometown, Mattawa, my family and how I grew up picking cherries with my family, worked really hard in High School so that I would never return to picking in cherries and how now, I was attending the University of Washington in the hopes of one day giving my family the opportunity to NOT work in the fields and rather to pursue their own dreams. I spoke about my dreams to graduate from college as the FIRST Female Quintero to earn a college degree in my family and I also said that I couldn’t believe that a couple days ago, I was really crowned Miss Seafair. I didn’t feel worthy of the title but it was evident that I had a marvelous blessing to live up to! I concluded by thanking everyone for helping Seafair and women like me to thrive with their donations and support. To this day, I don’t think I have ever delivered a 5-minute speech that was so heart-felt. I imagined my parents as I spoke and how much I wished they could witness this moment with me. After the breakfast, I had a front row viewing of the US Navy Blue Angels “Walk Down,” where pilots boarded their jets before taxiing to the runway for take off for their first practice run of Seafair!


CONA & Blue Angels Reception @ Pier 66, Bell Harbor
                       
After Breakfast and the Blues, I had about three hours to relax and to get ready for the second event of the day. This reception took place in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation and the Seafair Air Show. Military guests from all services, Blue Angels Officers, community leaders, elected officials, city leaders, business supporters and representatives of Seafair attended this historical reception. Once again, the food was super yummy and the desserts were impeccable and appropriately modeled/themed after different types of aviation models.



 

 








                                                            
FRIDAY August 5, 2011
Hydroplane Time Trials and Blue Angels Air Show @ Lake WA

Seafair Princesses, Angelica Casimiro and Veronica Pupava joined me on this beautiful day, to enjoy the hydro time trials and the Blue Angels!













Seafair Gala @ Space Needle
The party of all parties! This event is 1 that I will never forget because I was able to go up the space needle for the VERY FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE! I have lived in Seattle for a little over 2 years  and had yet to experience the Space Needle.  The fact that I got to see all of Seattle for the very first time, from the Space Needle as Miss Seafair made my experience that much more unforgettable. The Seafair Gala was to say the least, SPECTACULAR! Kicking off the race/air show weekend in style, with great food, a dessert table that made my jaw drop & a live band that had everyone in the room on the dance floor! Guests included Seafair Board, Seafair Staff, Flags, CO’s, City officials, Royalty, key sponsors, committee chairs, pilots & drivers. I was introduced & assisted with the knightings of Vice Admiral Clingan, Admiral Papp and Mark Dederer.


SATURDAY August 6, 2011- Admiral’s Reception @ Navy Flag Ship pier 25

This event took place onboard a Navy Flag Ship that is seriously the biggest ship I have seen in my life! I was introduced and assisted with a Seafair gift presentation and got to participate in the cutting of another giant cake… and we used a sword once again!


SUNDAY August 7, 2011- Navy Blue Angels & Hydroplane Races @ Lake WA
The only day during Fleet Week that I was able to wear pants and a t-shirt! This day consisted of watching the Blue Angels Air Show and the hydroplane races from a special Seafair VIP area- aboard the Admiral’s YACHT! It was a beautiful sunny day and I had the chance to see the Blue Angels and they hydroplane races on the lake. I also got to wave the checkered flag during the hydro races! I concluded the day and the week by assisting with the Awards Ceremony for the hydroplane races.  I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the day and I was overwhelmed by the joy of knowing that I had experienced Fleet Week for the very first time in my life… as Miss Seafair =)

 






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                                                                                   ♥ Veronica Quintero