Feature of the Week
February 28, 2020
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Jessica Ross – Growing a local design business Retired CHP Emmons gets sentimental RP City Managers then and now Cotati-based Yuba Bikes - Leader in the cargo bike industry Astronaut has high hopes Cotati Chamber of Commerce celebrates 60 years SSU ranked as U.S. News ‘Top Public School’ Royal King, Freedom Rider In Memoriam Jud Snyder (1925-2018), Cantankerous Newsman RP Public Safety Dept. and Cotati Police Dept. promotions RP honors Sister City’s Ambassadors from Japan This is the zodiac speaking High school counselor retires again Field retires from Special Education Nafe Nafe, a seasoned performer I just make bowls! Factory and trades training facility at SOMO Village Harmony’s Joel, Cotati storyteller Brian Harvey’s love for cars Scott Goree, Executive Director of the Accordion Festival Rohnert Park’s Balldude, Leff Brown Lonnie Mack, a longtime barber and musician A roving community nurse in Cotati From farmland to vineyard Avila collects tokens A spirited heart with compassion A sports doctor putting players together Covering a multitude of braces in the local community Bringing positive to a negative world Celebrating 42 years of business in Cotati Friendly greetings at The Studio salon About Artful Arrangements JT Henley, a non-profit supporter Rohnert Park students get schooled in kindness Every day 22 veterans commit suicide RCHS alumnus moves on to the bigtime A Cub reporter’s first scrapbook Recognition of Oliver Fraenkle’s excellence in teaching A special class for children with autism The Cotati Fairy Tale dance brought out the best Grant helps City of RP prioritize creek clean up New gym dedicated and named after Henry J. Sarlatte A Reflection on Women’s History Month 35 years an educator Kindness and generosity comes from many corners of the world Cotati’s Veronda/Falletti Ranch Gegan, an educator of 32 years retires Peace Park at Rohnert Park’s Burton Center Local author tells her story Keeping the faith for 45 years From a garage to an authentic art studio Kitty Collins, an animal whisperer with passion 40 years in real estate and still going strong Cheryl Nixon and Friar Tucks Larry Phan, Living the American Dream Ferrari Salon Celebrates 34 Years Straightening spines for almost forty years A proud Cotatian A repair man with humor Hot cars and good-looking women A Swedish and German lass in Rohnert Park The Stones go to printing A dedicated Sonoma County gentleman Morrow and baseball A night of pride for the Devil Pups “One Cold Night” raises money for SAY Pet peeves that irritate me (an article of opinion) Cotati Police Officer takes on new role Mastering the art of dance Nonn’s poetry inspired by RP Creeks Students help with rebuilding efforts Cotati’s tree lighting Marionettes at the local library Local Girl Scout Troops receive grant A walk on spot for Barbato RP grant to help host 2019 One Planet Summit 140 years of Japanese American History in new exhibit in Cotati Orion greets the public A new face at the school district office "Streetcar named Desire” stops at 6th St. Playhouse Flying Frog to sponsor upcoming Parkour Competition SSU to help with Mi Futuro Youth Healthcare Credo High’s reprisal: “The Aretha Tribute” Stories matter: Judson Snyder Physics in action at Technology High School Tech High Titans undefeated champions How to do origami Annual Holiday gift and toy drive kicks off The Zschach’s and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang SSU launches ‘financial literacy’ project with Redwood Credit Union Spreckels’ ‘Nutcracker’ ---Precision, color and elegance A day of wood and amazement Ensure holiday packages don’t get stolen DA’s office and Social Advocates for Youth selected to receive grant City of Rohnert Park celebrates Veterans Nov. 11 Change of seasons can be stressful Experience Credo High School Faith Ako: Creating “A Wonderful World” Tech High’s warm clothing drive huge success Get musical instruments back into homes Donaghey has new career after retirement

Starting the 74th year of the Miss Sonoma County competition

  • The 2020 Miss Sonoma County Outstanding Teen contestants at the mandatory first meeting Photo by Robert Grant

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
January 17, 2020

On Jan. 5 the 74th year of the Miss Sonoma County Competition officially kicked off, with 22 contestants meeting for their first rehearsal. Sonoma County has the longest continuously running program of the Miss America organization in the state of California and this year six of the young women competing are from Rohnert Park. The Community Voice will feature the local contestants in the coming weeks. 

“The contestants will receive eight weeks of training in everything from interview skills, to stage presence, the history of Sonoma County and current events, among others,” says Cathy Slack, Executive Director for the Miss Sonoma County Outstanding Teen program and board member of the Miss Sonoma County Scholarship Organization.

The competition encompasses both the Miss Sonoma County program, which is for young women from 18 to 25 years old that live, work, or go to school in Sonoma County, as well as the Miss Sonoma County Outstanding Teen competition which is for girls ages 13 through 17 who live and go to school in Sonoma County. 

Originally, when the competition first started in the county in 1947, it was run by the 20/30 club of Santa Rosa. The club ran the program until 1969 and held the competitions at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building. Later a pageant organization and association formed and in the mid-1980s the competitions moved to the Luther Burbank Center. Since the mid-1990s however, they have been held at the Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park. This year the competition will be at Spreckels on March 7. 

Clearly there have been many other changes in the 74 years of Miss Sonoma County competitions. For one, there are no longer any swimsuit competitions. In lieu of those, candidates have a “social impact initiative” in which they speak about a cause they are passionate about and want to involve themselves. Some past issues have included suicide prevention, cancer awareness, homelessness and body image. The way candidates are accepted has also changed as of three years ago. 

“There are no auditions anymore,” says Slack. “Everyone who qualifies in terms of their age and where they live, work, or go to school can compete.”

This year Cathy Slack is also coordinating the “Miss Sonoma County princess program,” a non-competitive mentoring program for girls ages five through twelve that offers a variety of fun activities through the month of February.  

“The girls are mentored by the older candidates, participate in a ‘princess boot camp’ and go to the rehearsals with the older girls,” says Slack. “We teach them how to be a good community and family member. They will also walk the candidates on stage during the competition.” 

The princess program also acts as a fundraiser for the Miss Sonoma County program, as they pay a fee to participate. All money raised by this all-volunteer organization goes to awarding scholarship money to the contestants. Every contestant receives at least $150. While the exact amount to be awarded is not finalized yet, the winner of Miss Sonoma County will win at least $5,000 this year and the winner of the Miss Teen competition will receive at least $1,000. In addition, other prize money will be awarded to the top interview candidate, the best talent, and a “Spirit of Life” award for the candidate that has overcome an adversity in her life or went the extra mile.

Winners of both competitions will go on to compete in the Miss California competition held in Fresno in June and will make over 100 appearances over the course of the year. The young women will attend city council and county board supervisor meetings, participate in parades and fundraisers, be present at ribbon cuttings, and other county events.

For more information or to register your daughter for the princess program by the cut-off date of Jan. 20, contact Cathy Slack at 707-478-4585.