La Mesa and Santee crown 2014 ambassadors

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Although watching these young women taking the stage in beautiful gowns is a sight to behold, it takes more than outer beauty to be considered to represent a city as an ambassador. Grades, community service, confidence, interviews and public speaking skills are a few of the major achievements that contestants have to hurdle in order to earn this esteemed honor. On Friday evening, eight young women earned the title and bear the crown and duties as this year’s ambassadors for the cities of La Mesa and Santee.

Although watching these young women taking the stage in beautiful gowns is a sight to behold, it takes more than outer beauty to be considered to represent a city as an ambassador. Grades, community service, confidence, interviews and public speaking skills are a few of the major achievements that contestants have to hurdle in order to earn this esteemed honor. On Friday evening, eight young women earned the title and bear the crown and duties as this year’s ambassadors for the cities of La Mesa and Santee.

In long tradition, the cities of La Mesa and Santee jointly held its 2014 Miss La Mesa & Santee Pageants on March 7 at the Sonrise Community Church in Santee.

After weeks of practice, essays and community service, in tandem with each of these young women’s busy schedules, the evening of the pageant became the accumulation of hard work, perseverance and the desire to further serve their communities.

With an evening full of entertainment, one-minute speeches, evening gown competitions and on-the-spot questions, judges tallied up the points and winners were announced.

Mandy Bakker, 21, earned Miss La Mesa 2014. Bakker and is a student at SDSU. Kelli Loper, 15, crowned Miss Teen La Mesa 2014 and a student at Grossmont High School.

Earning the right to represent Santee, Elizabeth Shank, 20, Miss Santee 2014 is a student at SDSU and Miss Teen Santee 2014, Brianna Stafford, 13, is a student at St. Kieran’s Catholic School.

Prior to the evening’s pageant, 14 Junior Miss and 10 Princess participants were given certificates of recognition and crowned as the youngest ambassadors. These very young ladies will also represent their cities, working closely with Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee and their courts.

Presented by the City of La Mesa, City of Santee, Grossmont Center, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Santee Chamber of Commerce, the pageant drew in a full house at Sonrise Church.

With much praise and emotion Santee and La Mesa said farewell to  2013 Miss Santee Emily Zobel, Miss Teen Santee Marrissa Lawrence, Miss La Mesa Cassie Steppat and Miss Teen La Mesa Sabrina Mendoza-Wineteer.