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Manteca Youth Focus competition starts tonight

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POSTED March 8, 2012 10:31 p.m.

Chances are if you have attended a community event in the past 12 months, you have met Miss Manteca, Victoria Ahonui Watson. Watson has spent the past year serving at dozens of community functions along with her co-captains: Miss Teen Manteca - Taela Lynn-Ann Heath, Teen Manteca City Ambassador – Colton Allan Harris, Miss Young Manteca – Priscilla Alexandra Ohnmacht, and Young Manteca City Ambassador – Erick Enriquez.

Together the group has logged hundreds of volunteer service hours attending chamber coffees, Crossroads Street Fair, Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair, Manteca Fourth of July Celebration, San Joaquin County Fair, Manteca Twilight Holiday Parade and numerous others.

Watson and the other city titleholders are set to pass on this responsibility to a new group of All-Star Captains this weekend as part of the 2012 Manteca Youth Focus Scholarship Competitions, and look forward to competing at the state level competition this coming July. The group was recently recognized by the Manteca Youth Focus Board of Directors at their annual Leadership Reception held at the Manteca Senior Center. Elected officials and representatives from school and community groups such as Manteca-Sunrise Kiwanis, California Transplant Donor Network, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Manteca Police K9 Association and Sierra and Woodward Schools were also on hand to provide certificates of commendation to the 2011 scholarship recipients for their hard work and dedication over the past year. For their year of service to the community, all 12 scholarship recipients received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Points of Light Foundation which includes a letter of commendation signed by President Barack Obama.

Each of the participants in the competitions are issued the challenge to create a “community advocacy project” to address an issue in the community and to try and affect positive change. Watson, an 18-year old senior at Sierra High School, organized “Bark-toberfest” a pet fair and doggie costume contest the proceeds of which benefit the Manteca Police Canine Association. She first implemented the project 3 years ago and to date she has raised nearly $4,000. Police Chief Nick Obligacion was on hand at the Leadership Reception to commend Victoria for her work on behalf of the Manteca Police Department as a Police Explorer and founder of Bark-toberfest. The Chief’s Foundation presented her with a surprise $500 scholarship for her upcoming year at Sonoma State University where she will major in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies with plans to become a police officer.

Harris, a 15-year old sophomore at Sierra High School, spent time throughout the year advocating for the “Remember Alex Brown Foundation.” Colton encouraged youth and adults alike to sign a pledge not to text and drive. Harris is very active in musical theater and has performed in several productions with Stockton Civic Theatre.

For her advocacy project, Heath, a 14-year old 8th grader at Neil Hafley Elementary School, volunteered with the Manteca-Sunrise Kiwanis Club and their annual “Family Thanksgiving Dinner”. Taela and her family helped serve hundreds of free meals to families and packaged meals for shut-ins. As a 4-time scholarship recipient with MYF, Taela has always chosen her project to address the issue of hunger.

Enriquez was inspired to create his project based upon his love for animals. For his advocacy project, the 11-year old Joseph Widmer 5th grader hosted a game and information booth at the annual Bark-toberfest event to encourage families to consider adopting homeless pets.

Over the past 6 weeks, Watson and her co-captains have volunteered their time to mentor and support the next group of eager scholarship contestants. Their year of service will conclude this weekend as a new group of scholarship recipients are named. There are 3 age divisions participating in two separate shows at Calvary Community Church in Manteca. The first show is set for tonight at 6:30 and will feature contestants in the 16-20 age division. Doors open at 6 p.m. and then on Saturday, March 11, at 11a.m. contestants in the 10-12 and 13-15 age divisions take the stage with doors opening at 10:30 a.m..

Tickets are $5 for each show and available at the event or call Competition Director, Brandy Wamsat at 209-401-4509. The theme for the 2012 competition is “Salute to America” and features former MYF titleholders Dan Lansford & Matt Vaughan as hosts and Cheyenne Milligan as the featured vocalist. Additional entertainment includes the other 2011 titleholders Miss Winter Fest Serena Wood, Miss Teen Pumpkin Fair Robyn Glover, Young Pumpkin Fair Ambassador Zachary Chamberlain and Miss Young Winter Fest Nancy Enriquez. The competition directors are Brandy Wamsat, Judi Whitby and Jennifer Rosas with assistant Amanda Rosas.

All participants will receive educational scholarships and the top three boys and girls in each age division earn “titles” representing signature events & organizations in the community. Contestants compete in six phases of competition including community service résumé, scholastic achievement, personality interview, community advocacy speech, stage arts/talent and communicative skills/impromptu questions.

Miss Manteca Contestants
• Myklyn Grace Balmut is 17-years old and a senior at Manteca High School. Sponsored by Lindsey Silva, stylist, she will present a piano solo for her talent.

• Liana Marie Bassett is 16-years old and a junior at Sierra High School. Sponsored by her family & friends, she will be presenting a trumpet solo for her talent.

• Jessica Erin Ray is 18-years old and a senior at Sierra High School. Sponsored by Manteca Floral and Elvira Ortstadt, she will be presenting a cake decorating and floral demonstration for her talent.

• Jordan Nicole Renfro is 17 years old and a senior at Calla High School. Sponsored by Brad & Petra Inglis, Prestige Carpet Cleaning, KD Inspirations custom jewelry and Bob’s Pharmacy, she will be presenting a vocal solo for her talent.

Manteca City Ambassador Candidates
• Erik Taylor Hasal is 18 years old and a senior at Manteca High School Sponsored by his family and friends, for his talent he will present a piano solo.

• Thomas Louis Steven Klingenfuss is 20 years old and a 2nd year student at San Joaquin Delta College. Sponsored by Legend Music, Mayra’s Furniture, Le Croissant Bakery, Van Essen Insurance Agency and his family & friends, Tom will be presenting a comedic monologue for his talent.

Miss Teen Manteca Contestants
• Priscilla Alexandra Ohnmacht is 13 years old and attends Stella Brockman School. She is sponsored by Mad Dog Hats and will be presenting a martial arts demo for her talent.

• Katherine Lindsey Ray is 13 years old and attends Stella Brockman School. She is sponsored by Elvira Ortstadt and will present a cup-stacking demonstration for her talent.

• Hannah Mattison Goe is 14-years old and a freshman at Sierra High School. She is sponsored by All-American Logistics, LLC. For her talent, Hannah will be presenting a musical sign language demonstration.

• Cynthia Frausto is 13 years old and attends Stella Brockman School. She is sponsored by Valencia’s Carnicería y Taquería and will present a vocal solo for her talent.

Miss Young Manteca Contestants
• Alyssa Rose Elliott is 10 years old and attends Manteca Adventist Christian School. She is sponsored by Elliott Real Estate and will be presenting a photography demonstration for her talent.

• Danielle Martin is 12 years old and attends Brock Elliott School. She is sponsored by Alani’s Paw Spa and her talent will feature storytelling of an original work she has written.

• Ashlynn Nicole Nussbaumer is 10 years old and attends Big Valley Christian School. She is sponsored by Tipton’s Stationery, the Art of Dance, optometrist Dr. Fred Stellhorn, J&J Printing, Janet West, orthodontist Dr. Trang Duong and Van Essen Insurance Agency. She will be presenting a dance solo for her talent.

• Madison Ida-Lee Bristow is 10 years old and attends Great Valley Academy. She is sponsored by Vern’s Towing Service of Manteca and will be presenting a dance solo for her talent.

• Allison Rae Nussbaumer is 12-years old and attends Big Valley Christian Jr. High School. She is sponsored by Tipton’s Stationery, the Art of Dance, BC Planning, J&J Printing, Janet West, Taquería Yvette and Redi Mark Awards & Engraving. She will be presenting a dance solo for her talent.

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