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Queen hopeful likes Ripons safe haven
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RIPON – Rebekah Berryman likes the fact that she can walk down the street in Ripon and not have to look over her shoulder.

It’s one of the reasons that she wants to represent Ripon as the 2011 Miss Almond Blossom – a title that she’s been interested in ever since first learning of it years ago.

“I really like being involved in my community, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get even more involved,” said Berryman. “I’m hoping that this is all-around a positive experience and that I get the chance to make memories that I would not have the chance to otherwise with the other girls involved.”

The 17-year-old Ripon High senior was formally introduced as part of the Almond Queen Court to at the Spring View County Club Thursday alongside Lina Alahri, Samantha Conway, Erika Alhambra, Shelby Pettus and Christa Bishop as the seven Almond Queen contestants vying the 2011 crown.

Each one of the candidates gave a speech about the importance of the Ripon Quarterback Club to the community – one of several events that the girls are evaluated on during the six-week process.

An avid dancer, Berryman has been involved with the Associated Student Body leadership class for four years, and has also participated in the girl’s league and the California Scholarship Federation and has served as the Junior Class President and the Senior Class President.

When she has free time, Berryman stays involved with the community by volunteering in a 2nd grade class once a week, participating in a church youth group, and volunteering for Marissa’s Closet.  She also loves traveling and exploring, and has an “obsession” with sappy movies and cookie dough.

And now that the Almond Blossom Festival is almost here, Berryman will get the chance to split a strawberry funnel cake with her sister, and take in the parade with her friends and family.

“The parade comes right by our house, so we always have people over and have a big party to watch the parade together,” Berryman said. “It’s a great chance to make memories and celebrate the best things that Ripon has to offer together.”

While her college plans are up in the air, Berryman says that she can take solace in the fact that she isn’t afraid to walk down the street to visit a friend out of fear that something bad is going to happen.

“I feel really safe in this community, and that’s something that you don’t typically find in larger towns,” she said. “I also like the fact that I know my neighbors, and that everybody watches out for everybody else in this community.”