Gary Sinise, humanitarian and actor, is Grand Marshal for 2018 Rose Parade

Gary Sinise, Grand Marshal of the 2018 Rose Parade, shakes hand with Pres. Lance Tibbett. Photo by LB Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Media and guests were entertained by the San Andreas Sisters swing singers before the announcement, so guesses about World War II vets or actors in WWII movies, since one of the hints beforehand was about the Academy Awards, were rampant. Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet took the stage and dropped the typical hints—“selfless service,” “incredible humanitarian,” “embodiment of the theme,” which is “Making a Difference.”

“The Tournament is about many things,” he said, “…but mostly, it’s about people quietly doing good things.” People who put the “kind” in humankind.

As is the wont of the presidents, Tibbet slowly narrowed the field. This person cofounded a theater company that is a training ground for actors, writers, directors. Charitable and altruistic efforts make this person (no male or female yet) special and unique. He rattled off a list of military-related charities, foundations, and honors, including an Academy Award nomination for a 1994 movie.

And then the name was announced: Gary Sinise. Perhaps his best known acting role was as Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, but his work with veterans, military, and first responders is the stuff of legend. Since the Tournament of Roses has posted a press release with all his many activities, we will cut to the remarks he made in accepting this latest honor.

Sinise opened with a story about the time he lived in Pasadena. In front of his house was a speed hump with the word BUMP painted on the street. “Someone painted out the ‘B’ and made it ‘G’, he said. A few days later, a Pasadena Police officer dropped by to warn him that there had been some burglaries, and asked if he had seen anything suspicious. And then the officer handed the actor a script!

“We moved to Malibu after that,” he said.

Sinise loves the Rose Parade, and watched enviously when he lived in wintry Chicago. When he moved to Southern California, he wanted to be part of it. Standing behind the lectern as the new Grand Marshal, he grinned, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

“I feel blessed,” he said, after mentioning that he is looking forward to bringing his first grandchild, now only two months old, to the parade. Later, we were able to ask if he enjoyed being a grandad. “Oh, yeah, she’s a beautiful little thing, beautiful!” he proudly replied. We remarked that he is getting her off to a good start, taking her to the parade.

Sinise told another reporter that he was so touched when he got the call inviting him to serve. In his acceptance speech, he said that it will be an opportunity for him to do something positive for veterans and Gold Star families.

“If shining a little spotlight on me can shine a spotlight on them, I am very glad to do it,” he said.

A photo gallery of the event is posted!

Live on Green returns to Pasadena for pre-Rose Parade fun

Space Exploration Display, courtesy Huerta Quorum

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Adding excitement and just generally “things to do” in Pasadena in the days before the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, Live on Green takes over the Pasadena Convention Center at 300 E. Green St. with music, demonstrations, food, and activities for all ages. The free event returns for a third year, Dec. 29 through 31, 2017, focusing on “Making A Difference,” this year’s Tournament of Roses theme. We sat down with Barbara Cocks and Alessandra Schulman of Huerta Quorum (HQ), the creative force behind Live on Green, to talk about what’s in store for visitors.

Cocks said HQ wants to create something that surrounds the Rose Parade with a sense of excitement. Its success last year with locals as well as people in town for the parade and game indicates Live on Green is well received. Of the 22,000 people who attended last year, 75 percent were from Southern California, and 25 percent from outside the area.

Each year, there is a signature organization that anchors the event and expands on the theme. Cocks enthused about the difference-makers that will be featured in 2017. NASA, JPL, Caltech, and the aerospace industry in general have had some of the biggest impacts on our lives. She noted that in addition to inspiring people, NASA technology has aided development of some items that are now in everyday use, and JPL research helps us to better understand what is going on here on earth. Medical breakthroughs, environmental data, engineering marvels, transportation safety, firefighting equipment, and LEDs have benefitted from that technology.

The Pasadena-based Planetary Society will be represented as well, and CNN has granted permission to use “The Space Race” episode from its documentary series, The Sixties. The United States Air Force, last year’s centerpiece, asked to take part again this year. Given how many early astronauts began their careers as pilots, it should be a good fit.

Live on Green is also working with Pasadena Museum of History to honor the 100th Rose Queen and to promote PMH’s exhibit, “Royals of Pasadena,” which focuses on the Queens and Princesses throughout the years. Some of the royalty will be speaking at the event and will be  available for photo opps and questions. PMH will have a mini-display at Live on Green, and will have extended hours for the exhibit. (For walkers, it’s about a half-hour stroll between the two.)

Taking place across the street at Paseo Colorado is a moving tribute to the men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion for our country. “Remembering Our Fallen” is a traveling memorial that displays images of those who have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Cocks said the panels will travel from Washington D.C. to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley and be installed at the Paseo for Rose Parade week, Dec. 29 through Jan. 1.

Things to see and do include the Coaches’ Challenge Family Fun Zone, Culinary Cues Stage, entertainment stage (at the Paseo), Spirit Pavilion with its tribute to space exploration and lots of activities and displays, and plenty of food and beverages (including the popular Dole Whip) at reasonable prices. Partners and charities include Union Station Homeless Services, Pasadena Humane Society, Food Share, Dole Packaged Food, One Archives Foundation, Smart & Final, Fiesta Parade Floats, LA Rams, Bob Hope USO, Lockheed Martin, and more than a dozen others. Visit the Live on Green website for all the info, and as the event gets closer, a schedule.

 

Tournament of Roses crowns 100th Rose Queen Isabella: Photo gallery

100th Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez is flanked by (L-R) Rose Princesses Georgia Jane Cervenka, Sydney Grace Pickering, Julianne Elise Lauenstein, Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley, Lauren Elizabeth Buehner

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

One of the most exciting events for Rose Parade aficionados—and that includes people all across America—is the Announcement and Coronation of the Rose Queen and Presentation of the Royal Court. This year, people were especially riveted, because the young woman who made it from one of 700 to one of seven would serve as the 100th Rose Queen. She will preside over the 129th Rose Parade and the 104th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018 and will be asked a thousand times what it is like to be Number 100.

The audience waited breathlessly last Wednesday evening as Pres. Lance Tibbet pulled the name out of the envelope he had been handed by Queen & Court chair Dave Link. Reporters and photographers had pens and cameras at the ready. The seven girls on the Royal Court held hands, some with eyes closed, and steeled themselves for the decision one way or another. And it came, so swiftly after what must have seemed like an eternity to them.

Pres. Tibbet announced, “The 100th Rose Queen, from La Salle High School, is Isabella Marie Marez!” The audience exploded. The princesses on the Royal Court swarmed Queen Isabella. The moment had arrived and passed, and the Queen for a Year retreated to change from her champagne and pink gown into pure white.

Making a Difference

The event is more than the announcement, of course. It’s about pageantry and history and fun, and the accomplishments of the young women who will serve as ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses. We attempt to capture some of that in this article; the photo gallery at the end of this article takes you there in images.

After a reception on the patio of the historic Pasadena Playhouse, also celebrating 100 years, the milling crowd left the tiled patio and entered the auditorium, an ornate Spanish Colonial Revival space that holds wisps of Old California and memories of young actors who rose to stardom after performing on that stage. It is the perfect place for two grand and venerable and youthful institutions to meet.

The princesses opened the program by introducing themselves and welcomed the 113th President of the Tournament of Roses, Lance Tibbet, and then hurried off to change into the lovely lace gowns designed by Tadashi Shoji.

Each president has a particular focus he or she wants emphasize in the many events the Tournament puts on each year. He distills that into a theme; for Tibbet, it is “Making a Difference.” The girls “each have different stories,” he said. “These girls are already making a difference.” He mentioned that they, like the presidents of the Tournament, stand on the shoulders of those who have come before them.

“The Tournament of Roses brings people together,” Tibbet said. “It reminds us that there is kindness in humankind.”

Each year, the Royal Court picks a charity to receive funds from the coronation ticket sales. This year, it was Elizabeth House, a Pasadena residence that was founded 24 years ago to help homeless pregnant women and their children with programs that will get them on their feet. Executive Director Debora Unruh told us that the shelter, which houses women and any children they have through their pregnancies and for two to four months after their babies are born, received a grant from the Tournament of Roses Foundation in the past.

Presentation of the Royal Court

After his speech, it was time for the 2018 Royal Court to be formally presented. In a nice touch, each father each did a voice over introducing his daughter as she was escorted to her place on the stage by a White Suiter. Her accomplishments were read as snapshots of her life flashed on a screen in the background. For some of the dads, it was an emotional moment. Jesse Marez took a pause of several seconds between his last sentence and reading out his daughter Isabella’s name. Had he forgotten that piece of the introduction? No, it turns out that he was fighting back tears. (Later, Queen Isabella said that he is her best friend, that he cries a lot, and they had teased each other about whether or not he would cry at the ceremony.)

As each young woman entered the spotlight, emcee Ellen K of KOST 103.5FM interviewed her briefly. It was clear that each one of these young ladies has the personality and credentials to be the queen. The lists of volunteer and community service activities are staggering: hospitals, charity organizations, clubs, and one in Belize working to provide clean water. They are Girl Scouts Gold Award recipients, athletes, members of academic honors societies, and leaders.

And then the Rose Queen was announced, there were cheers and tears, as the princesses retired backstage to leave their white rose nosegays and receive their tiaras, and for the queen to change her gown. Other members of the Tournament of Roses family were introduced during the interim.

Little princesses and grown-up queens

Two Make-A-Wish children, Madelyn Kirkpatrick, dressed as Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Miracle Henderson, dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen came onstage to talk with Ellen K. Madelyn’s wish is to go to Disneyland, and Miracle’s is to go to Disney World. We asked parents Torin and Sara Kirkpatrick and Darryl and Veronica Henderson why the girls were picked, and Torin said, “They chose two girls who like princesses.” Guess that’s a good reason!

Next up was 99th Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos, a graduate of the Temple City High School music program, who sang beautifully and emotionally. Tori was followed by the Grand Dame Margaret Huntley Main, the 22nd Rose Queen and co-founder of the Queens Club with Sally Stanton Rubsamen. She was surrounded by 18 previous Rose Queens.

Never shy with a microphone, Ms. Main quoted the title of her book, A Rose Queen Is Forever. (The title came from a Kodak float of the past, on which 52 Rose Queens appeared.) She told Ellen K that when she received the crown, “I vowed to be the best Queen I could, and every one of us has made the same vow.” Several of the queens spoke about what it has meant to them to be a Rose Queen.

The Coronation

And then it was time. Each Rose Princess, now with a pearl tiara in her hair, glided onto the stage on the arm of her father: Georgia, Lauren, Sydney, Savannah, Julianne, Alexandra. 2017 princesses Maya Kawaguchi Khan, Shannon Larsuel, and Natalie Petrosian handed red rose bouquets to each. Last of all, Queen Isabella stepped into the spotlight. John Cotter, who comes with the Mikimoto crown, handed the diadem to a gloved Tibbet, and the president placed it on Isabella’s head. The final formality, the recitation of the Rose Queen Oath, ended with “I now proclaim you the 100th Rose Queen!” And then it was time for photos and interviews, and celebrity treatment that would bowl any high school girl over—except for one as exceptionally grounded as the seven young women on the 2018 Royal Court.

Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez

When we spoke with Princess Isabella after the Royal Court was announced earlier this month, we asked why she had tried out. She said she wanted to get out of her comfort zone, which is playing softball and getting dirty and sweaty. When we spoke with Queen Isabella after the ceremony, we asked if she had gotten out of that comfort zone. “Way out of it! 10,000 miles!” she enthused. “The Court made me my best self.”

She said the formal ball gown “is way different from my uniform.” Softball pants are easy to move around in and have lots of legroom. The gown though, is “more comfortable than I thought.” The full skirt allows for movement, and the gown is tailored to her exact measurements.

At age 17, Queen Isabella has already compiled a lengthy list of accomplishments and service, as have the other girls on the Court, which are listed here. What does she think made her stand out to the Queen & Court Committee members? “I think it’s my passion for what I do,” she responded, citing her work on women’s rights and other social justice issues. She believes in treating all people equally, which is a good quality for a queen, we think.

Isabella lives in Altadena, a community just north of Pasadena. She likes the confluence of town and nature in Altadena; one of her favorite memories is the smell and comfort of being in the forest among the trees. Her parents are Jesse Marez and Christine Marez and she has four siblings, Alexandra, Jennifer, Justin and William.

Just for fun, here are some coincidences in Isabella’s life on the court. Like the 99th Rose Queen Victoria, she bears the name of a famous queen from history. The girl she stood next to for court appearances from Oct. 1 to her coronation is named Alexandra Marie, a combination of her middle name and her sister’s first name. Since applicants are only known by number until the final round, her No. 469 she would have spent a good deal of time near No. 470, Princess Julianne.

For all the articles on the 2018 Royal Court, check out our dedicated webpage.

 

All photos are copyright by Laura B. Monteros

100th Rose Queen crowned by Tournament of Roses is Isabella Marie Marez

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Isabella Marie Marez stepped up to receive her crown as the 100th Rose Queen tonight at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The Mikimoto pearl crown was placed on her head by Lance Tibbet, president of the Tournament of Roses. Queen Isabella will lead a Royal Court of six princesses as they make appearances and perform community service in the next several weeks, capped by a ride in the Rose Parade on the Queen and Court float on Jan. 1, 2018. As the 100th Rose Queen, Isabella will  hold a special place in the history of the Rose Parade.

The Rose Queen attends La Salle High School and lives in Altadena. She exemplifies the 2018 Tournament of Roses theme “Making a Difference” by her charitable work with her school, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and in the many service clubs in which she participates. She is a Youth Ministry Leader and a leadership service commissioner at La Salle.

We had a short conversation with Queen Isabella after the ceremony, and will be posting that and a gallery of the coronation event with more news about the goings-on tomorrow. Meanwhile, check out the articles on our 2018 Royal Court page.

Guessing game: Who will the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal be?

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There are two questions people ask when it comes to the Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal: Who will it be? and When will it be announced?” The answer to the second is probably the last week in October, but the answer to the first is up for grabs. Who will ride down Colorado Blvd. in a spiffy car at the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018? Guess along with me.

Some clues

Courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses
  • The theme of the 129th Tournament of Roses is “Making a Difference.” Pres. Lance Tibbet describes it as celebrating “the power of kindness and the people in our communities that make a positive difference without reservation.”
  • There are some key words that stand out. “Communities” implies local difference-makers, those people who may not be terribly famous, but who see a need and meet it. “Without reservation” might imply that the person acts without considering what it might cost her personally, and without any idea of gaining from it herself. “Kindness” is especially important. The Grand Marshal will not be someone who only gives money.
  • The poster, which looks like a grafitti-covered wall, has a graphic that reads “human + kind” with u + i in light blue letters. This might mean that the Grand Marshal will be someone who makes a difference by enabling others to do so.

Some history

  • Will it be a woman? While it would be wonderful to have a woman—in 129 years, there have only been 14 different woman who sat in the Grand Marshal’s seat. All except two of these women were either entertainers or athletes. Five of them were co-Grand Marshals with men. (Though Shirley Temple, who served three times, was only in a group once.)
  • Only the two female presidents picked women who were not in the above classification. Libby Wright chose Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006, and Sally Bixby chose Dame Jane Goodall in 2013.
  • While Dwight D. Eisenhower was popular as a general and President, it is highly unlikely that any politician or general would be chosen today. The last politician was then-Congressman Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who was asked at the last minute to counterbalance the uncomfortable choice of His Grace Cristobol Colon in 1992.
  • Probably no First Ladies, either, though Michelle Obama with children’s health and Laura Bush with reading would honor both the office of the First Lady and the office of Grand Marshal.
  • Supreme Court Justices come with a double whammy: politics and the tendency for it to rain buckets when they serve.

Some conjectures from Facebook

  • Oprah Winfrey is at the top of the list for many people who follow “All Things Rose Parade” on Facebook.
  • Tommy Lasorda’s name was put into the hat, as was Jimmy Carter’s—two very different men.
  • Father Gregory Boyle, who founded Homeboy Industries here in Los Angeles, was a suggestion, because “He has touched so many lives despite great risk to himself at times.”
  • A list of women was submitted, with their accomplishments: Jody Williams who won the Nobel Peace prize, union organizer Dolores Huerta, the Mothers of East LA who prevented the prison from being built in their community, Penny Newman, who fought to get the Stringfellow Acid Pits cleaned up.
  • And from yours truly, Bill & Melinda Gates, for the work of their foundation; Gustavo Dudamel for the energy he has brought to music in Los Angeles, public schools, and all over the country; Josh Gad for calling critically ill children and speaking to them as Olaf from Frozen; or an organization, such as Doctors Without Borders.

These are all good guesses, but my peanuts are on Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn. They put their hands to the plow as well as in their pockets. They hammer and saw for Habitat for Humanity and travel around the world to monitor elections. Among many projects, the Carter Center has worked to eradicate diseases and vectors such as Guinea worm, river blindness, malaria, and others. Roslyn took an active part in the Presidency, sitting in on cabinet meetings and offering advice. Jimmy wrote many books on peace and reconciliation, including one directed at middle schoolers. He won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for the Carter Center’s work “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

What are your guesses?

 

Nominate a high school coach in the ‘Coaches Making a Difference’ contest

by Laura Berthold Monteros (from reports)

Do you know a high school coach who has inspired her players to do better in school and in the game? Here’s an opportunity to honor that person with a trip to the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018. The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, in conjunction with the National Football Foundation, will honor coaches with its “Coaches Making a Difference” contest.

The 2018 Tournament of Roses theme, “Making a Difference,” celebrates the power of kindness and the people in our communities that make a positive difference without reservation. Now through Dec. 4, individuals can nominate a high school coach that has made a difference in the lives of student-athletes in their community. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to the “Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl Game. This year’s game will play host to a College Football Playoff Semifinal and feature two of the top teams in college football.

“Coaches play a significant role in the lives of the youth that they work with,” said Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet. “They do not only have the power to touch the heart of a young student-athlete but also engage and inspire the soul of a community.”

Coaches can be nominated for the contest by filling out a nomination form online. A panel of representatives from the Tournament of Roses and the National Football Foundation will select the six winners, which will include one grand prize winner and five finalist winners. Winners will be announced at noon on Dec. 8. This PDF has the full list of contest rules.

Buy tickets to the coronation of the 100th Rose Queen & presentation of 2018 Royal Court

99th Rose Queen Victoria

by Laura Berthold Monteros

One of the most exciting events in Pasadena is the announcement and coronation of the Rose Queen, who will ride at the top of the Queen & Court float in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. The 2018 Queen will have a very special place in the Tournament of Roses Queen’s Club, because she will be the 100th young woman to hold that title. E-Tickets are now on sale at Sharp Seating for this very special event.

The announcement and coronation of the 100th Rose Queen takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 18 in the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino. There is a public reception at 6 p.m. and the program starts promptly at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 for general admission and $15 for students. The student price encourages classmates and friends of the seven members of the Royal Court to come. The Rose Queen is chosen from among these seven young women.

For all the news on the Royal Court and lots of photos, be sure to check out the Royal Court page on The Rose Examiner website.

Tournament of Roses 2018 Royal Court Princess profiles

Suddenly Stars: The 2018 Tournament of Roses Royal Court

Julianne Elise Lauenstein, La Cañada HS; Sydney Grace Pickering, Arcadia HS; Savannah Rose Bradley, Pasadena HS; Georgia Jane Cervenka, La Cañada HS; Lauren Elizabeth Buehner, Arcadia HS; Isabella Marie Marez, La Salle HS; Alexandra Marie Artura, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

One of seven amazing young women will be the 100th Rose Queen, reigning over the 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl Game, which take place on Jan. 1, 2018. All of them will be Pasadena Royalty, serving as ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena, as well as their own communities and schools. On Monday on the south porch of Tournament House, 37 finalists stood waiting for Pres. Lance Tibbet to announce the names of the girls chosen for this role. Each one is outstanding, as readers will discover, and lives out the theme “Making a Difference.”

Be sure to check out the gallery below for photos and more about the Royal Court announcement. For more articles on the 2018 Royal Court, visit our special 2018 Royal Court page.

Queen & Court Committee Chair Dave Link gave a brief history of the Rose Parade queens, and then called the name and number of each finalist. After they took their places on the south steps of Tournament House, Pres. Tibbet came to the lectern.

“We acknowledge the 99 special women who made this possible,” he said of the previous queens, and noted the high level of character and comportment they had established. Referring to the finalists, he said, “These young women have been making a difference in the community.” He opened envelopes and read the schools and names of the Royal Court members.

When the ceremony was over, we asked each Princess two questions: “What do you want to accomplish as a Rose Princess?” and “Why did you want to be on the Court?” Here are their answers, along with bios provided by the Tournament of Roses.

Rose Princess Alexandra Marie Artura told us she wants to lead by example and make a long-lasting difference. She has watched the Rose Parade ever since she was young, and wants to be a role model like previous members of the Royal Court.

Princess Alexandra is a senior at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and lives in Pasadena. She is currently president of the National Honor Society, a National Hispanic Scholar, and a member of the California Scholarship Federation, Mu Alpha Theta and La Vanguardia.  She also participates on her high school’s cross-country team. Alexandra enjoys cooking and baking with her mom, skiing with her dad and brother, watching movies, spending time with her friends, and playing the guitar. Alexandra plans to study Health Sciences and would like to go to Boston University, Georgetown, USC, UCLA and many others. Alexandra is the daughter of Darren and Carla Artura; she has one brother, Sean.

“Making A Difference means changing something for the better, not only for myself but for others and for my community,” she said. “To me personally, I think that small differences are just as important as big ones. What matters is that we have helped someone to better their own lives, and hopefully that change is a long-term one.”

Rose Princess Savannah Rose Bradley told us, “I really want to make a difference.” She wants to inspire people. Growing up in the Pasadena area inspired her to try for the Royal Court , but she added, “My sisters love princesses.” She can now be their real-life princess!

Princess Savannah is a senior at Pasadena High School and lives in Pasadena.  She is president of Xinos and Kudos of Gamma Lambda, activities commissioner for the Black Student Union and a writer for The Chronicle, the PHS newspaper. She is also involved with the Social Justice Club, Teen Court, Rose Ambassadors, and the 2018 Club.  Savannah enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, camping, and spending time with friends. Savannah plans to study social justice, criminal justice, and psychology and would like to attend CSU Fullerton, UC Irvine, Cal State LA, Cal State Long Beach, Howard University, or Marymount University. Savannah is the daughter of Nathaniel and Kelly Bradley; she has three siblings, Tyler, Jazlyn and Ella.

“Making A Difference means everything to me,” she explained. “My goal in life is to make a difference, even on the smallest of scales. I don’t need to change the world, but it would be a privilege to be given the ability to change the world for even one person. Making A difference is not just about the large acts, but the small everyday acts we do for people that make a difference in the world.”

Rose Princess Lauren Elizabeth Buehner told us that she wants to “empower young boys and girls, to be an example.” She wants to bring the community together, observing that there is a lot to be done. “When I was 11 years old, I looked up to the Royal Court,” she said, which inspired her to strive to be role model. What impressed us is that this is the first time a Princess intentionally mentioned boys.

Princess Lauren is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in Arcadia. She is president of the YMCA Youth and Government Santa Anita Delegation, publicity commissioner for the AHS Senior Men and Women, and a member of the AHS track and field team. Lauren enjoys board games, reading, baking, brewing cold brew coffee at home, and volunteering with young children, both locally and internationally. She plans on studying Political Science and/or International Relations and would like to attend Columbia University, Brown University or Georgetown University. Lauren is the daughter of Earl Buehner and Fern Billingy; she has a brother, Nathaniel.

“Making A Difference means creating long-term change. The most important part of progress is not what I personally do to make it, but ensuring that it can continue, even in my absence,” she said. “Making a difference also means having an impact on others. I want to foster a relationship with the members of my community, and empower them to make positive changes in both themselves and their surroundings. I believe that working with others toward long-term goals creates limitless opportunities for improvement, and truly makes a difference.”

Rose Princess Georgia Jane Cervenka told us she wants to embody the opportunity to serve as an example to young girls. Being on the Court comes naturally for her, since three of her babysitters were Princesses. We asked if they gave her any tips. She chuckled, “No!”

Princess Georgia is a senior at La Cañada High School and lives in La Cañada. She is vice president of the Best Buddies club, a member of the La Cañada Flintridge Youth Council, and a member of the LCHS Concert Choir. Georgia’s community involvement includes Girl Scouts and National Charity League.  She is a captain of the LCSH girls’ basketball team and has played at the varsity level for three years. Georgia enjoys working with children and animals.  Currently she plans to study engineering and would like to attend University of Michigan, University of Southern California, or Vanderbilt. Georgia is the daughter of John and Kerry Cervenka; she has three siblings, Franklyn, John and Lilah.

“Making A Difference means pursuing your passions in a way that allows you to create an impact that goes beyond yourself,” she said.  “It means exploring your interests and what you love to do by setting an example for others to look to as inspiration and motivation.  However, you don’t have to change the world to make a difference.  Something as small as performing a simple act of kindness can result in the greatest repercussions.  Making a difference is not always easy, but it is perpetually needed and infinitely rewarding.”

Rose Princess Julianne Elise Lauenstein said, “I want to do everything I can to help out the community.” Being on the Royal Court has been one of her dreams, and one of her grandmother’s dreams. Her grandmother encouraged her, as the only granddaughter, to go for it. Her grandparents told The Rose Examiner that she is a Gold Award Girl Scout. Read more about that below.

Princess Julianne is a senior at La Cañada High School and lives in La Cañada. She is a member of the French Club at LCHS and attends various Chamber of Commerce events serving as an ambassador. Julianne has been a dancer for 13 years, trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical styles. She is a volunteer on the surgical recovery floor at Huntington Memorial Hospital, and a member of the Glendale Chapter of National Charity League. She enjoys cooking and baking, and playing the piano.  Julianne plans to study biology or human physiology and would like to attend Boston University or University of Washington. Julianne is the daughter of Peter Lauenstein and Teri Daly Lauenstein; she has two brothers, Thomas and Michael.

“Making A Difference in my community has always been an important part of my life.  I have grown up watching my parents volunteer and contribute to our community,” she said. “I have been blessed and afforded many wonderful opportunities and believe it is my duty to help others in need and improve my community.  By volunteering, we can bridge economic and social gaps and learn to appreciate the value that we all possess.”

Rose Princess Isabella Marie Marez told us she wants to “bring people awareness about the issues in the world.” She is especially concerned about social justice. She said she tried out for the Court to get out of her comfort zone, which is playing softball and getting dirty and sweaty. “My family always supports me in everything I do,” she said. We noticed that she must be comfortable speaking to people to be chosen for the court, with which Princess Alexandra agreed enthusiastically.

Princess Isabella is a senior at La Salle High School and lives in Altadena. She is a leadership service commissioner at LSHS and a Youth Ministry leader. Isabella is a member of Support Our Troops Club, Key Club, Unbreakable Club, Hispanic National Honors Society and National Arts Society. She also serves as a Junior Ambassador for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  She participates in varsity softball, varsity golf and a travel/club softball team. Isabella enjoys painting, singing, golfing and hiking. She plans on studying social justice and human anatomy and would like to attend Seattle University, Manhattan College, Regis University, Villanova University, Drexel University, or Sarah Lawrence College. Isabella is the daughter of Jesse Marez and Christine Marez; she has four siblings, Alexandra, Jennifer, Justin and William.

“This year’s theme Making A Difference means a lot to me,” she said. “When I first heard about it I was very excited because making a difference is something I do every day within my school, family, and community. It’s out of compassion and respect for that person as another human being.”

Rose Princess Sydney Grace Pickering agreed with Princess Julianne about helping out the community. She first met the Rose Queen and Rose Princesses when she was a little girl at a Girl Scout event. The young women impressed her; now she will be that Princess who inspires other girls.

Princess Sydney is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in Arcadia. She is dance captain of the Orchesis Dance Company, serves on ASB as performing arts commissioner, and serves as chair of the Student Counsel Apache Commission. Sydney has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten and is currently working on her Gold Award. She enjoys gardening, reading, drinking boba with friends, and watching Netflix. She plans to study International Relations or Global Studies and would like to attend Georgetown or UCLA. Sydney is the daughter of Brad and Mary Pickering; she has one brother, Wesley.

“To me, Making A Difference is about the ability to bring people together through acts of selflessness, kindness, and compassion,” she said. “It is about giving generously to others and not expecting anything in return. As a princess on the Royal Court, making a difference is about inspiring involvement, joy, and appreciation in community members.” 


In addition to meeting the young women on the Royal Court, it’s always inspiring to talk to their parents and grandparents. We spoke with Donna and Alan Wright, Rose Princess Julianne’s grandparents. This was especially fun since Julianne had told us how her grandmother encouraged her.

Donna & Alan Wright

The Wrights have 10 grandsons and one granddaughter, Rose Princess Julianne Elise Lauenstein. Alan said he is “proud and excited” for his granddaughter. Having grown up with so many boys, Princess Julianne “holds her own,” Donna said. Some of the cousins are quite a bit older, and when Julianne gets all dressed up, she complains, “They never notice,” Donna added. We think they will notice now.

As a Girl Scout, she volunteers a lot, and has earned her Gold Award. Her project was to collect bicycles to give to children who never had one, and she collected 43. Getting the bikes was only the first step, Donna said, because they needed repair. “People chipped in to get them in nice condition,” but the kids didn’t know how to ride, so Julianne taught them.

We asked Donna what Julianne would do on the Court. “Whatever she wants to,” she affirmed.  Grandma is looking forward to the Coronation on Oct. 18. “I will come to anything and everything I’m invited to,” she said.