Royal Court for 2020 Tournament of Roses is announced

Rukan Saif, Arcadia High School; Mia Thorsen, Marshall Fundamental School; Emilie Risha, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Reese Rosental Saporito, Marshall Fundamental School; Michael Wilkins, Maranatha High School; Camille Kennedy, La Salle College Preparatory; Cole Fox, South Pasadena High School (L-R)

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The hustle and bustle of parents, schoolmates, reporters, photographers, and Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association members died down when Ruth Martinez-Baenen, chair of the Queen & Court Committee, stepped behind the lectern. After three weeks of interviews with applicants, she averred that it was very difficult to make the choice of which seven girls would become Rose Princesses. The process culminated on Monday morning with the announcement of the young women would serve on the 2020 Royal Court. They will represent the association and the city at some 100 events, including the 131st Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2020.

As the 25 finalists, each on the arm of a committee member, filed out of Tournament House, Martinez-Baenen read out the names and schools. Screams of family and friends filled the air as the girls were introduced. Photographers snapped photos, writers scribbled in notebooks, and some of us did both. Then Pres. Laura Farber stepped up and opened the seven envelopes one at a time.

“From South Pasadena High School, Cole Fox!” she read. “From La Salle College Preparatory, Camille Kennedy.” Following quickly were Michael Wilkins, Maranatha High School; Reese Rosental Saporito, Marshall Fundamental School; Emilie Risha, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Mia Thorsen, Marshall Fundamental School; Rukan Saif, Arcadia High School.

Be sure to page through the photo gallery below. Video will be coming to All Things Rose Parade on Facebook soon!

After the announcement, we were allowed four minutes to run though the line and get quotes. Here’s a sampling”

  • We overheard Princess Cole tell a TV reporter that she is “Loud and proud” and looking forward to getting to know the other girls on the court.
  • Princess Camille said that she was not expecting to be selected. “It feels surreal now,” she said.
  •  “I’ve lived in Pasadena my whole life,” Princess Michael said of her motivation to try out for the court. “I wanted to be the person everyone can look up to.” an example for others.
  • “It’s so exciting!” Princess Reese said. “It’s amazing! I am extremely excited.”
  • “Every time you came back for an interview, there was a flutter in your heart,” Princess Emilie told us.
  • Princess Mia expressed a similar emotion when she was notified she would be moving to the next round. “Every time I got the congratulation email, I was nervous all over again,” she said, adding that as the interview sessions progresses, the remaining girls grew closer.
  • Princess Rukan was especially surprised when Pres. Farber read her name. “I was the last one called,” she reminded us, which meant the odds of getting a place on the court were slimmer.

The official Tournament of Roses bios

Cole Fox is a senior at South Pasadena High School and lives in South Pasadena. She is currently Associated Student Body senior class vice president, Copa De Oro (Yearbook) Head of Design, Student Site Council secretary, Girl Scouts of America member, POSSE Foundation Scholarship Semi-Finalist, and lead in school play “Metamorphoses.” Cole enjoys vegan cooking, Sudoku puzzles, creative writing, painting, hairstyling and dancing. She plans to study biology and attend medical school. Ultimately, she aspires to become a dermatologist and is interested in attending New York University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Santa Barbara or Boston University. Cole is the daughter of Robert and Rachel Fox; she has two siblings, Harper and Sawyer.

Camille Kennedy is a senior at La Salle College Preparatory and lives in Pasadena. She is currently a part of her school’s musical theater troupe and has played the lead role in four productions. Camille is a member of the After-hours chorus class and the Support Our Troops Club. Camille enjoys listening to music, performing in theater productions with friends, working out with her dad, and cooking. She plans to pursue a liberal arts degree in Japanese linguistics, social sciences, or culture and media studies. Camille is interested in attending university in Japan, Waseda University in Tokyo and Asia Pacific University in Kyushu. Camille is the daughter of Jim and Jennifer Kennedy; she has two sisters, Ava and Esme.

Emilie Risha is a senior at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and lives in La Cañada. She is currently treasurer of the Young Writers’ Society, president of gardening in the Cooking and Gardening Club, Saint Francis High School Theatre dance captain and a member of the Library Advisory Board, Comedy Sportz, and Girl Scouts of Greater LA. Emilie enjoys dancing, writing, cooking, and reading. She plans to study comedy writing and copywriting. Emilie is interested in attending University of California, Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, University of California, Davis, or Chapman University. Emilie is the daughter of Janah and Elizabeth Risha; she has three sisters, Lauren, Allison and Isabelle.

Rukan Saif is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in Temple City. She is currently president of My Friend and I Club, National Honor Society vice president, captain of the Speech and Debate Team, Senior Men and Women secretary, Bangladeshi-American Charitable Organization ambassador and represented her high school at Girls’ State Conference. Rukan enjoys spending time with loved ones, playing the marimba, writing poetry, reading, and hiking. She plans to study American studies and history in hopes of later working towards a graduate degree. Rukan is interested in attending Brown University, Univeristy of California, Los Angeles, or Georgetown University. Rukan is the daughter of Saif Haroon and Rumana Rashid.

Reese Rosental Saporito is a senior at Marshall Fundamental School and lives in Altadena. She is currently a member of the varsity soccer team, International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, Unidos, Mock Trial, the Drama Council clerk, a Posse Scholar and AYSO Soccer captain. Reese enjoys musical theater, soccer, and participating in Moorpark Teaching Zoo Junior Safari program. She plans to become a lawyer with a science background, while staying involved in community theater. Reese is interested in attending Northwestern University or Georgetown University. Reese is the daughter of Chris and Dori Rosental Saporito; she has one sister, Maya.

Mia Thorsen is a senior at Marshall Fundamental School and lives in Altadena. She is currently president of the Girls Soccer Club, vice president of the Storytellers Club, manager of varsity Girls Soccer, a member of the Asian Club, Black Student Union, National Honors Society, Unidos, PolySummer, Prom Committee and the UCLA Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). Mia enjoys oil painting, creative writing, sketching, sociology, politics, psychology, reading, soccer, tennis, and human geography. She plans to study international law to become a United Nations ambassador. Mia is interested in attending Brown, Barnard, Tufts, UCSB. Mia is the daughter of Remus and Dina Thorsen; she has one brother, Thor.

Michael Wilkins is senior at Maranatha High School and lives in Pasadena. She is currently captain of varsity tennis, and a member of the Ambassador Club, Helping Hands Club, and Advanced Speech and Debate. Michael enjoys tennis, public speaking, golf, swimming, babysitting, spending time with family, traveling, and getting her nails done with her mom. She plans to study medicine with the goal to become pediatrician. Michael is interested in attending the University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, Howard University, University of California, San Diego, University of Oregon, or Loyola Marymount University. Michael is the daughter of Overton Wilkins and Jane Reese-Wilkins.

The Announcement and Coronation of the 102nd Rose Queen® and Presentation of the 2020 Royal Court is on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at the Pasadena Playhouse; the event is sponsored by Citizens Business Bank. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase from Sharp Seating Company.

 

25 young women chosen as finalists for the Rose Parade Royal Court

Above: Finalists for the 2020 Royal Court enjoying the moment. Copyright LB Monteros 2019

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The announcement of the young women who made it to the last round of judging for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court is always exciting. Who made it? Which schools are represented? How many from each? Who do you think will be chosen as one of the seven girls on the 2020 Royal Court? On Monday, seven women will be announced as princesses, and one of those will be chosen as the Rose Queen

Today’s year’s class of finalists is the smallest we have seen, with 25 girls from 14 schools. Generally, the number is around 35. Here are some stats: School with the most representatives, Westridge School, four. Finalists from public schools: 15; from private schools, 10; from schools located in the City of Pasadena, 15 from seven schools.

One out of 7: How the Rose Queen is chosen from the Royal Court

Make a date with the Rose Parade Royal Court

2020 Royal Court finalists. Photo courtesy Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association

And here they are!

First row, from left: (#100) Lailah Batchelder, Blair High School; (#093) Carly Witteman, La Canada High School; (#088) Janelle Johnson, John Marshall Fundamental High School; (#059) Rukan Saif, Arcadia High School; (#033) Siena Dancsecs, La Canada High School; (#030) Emilie Risha, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; (#023) Reese Rosental Saporito, John Marshall Fundamental High School. 

Second row, from left: (#252) Samantha Kennedy, Mayfield Senior School; (#248) Ai Kusayanagi, Temple City High School; (#235) Michael Wilkins, Maranatha High School; (#209) Amaiya Drew, Pasadena High School; (#200) Ava Walters, Pasadena High School; (#189) Lily Nelson, Westridge School; (#129); Reese Owen, Westridge School; (#129) Saudia Usher, John Muir High School.

Top row, from left: (#492) Mia Thorsen, John Marshall Fundamental High School; (#484) Lily Mendez, Mayfield Senior School; (#410) Camille Kennedy, La Salle High School; (#394)   Sydney Chang,  Arcadia High School; (#390) Sydney Haupt, La Salle High School; (#315)   Heein Kim, San Marino High School; (#296) Eleanor Washburn, Westridge School; (#295)   Kathleen Fox, South Pasadena High School; (#294) Mia Dawson, South Pasadena High School; (#273)   Sophia  Rubbo, Westridge School.

2020 Rose Parade honors the centennial of women’s suffrage with two floats

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 2020 Tournament of Roses will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920 with two floats in the 131st Rose Parade. It’s fitting that Laura Farber is the president this year, only the third woman and the first Latina to hold that position. The Rose Parade will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020 at 8 a.m.

In keeping with the parade theme, “The Power of Hope,” the float sponsored by Pasadena Celebrates 2020  is named “Years of Hope, Years of Courage.” The entry from South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR), the oldest self-built float association, is “Victory at Last.”

South Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2020 float “Victory at Last”

South Pasadena, whose entries date back to 1893, was the first to honor the centennial, with a float designed by Mike Mera. The entry features the hat popular with suffragettes, a boater in purple and decorated with feathers and flowers and a campaign button. It leans against a ballot box, while the scroll of the 19th Amendment sits in front. A large jewel in the purple and green of the movement represents a secret sign women had for others who supported their rights.

Chris Dueñas-Metcalf, social media chair of SPTOR, explained, “Women wore jewelry in certain colors to signal other women that they supported the movement without verbally saying so.” Men controlled the households, communication as well as money, and women’s clothes usually didn’t have pockets, he said. “Jewelry, hats, and clothing were the ‘social media’ of the day…. We specifically chose this theme because Laura (Farber) challenged us three years ago to take on this topic.” Farber lives in South Pasadena.

Pasadena Celebrates 2020 float “Years of Hope, Years of Courage”

Pasadena Celebrates 2020 is the brainchild of a recent Pasadena transplant, Nan Johnson. This past January, she sat down with a group of women and men to create a plan to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to enter a float. The organization was formed under the umbrella of the non-profit National Women’s History Alliance. Johnson is a retired Political Science Adjunct Professor from the University of Rochester, New York, founding director of the Susan B. Anthony Center, and President of the American Association of University Women (Rochester).

The entry, which is not affiliated with the City of Pasadena, features a 30-foot Statue of Liberty holding the tablet of the 19th Amendment and wearing a suffrage sash of purple, white, and gold, with banners planted along the float deck. It is designed by John Ramirez and built by AES. Riders will include a “Bouquet of Suffrage Descendants,” those in direct line to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, and Frederick Douglass.

Women who would like to be among the 100 outwalkers, which requires a $1,000 contribution, can apply on the website. In addition to corporate and individual sponsors, people can donate $20.20 for a rose vial with the donor’s or honoree’s name on it. Sponsors and donors include prominent women’s organizations and individuals; they are listed on the website.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution simply states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” It gave women across the country full rights to vote, but since 27 of the 48 states—almost all in the West—already had enfranchised women, at least for presidential elections, its major impact was on 21 states that spread down the East Coast and across the South.

The first to grant full rights was Wyoming territory in 1869, though there had been short-lived attempts prior to that. (This map shows the distribution and the dates of enfranchisement.) Now, 25 percent of the Senate is female, with six states being represented by women only. Only five women are from states in which women couldn’t vote for president prior to 1920. The House has 102 women representatives, plus four delegates from US territories and the District of Columbia.

 

Sources:

https://www.history.com/news/the-state-where-women-voted-long-before-the-19th-amendment

https://constitutioncenter.org/timeline/html/cw08_12159.html

https://cawp.rutgers.edu/list-women-currently-serving-congress

Casey, Greene, Leinart, and Robinson to be inducted into Rose Bowl Hall of Fame

from the Tournament of Roses Association

 

Court of Champions at the Rose Bowl frieze. Copyright LB Monteros

PASADENA, Calif. (September 17, 2019) – The Tournament of Roses announced today that Harvard graduate and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Casey, former Ohio State quarterback and three-time Rose Bowl Game starter Cornelius Greene, former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy-winner Matt Leinart and former University of Washington running back and Rose Bowl MVP Jacque Robinson will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019.

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at the Lot K Tent on December 31, 2019, outside of the Rose Bowl Stadium, one day prior to the kickoff of the 106th Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. This year’s game will be a traditional Rose Bowl Game, with a team from the Big Ten meeting a team from the Pac-12 on Wednesday, January 1.

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to pay tribute to members of the Rose Bowl Game who have contributed to the history and excitement of the game, and those who embody the highest level of passion, strength, tradition and honor associated with The Granddaddy of Them All®.

NOTE from TRE: Tickets for reserved seating and lunch can be purchased for $40 from Sharp Seating Company.

Eddie Casey may have been small in stature but played football larger than life. The 155-pound halfback and defensive back had remarkable quickness and agility that made him an outstanding player on both offense and defense. Casey started as a freshman in 1916, then served in the Navy during World War I. After returning to Harvard in 1919, Casey led the Crimson to an undefeated 9-0-1 record, including a 7-6 victory over Oregon in 1920 Rose Bowl Game. The victory introduced the Tournament of Roses to the New England states. Against the Ducks, Casey accounted for more than half of Harvard’s 205 total yards with 49 yards rushing and 59 yards receiving. For his efforts, Casey was named MVP of the game. Casey coached the Harvard freshman team from 1926-28, then was an assistant on the varsity team in 1929-30, before finally became the head coach from 1931-1934. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968.

Cornelius Greene is in a small fraternity of football players who played in four Rose Bowl Games. Greene played for Ohio State in the 1973 Rose Bowl Game, then started in the 1974, 1975 and 1976 games. In the 1974 game, Greene was named MVP in a 42-21 victory over USC. The sophomore quarterback threw for 129 yards and ran for 45 yards and a touchdown. Buckeyes legendary head coach Woody Hayes described the 1974 Rose Bowl Game as “the best game we’ve ever, EVER played.” Greene’s third quarter touchdown run broke a 21-21 tie and gave the Buckeyes a lead they would not relinquish. Greene accumulated 454 yards of offense and scored two touchdowns in the 1975 and 1976 games. The 1975 Chicago Tribune Silver Football award winner as the Big Ten’s best player, Greene was 31-3-1 as a starter and was an eleventh-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1976 NFL Draft.

Matt Leinart was one of the most celebrated quarterbacks of the last 20 years of college football. The USC signal caller led the Trojans to a pair of Rose Bowl Games, including a 28-14 victory over Michigan in the 2004 Granddaddy of Them All. In the win, Leinart won MVP by throwing three touchdowns and running for another. In his second Rose Bowl Game, Leinart completed 73-percent of his passes and threw a touchdown pass, but the Trojans lost to Texas in the 2006 BCS National Championship, 41-38. Leinart finished his college career with a 37-2 record in games he started and won the Heisman Trophy in 2004. The two-time All-American was selected 10th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and played six seasons in the NFL. Leinart had his USC jersey retired and was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007, followed by an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

Jacque Robinson was the spark that led the University of Washington to a 28-0 victory over Iowa in the 1982 Rose Bowl Game. Robinson became the first freshman to be named MVP in the Rose Bowl Game after he racked up 142 yards rushing on 20 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. The Husky running back started the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He then broke the game open in the fourth quarter with a 34-yard touchdown scamper that gave Washington a 21-0 lead. Robinson went on to win Orange Bowl MVP honors in 1985, one of just four players to win MVP in both the Orange Bowl and Rose Bowl Game. Robinson was selected in the eighth round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 2016, as part of the 1984 Washington football team.

With the addition of this year’s class, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame includes 133 inductees over its 31-year history. Inductees are honored with a permanent plaque that includes their name and year of induction at The Court of Champions at the Rose Bowl Stadium. They are also featured during the Rose Parade® presented by Honda®, and are recognized on the field during the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. More information on the Hall of Fame induction ceremony can be found online.

Make a date with the Rose Parade Royal Court

by Laura Berthold Monteros

2019 Rose Parade Royal Court: Helen Rossi, Rucha Kadam, Lauren Baydaline, Micaela McElrath, Sherry Ma, Louise Siskel, Ashley Hackett

Fall in Pasadena brings a flurry of activity for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. From the first weekend in September until the third week of October, the months are filled with various rounds of tryouts, the announcement of the court, and the announcement and coronation of the young woman chosen to be the Rose Queen. In the days in between, the girls learn how to be princesses, bond as a unit, and engage with the public.

One out of 7: How the Rose Queen is chosen from the Royal Court

The Rose Examiner will be at these upcoming events and will file reports, so be sure to subscribe in the box to the left. (We promise, no spam emails.)

Royal Court Announcement
Seven young women out of about 35 finalists will be chose to serve on the 2020 Royal Court.
Sept. 30, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.
Tournament House
391 South Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, Calif.

 

101st Rose Queen Louise Deser Siskel with father Charlie Siskel, mother Abigail Deser, brother Simon

Rose Queen Announcement and Coronation Ceremony
The culmination of weeks of hopes and dreams, the one who is outstanding in a court of extraordinary women will be crowned the 102nd Rose Queen. Tickets are now on sale at Sharp Seating Company.
Oct. 22, 2019 at 6 p.m.
Reception, 5:30 p.m.; Coronation, 7 p.m.
Pasadena Playhouse
39 S El Molino Ave., Pasadena, Calif.

131st Rose Parade
Jan. 1, 2020, 8 a.m.
Tickets available from Sharp Seating

Big changes for the Rose Parade equestrian lineup in 2020

Spirit of the West Riders, copyright 2019 by L.B. Monteros

by Laura Berthold Monteros

It’s refreshing to see equestrian groups that have not participated in the Rose Parade before, but the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade does it in spades. Of the 17 units participating, eight are new this year, at least since 2012, when The Rose Examiner began keeping lists. The 131st Rose Parade, “The Power of Hope,” takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.

The must-haves are back—Valley Hunt Club, founders of the Rose Parade, and the United States Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard. Old favorites, such as the Budweiser Clydesdales, Spirit of the West Riders, Los Hermanos Bañuelos, and Scripps Miramar Ranch, are back. Losses include Norco Cowgirls, Wells Fargo Stagecoaches, and New Buffalo Soldiers. We’ll see if we can get the story on that one.

For old-time locals such as myself, the Knott’s Berry Farm entry should be delightful. It was started by the Walter and Cordelia Knott 100 years ago to keep people occupied while they waited for a seat at Cordelia’s chicken dinner restaurant in Buena Park. The Knotts were the first commercial growers of the hybrid boysenberry, and the influence of that early effort is seen all over the park. The park grew from burro and stagecoach rides and a nostalgic “ghost town” to a full-on amusement park after Disneyland opened in nearby Anaheim.

The groups are invited to participate in Equestfest presented by Wells Fargo on Dec. 29, 2019 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. During Equestfest, groups perform trick riding, drills, dancing and roping skills, and attendees can walk through the stables and speak with the riders. Tickets are available through Sharp Seating. Detailed descriptions of each equestrian unit are at 2020 Equestrian participants.

2020 Rose Parade equestrian participants

New entries are marked by an asterisk*

  • 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment (Fort Hood, Texas)
  • Arabian Horse Association (Sierra Madre, Calif.)*
  • Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team (Castaic, Calif.)
  • Budweiser Clydesdales (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • Buffalo Soldiers Mounted Cavalry Unit (BSMCU) (Mojave, Calif.)*
  • Express Clydesdales (Yukon, Okla.)*
  • Horsewomen of Temecula Wine Country (Temecula, Calif.)*
  • Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park, Calif.)*
  • Los Hermanos Bañuelos (Altadena, Calif.)
  • Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team (New Buffalo, Mich.)*
  • Mini Therapy Horses (Calabasas, Calif.)
  • Painted Ladies Rodeo Performers (Roseville, Calif.)*
  • Rural Media Group (Gretna, Neb.)*
  • Scripps Miramar Ranch (San Diego, Calif.)
  • Spirit of the West Riders (Leona Valley, Calif.)
  • USMC Mounted Color Guard (Barstow, Calif.)
  • The Valley Hunt Club (Pasadena, Calif.)