On the first day of October, at the historic Wrigley Mansion in Pasadena, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses (PTOR) with its president, Gerald Freeny, presented the seven members of the Royal Court for 2019 from forty-four semifinalists, who in turn were chosen from hundreds of young women in the Pasadena area in September.
By Mike Pashistoran
Before we go further and discuss each of the new Royal Court members, a few observations need to be made about the event:
Normally live TV coverage of this event begins at 9:30 a.m., but this morning KTLA-5 with Christina Pascucci was ready to roll at 9:00 a.m.
Unlike previous years, your photographer/correspondent decided to stay put and take it all in from one single location. Perhaps the feeling of having “been there, done that” had much to do with the decision.
The Pasadena City College band again provided entertainment, and among the attendees were the usual suspects: families, friends, and schoolmates of the semifinalists, the PTOR staff, and “white-suiters,” and the media were led by sponsor KTLA.
Among those in the audience were past PTOR presidents such a Scott Jenkins, past Queen and Court Committee chair Ed Morales (now on the executive committee in line to be a president himself in a few years).
Craig Washington is the chairman of the 2019 Queen and Court Committee, and his daughter was the Rose Queen a few years back.
Two Rose princesses from prior years congratulated each of the seven new Royal Court members with a bouquet of red roses: Sarah Elizabeth Hansen from the 2014 court and Savannah Rose Bradley from 2018. Louise Deser Siskel became the student from the relatively new Sequoyah High School to make it onto the Royal Court.
The event was kept on track and rolling smoothly by PTOR staff and white-suiters, in particular chairman Washington and — year in and year out — the conscientious Heidi Hoff PTOR’s expert marketing/communications chief.
“Just the facts” from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses
The Tournament of Roses announced the seven members of the 2019 Royal Court. Applicants from twenty-four Pasadena area schools participated in the interview process.
The Royal Court will attend nearly 100 community and media functions, serving as ambassador of the Tournament of Roses, the Pasadena community, and the greater Los Angeles area. The grand finale for the 2019 Royal Court will be riding on a float in the 130th Rose Parade presented by Honda and attending the 105th Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, both on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
The melody of life
The seven members of the 2019 Royal Court are (in alphabetical order):
Lauren Michele Baydaline
Lauren Michele Baydaline is a senior at Westridge School and lives in South Pasadena. She is currently secretary of the Associated Student Body, the founder and head of Every Body Affinity, head of the book club, 3rd year Peer-to-Peer (Mentoring Program?), a volunteer in the Reading Rocks program at Hillsides, and a camp counselor at YMCA Glendale. Lauren enjoys reading, writing poetry, and spending time with friends and family. She plans to study biology, linguistics, and Latin and would like to attend Boston College, Duke University, Emory University, Tulane University, University of Richmond, or Villanova University. Lauren is the daughter of Nick and Selena Baydaline; she has one brother, Christian.
Ashley Symone Hacket
Ashley Symone Hackett is a senior at John Muir High School and lives in Pasadena. She is currently a member of the Black Student Union, Pasadena Panthers Youth Cheer and Dance, John Muir Pep Squad, secretary of the Associated Student Body, a dance trainer with Los Angeles Country Tiny Tots, activities leader with the VA of Greater Los Angeles, and youth leader at Metropolitan Baptist Church. Ashley enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking with her dad, watching football and basketball, hiking, and swimming. She plans to study human biology and would like to attend UCLA, USC, or University of Washington. Ashley is the daughter of Alvin and Ramona Hackett; she has two siblings, Jordan and Kennedy.
Rucha S. Kadam
Rucha S. Kadam is a senior at La Cañada High School and lives in La Cañada Flintridge. She is currently a member of the LCHS varsity soccer team, Assistance League of Flintridge, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Space Academy, 2018 Miss La Cañada Flintridge Royal Court, Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Board, Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), California Scholarship Federation (CSF), treasurer of LCHS Associated Student Body (ASB), Hackademia Director, and an LCUSD Technology and Computer Science intern. She plans to study computer science or medical science and would like to attend Amherst College, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Swarthmore College, or Wellesley College. Rucha enjoys baking, reading, listening to music, and playing board games and the piano. Rucha is the daughter of Shailesh Kadam and Vaishali Bhosale; she has one brother, Ahan.
Sherry Xiaorui Ma
Sherry Xiaorui Ma is a senior at San Marino High School and lives in Temple City. She is currently the editor-in-chief of the San Marino High School Titanian yearbook, the president and founder of the Make-A-Wish Club, and a varsity basketball manager. Sherry enjoys playing the flute and piano, reading, dancing, and spending time with friends. She plans to study communication and media studies and would like to attend Emerson College, Fordham University, New York University, or USC. Sherry is the daughter of Alex Luk and Kristy Ma; she has one sister, Sally Yang.
Micaela Sue McElrath
Micaela Sue McElrath is a senior at Westridge School and lives in Pasadena. She is currently an after-school volunteer tutor with Stars, vice president of the 12th grade class at Westridge School, 3rd year Peer to Peer counselor, and a teacher assistant in a 4th grade classroom. Micaela enjoys being involved in community service, all things fashion, hair, and makeup, and is an avid watcher of football and baseball. She plans to study psychology, education, and English and would like to attend Bard College, Connecticut College, Fordham University, Trinity College, or USC. Micaela is the daughter of Matthew McElrath and Inez Enguidanos-McElrath; she has four siblings, Stuart, Belen, Mariah, and Evan.
Helen Susan Rossi
Helen Susan Rossi is a senior at Flintridge Preparatory School and lives in La Cañada Flintridge. She is currently a member or the cooking club, diversity club, Flint Leadership Club, and a Flintridge Prep senior leader. Helen’s community activities include the National Charity League of Glendale, Senior Girl Scout, Troop 7331, Hathaway Sycamores tutor, Arthritis Foundation intern and Arthritis Foundation 2018 Youth Honoree. Helen enjoys cooking, photography, creative writing, and drawing. She plans to study business and psychology and would like to attend the New York University, UCLA, or USC. Helen is the daughter of Philip and Susan Rossi.
Louise Deser Siskel
Louise Deser Siskel is a senior at Sequoyah High School and lives in San Marino. She is currently a member of the debate team, the judicial committee at Sequoyah High School, YMCA Youth and Government, and is researching breast cancer under Dr. Shehla Pervin at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Louise enjoys reading, playing board games with her family, traveling, and laughing with friends. She plans to study cellular and molecular biology and would like to attend Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, or Yale University. Louise is the daughter of Charlie Siskel and Abigail Deser; she has one brother, Simon.
The announcement and coronation of the 101th Rose Queen and the presentation of the 2019 Royal Court is on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at the Pasadena Playhouse; the event is sponsored by Citizens Business Bank. A limited number of tickets is available for purchase from the Sharp Seating Company.
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