Meet the 2014 Royal Court Contestants
Our 2014 Royal Court contestants are selling raffle tickets to help us raise money for over 70 non-profit organizations and charities in their quest for royalty. Winners of each category will be determined by the candidate who sells the most tickets as well as a public vote. Below are the candidates for Watermelon Princess, Prince, King, and of course… Watermelon Queen. Thank you for supporting their charitable efforts!
TAYLOR MONET HANES is sophomore at Verdugo Hills High School. She is a member of the Junior ROTC program and is running for Watermelon Queen in order to raise recognition and support for the program. Currently she is participating in the cadet led Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. As a primary member of the staff she officially performs the duties of a Public Affairs Officer. She enjoys art, creative writing and reading, singing and physical fitness activities. Monies raised will be utilized for equipment, classroom work materials, teaching aides, uniforms and specific equipment. She believes that the commitments and contributions she makes to her community now will be very beneficial toward becoming more involved in the future.
SHELBY HAAS is a member of the Verdugo Hills High School Color Guard Orchestra. A sophomore she would like to be Watermelon Queen because she has always looked up to the Watermelon Court as role models. She’s also attended the festivals over the years. The money raised for the Color Guard Orchestra would help them get better equipment and increase the chances of the getting another First Place Championship, after three consecutive wins.
ERIN TIMMINS is a senior at Verdugo Hills High School. She is representing the Varsity Girls Soccer Team of which she has been a member since her freshman year. Last year she was Junior Class President and in the Leadership program. Next year, she will be Student Body Historian. She loves sports and children and volunteers in her church’s nursery. She is raising money for future tournaments and much needed equipment in order to give back to the program that has given so much to her.
KARINA VALENCIA is a Verdugo Hills High School Cheerleader. As a sophomore, she enjoys reading, writing, dancing, outdoor hiking and pediatrics. By running for Watermelon Queen the monies raised will benefit the Cheer Team Squad for necessities that include shoes, bows, warm ups, bags and additional accessories.
CALISTA YAKHAMAN is a sophomore and member of the Verdugo Hills High School Drama Club. Running for Watermelon Queen this year will help to acquire set equipment, costumes and props for various performances, including “Oliver,” which she is stage managing. Other productions she has appeared in include “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Final Dress Rehearsal.” Watermelon Festival fans may remember her successful run for Junior Queen a few years ago. She is excited about her participation this year and hopes her efforts will help both the Drama Club and others in the community.
EMELY CALLEJAS is running for Watermelon Princess. She attends Verdugo Hills High School, is a sophomore and a member of the Color Guard. She enjoys singing, dancing and digital imaging. In years’ past she has helped out at the festival and becoming part of the Royal she thinks would be a great accomplishment. Raising money for the Marching Dons Color Guard would help them continue to reflect a positive image in the community through their long hours of work in order to continue to be the reigning champions in the field. A position they have held on to for the past three years.
DESIREE MARQUEZ is a freshman at Verdugo Hills High School and is in the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet program. As a member of the Junior Varsity Softball team she wants to raise funds for new uniforms and equipment. She likes to sing and is a member of the Glee Club. She is also participates in ROTC and volunteers for the Santa Rosa Baseball League. Additional interests include theatre and dance, as well as reading, running, hiking and movie nights! By running for Princess, she believes she can showcase and represent what a positive impact her teachers, parents, coaches and friend contribute to her everyday life.
RUBEN MENDEZ is a member of the Verdugo Hills High School Varsity Football team. A Junior, he also enjoys camping, music and basketball. His volunteering in the community has included previous Watermelon Festivals, the Easter Carnival and currently the El Cariso Park day camp. As the football team is always in need of equipment, his run for King will earmark proceeds for new football helmets, pads, uniforms and equipment, as well as the annual Football Banquet.
CARTER OTTE is a junior at Verdugo Hills High School and on the Varsity Basketball team. He would like to be named King because it would help out his team due to budget cuts. He respects and admires his coaches as they spent their personal money to support the team this year. He loves sports, is an all around athlete is also a member of the Varsity Football team and love adventure and video games.
JONATHAN SCOTT OWENS attends Verdugo Hills High School and will be a senior next year. He enjoys singing, playing guitar and drums, and having played on the football team working out is important to him to keep physically fit. He is raising money for the Sunland-Tujunga Food Bank, because they do so much for families in area that are most in need. He decided to run after the successful run of the brother, Eric Owens, who was a member of the Royal Court last year.
WILLIAM R.J. TORRES is a member of the Verdugo Hills High School Marching Band. He is also a member of the orchestra and enjoys juggling and the Boy Scouts. Pastimes include camping, swimming, being social and singing. He is running for Watermelon King because he wants to raise awareness for the band and to get more instruments and students involved. It would also help to ease, what he considers, the high cost of band dues.
CHRISTIAN AGHAKHANIAN is a freshman at Verdugo Hills High School. He is on the Honor Roll and and plays on the Varsity Tennis team, as well as the Junior Varsity Football and Baseball teams. He enjoys all athletics and is running for King to raise money for the Baseball team.
Meet 2014′s National Watermelon Queen
Reigning Florida Watermelon Queen Brandi Harrion was named the 2014 National Watermelon Queen at the association’s 100th anniversary celebration Feb. 22, here. The NWA convention not only celebrated the association’s 100th year, it also marked the 50th year of the queen competition. North Carolina Queen Allyson Brake was first runner-up and Alabama Queen Jordan Skipper was second runner-up.