January 27, 2013

Central Valley student crowned 2013 Lilac Queen

Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

The Lilac Festival court for 2013, back row from left: Hailey Hyde (St. George’s); Quinne Evans (Shadle Park); Devyn Russell (Northwest Christian); Katie Heitkemper (Lewis and Clark); Brett Rountree (Central Valley); Sara Hyman (The Oaks). Middle row: Emily Staker (Gonzaga Prep); Felicia Jackson (Freeman); Camiele Travis (North Central); Ashley Uhlenkott (Riverside); Savannah Sundseth (Mead). Front row: Michelle Tatko (Ferris); Shelby Schafer (West Valley) and Jade Wong (Rogers).
(Full-size photo)

The 2013 Lilac Festival Queen is Brett Rountree of Central Valley High School.

Her court will be:

Savannah Sundseth of Mead

Emily Staker of Gonzaga Prep

Katie Heitkemper of Lewis and Clark

Devyn Russell of Northwest Christian

Michelle Tatko of Ferris

Hailey Hyde of Saint George’s

Each princess receives a $1,500 scholarship.

The queen and princesses were just announced this evening at the Spokane Lilac Festival’s Royal Court Coronation at the Bing Crosby Theater.

The other participants in the coronation were:

Sara Hyman of The Oakes Classical Christian Academy

Camiele Travis of North Central

Ashley Uhlenkott of Riverside

Jade Wong of Rogers

Quinne Evans of Shadle Park

Felicia Jackson of Freeman

Shelby Schafer of West Valley

Each high school in Spokane County is eligible to present a candidate for queen. This year, 19 schools participated, said Festival President Christine Leva. In November, judges chose 14 to participate in today’s contest.

Leva said winners were based on community service organized by the festival, their resume, interviews with judges on Saturday and a two-minute speech they presented to festival organizers on Thursday and again to judges at the coronation.

Last year’s princesses and queen travelled to China and volunteered in orphanages and visited one of Spokane’s Sister Cities.

This year’s court will visit Limerick, Ireland, another of Spokane’s Sister Cities along with Spokane Mayor David Condon in June.

Condon, who will pay for his own trip, said he looks forward to representing the city along with the new Lilac court.

“I don’t think there is an event better in Spokane that connects better with our history than the Lilac festival,” Condon said. “These ladies are our future leaders.”

Condon’s annual ball, scheduled for Feb. 15 at Gonzaga Prep, will benefit the Lilac Festival and raise the money for the court’s trip to Ireland. Condon hosted his first “Our Town Gala” last year and said it would become an annual event. More than 400 people attended Condon’s 2012 gala, which raised more than $20,000 for the Chase Youth Foundation.

Condon said he expects to equal or surpass last year’s attendance and proceeds.

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