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AHS senior among Pear Blossom queen candidates

Local report

Caitlin Campbell of Ashland High School is among eight Jackson County high school senior girls who will compete in March to serve as queen of the 2015 Pear Blossom Festival.

The other contestants are Natalie Allen of North Medford High School, Rayna Zohar of South Medford, Kaylin Murdoch of Eagle Point , Emma Gerhard of Cascade Christian, Haylee VanWormer of Prospect, Jordan Zeigler of Crater and Nevina DeLuca of Phoenix.

The scholarship pageant, now in its 25th year, will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the North Medford High Auditorium, 1900 N. Keene Way Drive. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students; children under 6 get in free.

The young women will be judged on school leadership skills, academic achievement, community involvement, an interview with the judges, writing and presenting an essay, and answering impromptu questions on stage.

Applicants are sought by having school activities directors hand out applications to interested senior girls at Rogue Valley high schools. The Senior Royalty Committee chose the top five from each school, and then each school selected its princess. More than 50 applications are received each year from area schools.

Each princess automatically earns a $500 college scholarship. The winner becomes queen, reigns over the Pear Blossom Parade on Saturday, April 11, and receives a $2,000 college scholarship sponsored by Kogap Enterprises Inc.

Over the last 24 years, the Pear Blossom Festival Association has given out more than $100,000 in scholarships to more than 150 young women in the community. The pageant was created in 1991 by the late Patti Bills, Darcey Mann-Self and Val James, and was created to add a new dimension to the Pear Blossom Festival, and to add a scholarship opportunity.

The 62nd annual Pear Blossom Festival is presented by Rogue Credit Union

For more information, call pageant director Mann-Self at 541-840-7209.