By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Leah Cecil, 20, won the crown of Miss Garden Grove 2011 on Friday night. The theme for the night was “A League of Their Own.”
Cecil, a harpist, is a 20-year -old California State University Fullerton student majoring in musical performance.
Her platform for the pageant was “Compassion for the Convalescing” and she is sponsored by the Garden Grove Rotary Club.
“I like I’m on a roller coaster, that this has been one wild ride for me to get here,” said Cecil, “I’ve been trying for years.”
The next step is for Cecil to begin her local position as a representative for the pageant, attending events in the community. Later she will compete in the Miss California pageant.
Jessica Tonti, 16, is Garden Grove’s Outstanding Teen for 2011. Tonti attends Crystal Cathedral High School and performed lyrical dance for her talent.
Her community service platform is “Spreading Awareness and Reaching Out to the Needs in our Community.” Her sponsor is Pacific Paradise Pools.
In keeping with the baseball theme of the night, former Miss Garden Grove 2005- 2006 Lauren Howard was the mistress of ceremonies and performed as legendary baseball broadcaster Harry Carray.
This year was the 52nd year of the pageant, hosted at the Marriott Suites in Garden Grove, at 12015 Harbor Blvd.
Runners up for the Miss Garden Grove pageant are Bree Morse, 18, as the first runner up, Veronica Williams, 21, as the second runner up, and Aimee Lee, 19, as third.
For the Outstanding Teen, the first runner up is Valerie Alcarez, 16, second is Alyssa Alex, 16.
The pageants are competitive events that cover personal poise and social grace. The portions of the pageant are broken down into scoring criteria based on the components of the event.
The scored components are based on points with 35 percent for the Miss and Teen talent portion, 25 percent for interview skills for the Miss and 35 percent for Teen, 20 percent for miss eveningwear and 15 percent for teen eveningwear, 15 percent for the miss swimsuit portion and 10 percent for teen active wear.
Finally, the onstage question related to current events and trends is 5 percent for both miss and teen.