The coronation just ended at West Seattle High School’s theater – big crowd – lively production – and the new Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu is Georgia Mitchell (center). Princesses are Veronica Pupava (left) and Kelly Nealson.
ADDED 11:50 PM: Video as the Queen announcement was made at the end of the 2 1/2-hour event – the voices off-camera are first, previous Queen Margo Femiano, and then emcee Elisa Jaffe from KOMO TV – as you’ll hear/see, the new queen had quite the cheering section:
Other candidates competing tonight were Kelsey Bills and Julia Hodges. Yet more to be added, including touching tributes to JB Webster, the Hi-Yu volunteer, Seafair Commodore and West Seattle real-estate agent whose sudden death shocked the community earlier this year. ADDED 3:51 AM: Read on for the rest of the story, including more video clips:
This year’s coronation event was even more of an entertainment extravaganza than years before. Some of it intentional — two numbers by performers from Momentum Music and Dance Academy — and some of it on the fly, like the banter between Jaffe and Hi-Yu President Tim Winston as they filled time while the judges continued deliberating.
75 percent of the scores come from events held before coronation night; the two competition categories on the actual night itself are speaking, worth 15 percent, and performing (“creative expression”), worth 10 percent. Before being announced as Queen, Georgia Mitchell rocked the house with a Tahitian dance:
In addition to the main scholarship prizes for the Queen and Princesses, the Hi-Yu Senior Court program includes smaller scholarship awards, sponsored by local businesses; the one specifically for talent (“creative expression”) went to new Princess Veronica Pupava, who has been dancing with Seattle Civic Dance Theater for 15 years and showed her ballet skill:
Veronica’s new fellow Princess, Kelly Nealson, won the Technology Award; candidate Jill Hodges won three awards — athletic leadership, community service and entrepreneurial; and new Queen Georgia received four: Academic achievement (she just graduated from Chief Sealth High School with an AA degree from South Seattle Community College as well as her CSHS diploma), Miss Congeniality, Hi-Yu Spirit, and the new Hi-Yu Alumni Award, given in honor of the late JB Webster – who in turn was honored as this new award was explained:
Side note – we didn’t get to mention it in our West Seattle Grand Parade coverage, but we did get a photo on Parade Day last Saturday of Seafair Commodore Laurent Martin wearing the JB tribute pin:
Another of Mr. Webster’s fellow Commodores, West Seattleite Joe Gong, was on hand at the Miss Hi-Yu event as a judge (other judges: former Hi-Yu Queen, Dr. Jill Cook; Jon Gerhardt from Edward Jones; Seafair Parade Marshal Vicki Hoyt; and one of emcee Jaffe’s KOMO-TV co-workers, Denise Whitaker).
Dr. Cook was among the past royalty who briefly took the stage during the ceremony; memories were also shared by the outgoing Senior Court and the visiting Miss Seafair, Kristin Tateishi, as well as by the past two Hi-Yu Queens – Margo Femiano and her predecessor Sivona Lingle, who will represent West Seattle in the Miss Seafair coronation before the Torchlight Parade downtown this Saturday night.
That parade also will feature the Hi-Yu float – and festival president Tim Winston reminded the crowd that it still needs a trailer for secure permanent storage – they’ve been actively seeking donations and sponsorships to make it happen, celebrating the fact that West Seattle is the last Seattle neighborhood with its own float traveling the region (3 more parades to go this season, Winston noted). Hi-Yu is entirely donation-funded and volunteer-run.