Not just another pretty face -- that's the message in the 2013 Grove Scholarship Pageants scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of First Baptist Church of Lemon Grove, 2910 Main Street. The event is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The annual competition began 85 years ago with the crowning of the first Miss Lemon Grove, Amorita Treganza, 14. She grew up to become a pioneering pediatric vision care doctor, a Grossmont High School Honor Graduate, San Diego State College graduate, Spanish dancer and founding member of San Diego Community Theatre (forerunner to the Old Globe), Flying Samaritan and a founder of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.
Elizabeth McBrayer, Miss Lemon Grove of 2004, began directing the competition in 2005 and changed its name to Grove Scholarship Pageants.
"Dr. Treganza's accomplishments set the pace for the rest of us," said McBrayer. "I wanted to make the competition more than just a beauty contest and emphasize academic achievement, community service, character and integrity, as well as good looks and good grooming."
The competition is open to young women from Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and College Grove, who will serve these communities at various events during the year and be eligible to compete in other pageants at the county and state levels.
Garbed in their trademark sparkly sashes and tiaras, the young "Pageant Queens" lend grace, charm and youthful flair to events ranging from the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, to the Historical Society's Christmas parties, to the City's Annual "Light Up the Grove" Bonfire, to service in retirement home, school, and other events.
McBrayer was recognized for her efforts by Soroptimist International of Lemon Grove, the advocacy group for girs and women. She is now a consultant to a range of county and state pageants.