Contestants named for new look Fathoms scholarship program

The Fathom’s o’ Fun Scholarship Program is getting a new look in 2015.

The Fathom’s o’ Fun Scholarship Program is getting a new look in 2015.

Contestants for the 2015 scholarship program’s senior royal court, along with this year’s new addition of the junior court, have been announced, according to Helen Jensen, royalty director

There are five contestants for each court. The scholarship program is 5 p.m. March 7, at the Christian Life Center.

Jensen said the senior contestants are girls who are sophomores in high school up to 20 years of age, while the junior contestants are comprised of girls grades 7-9.

This year’s senior contestants are Caylain Dandridge, Cheyenne Werbelo, Charlotte Whitten, Tamara Medal and Karla Lewis.

Junior court contestants are, Abby Hicks, Neko McKay, Alli Newhouse, Maria Hoyt and Madilynn Mackie.

The Fathoms board accepted Jensen proposal last year to add a junior court to offer more scholarships and volunteer opportunities to youth in our community.

Jensen said this year, three girls will be selected for the senior court, while three will be chosen to the junior court — all part of the new 2015 Royalty Court.

“Also new to this year’s program we are offering an opportunity for a current royalty member to serve one more year on the Royalty Court by applying for the position of duchess,” Jensen said.

She said to apply for the duchess position, the current Royalty Member needs to write a 500-word essay on what Fathoms has meant to them this past year and why they would like to be part of the Fathoms Royalty Court for another year.

“The idea is that the duchess will be a mentor for the new court that will teach them what it takes to be a member of the Fathoms O’ Fun Royalty Court,” Jensen said. “Plus, it gives the public a familiar face for them to connect with at public events.”

All 10 contestants will be judged on a 500-word essay about what is their “superpower/platform.” Port Orchard’s best-selling author Debbie Macomber will judge the essays.

The winner will receive a $250 scholarship award donated by Debbie Macomber.

Junior contestants also will be judged on how they present their essay before a panel of judges, which will determine the three that will chosen to be on court this year.

Senior contestants will be judged on how they present their speeches orally before several service groups, starting with the Port Orchard Soroptomist Club at the annual Royalty Tea, continuing with the Port Orchard Kiwanis, South Kitsap Rotary, Kitsap Young Professionals Group, VFW Post 2669, Port Orchard Lions Club and the Port Orchard Eagles Club.

“At each of these events, judges are selected to score the contestants speeches,” Jensen said. “The individual scores are sealed, and then tabulated with the results at the Scholarship Program event in March.”

Two days prior to the pageant, the senior contestants also will be interviewed at a 10-minute private interview with the judges and scored accordingly.

At the scholarship program event, all 10 contestants will perform an opening number, present their oral speeches and answer impromptu questions.

“The senior contestants will be performing a three-minute talent along with modeling formal wear,” Jensen said. “The results of both the junior contestants and the senior contestants will be revealed at the end of the event.”

Mayor Tim Matthes will be presenting awards at the event.

Also, Matthes will be present a $150 award to one of the present court members. Port of Bremerton Commissioner Larry Stokes will sponsor the $150 Congeniality Award.

An “After Pageant Party” is scheduled at Port Orchard’s Lighthouse restaurant at 8:30 p.m., where additional awards will be presented.

Tickets for the event are available at or any contestant or current court member.