PORT ORCHARD — The 2020 Fathoms O’ Fun Royalty Court pageant event is set for March 21 at Harper Church in South Kitsap. Now the only element needed is a big one: prospective candidates to apply to become part of this coming year’s group of community representatives.
Helene Jensen, the Fathoms Royalty Court director, said she’s looking for eligible young girls or boys who are sixth to 12th graders who would like to participate in this life-changing opportunity.
For candidates, the program is all about stepping outside their comfort zone and striving to gain new skills.
“Contestants who participate in the program grow in ways you can’t imagine,” the longtime director said of the community ambassadorship program.
“They are taught how to speak in public with confidence, how to sit, walk, shake hands and communicate with community leaders and people from all parts of life.”
Jensen said the most revealing predictor of whether a candidate will be successful as a royal member is if she or he is community-oriented — someone “who doesn’t just want to get a crown on their head, but somebody who truly wants to see self-improvement in themselves.”
In a 2017 interview, Jensen said members of the Royalty Court contribute much to the community during their reign, but they personally gain much more in return. Being on the Fathoms O’ Fun court doesn’t just boil down to standing on a float and waving to crowds on a parade route.
“I want them to be able to talk to adults confidently and learn how to do a handshake so that their first impression is a good one. So, this is as much about personal growth as anything,” she said.
More than $6,000 in scholarships are awarded each year. Everyone who applies and gets accepted will be eligible to win scholarship money, Jensen added.
Applicants must write a 500-word essay on a topic they are passionate about and submit two letters of recommendation. At the pageant, contestants will answer impromptu questions, perform a one-minute-and-a-half talent presentation and model in evening attire. They are judged by a group of people from various service groups in the South Kitsap community, Jensen said.
Six winners will be selected (one queen, two senior princesses and three junior princesses) and will receive various scholarship dollar amounts. All winners will be required to participate in the Fathoms program for one year before receiving their scholarship money.
The new contestant orientation will take place at 6 p.m., on Nov. 7, at the Park Vista assisted living facility at the corner of Jackson and Lund in Port Orchard.
Those who are interested in learning more about the Royalty Court, contact Jensen at 360-340-5064 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reference your email “Fathoms Scholarship Program.”
For more information, visit www.fathomsofun.org.