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Wanted: Royalty

Monday, November 19th, 2012 | Posted by

13 year old Hailey Wright, 2011 Parade of Lights princess

Most of us as youngsters found among our literature stories of kings, queens. princesses and princes, and wondered what it would be like to be treated as royalty.  After all, as funny man Mel Brooks says (and singer Tom Petty agrees), “It’s good to be the king!”  And thanks to The Russian River Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center and the efforts of Community First’s Beth Rudometkin, all those between the ages of 13 and 17 can reach that pinnacle.

This year’s Holiday  Parade of Lights will showcase  a prince/princess and their court and the winner will be chosen based on how many raffle tickets they sell, their posters, community involvement, sportsmanship and behavior. As an added incentive, Community First Credit Union is offering a $300 CD to the winner and all contestants get to keep 10% of their raffle sales revenue.
As Rudometkin says, “We are all responsible for supporting our local youth and helping them become successful.

Of course when more raffle prizes are offered,  more tickets are sold, so it behooves members of the community to donate generously for the cause. As a raffle donor your name and the prize you’ve donated will be announced during the Parade of Lights as well as listed on the Chamber’s website.

The winner should also be prepared to arrange transportation for riding in the parade (convertible, horse, limo, etc.), but if the winner needs help the Chamber will arrange for someone to drive her/him through the parade. Contestants are also encouraged to display a poster with their name on it so the cheering crowds will know who the lucky one is.

Last year,  Hailey Wright, a 13 year old eighth grader at Guerneville school managed to sell some 5,000 tickets along with runner-up Jessica Van Rillaer (a 12-year-old seventh grader from Cazadero) to earn herself the crown,  dinner at Chef Patrick’s restaurant and a featured spot in the town’s Parade of Lights.

Hailey received her certificate from Beth Rudometkin of Community First Savings and Loan before a cheering crowd of thousands who lined Main Street to view the parade.

Additionally, Rudometkin herself  was honored last year as local recipient of the 2011 “Spirit of Sonoma” award, which recognizes positive contributions made to Sonoma County’s economy as well as leadership and service to the  community.

Contestants are encouraged to dress as a prince or a princess, which means evening gowns for the ladies, and gloves, tuxedo or suit for the gentlemen.  Keep in mind it may be cold. Anyone interested needs to fill out the application and have their parent or guardian sign for their consent to participate.

Completed applications may be dropped off in care of Beth Rudometkin, c/o Community First Credit Union, 162500 Main Street in Guerneville, 869-9063, or mailed to Russian River Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 331, Guerneville, CA 95446.

The winning tickets and prizes will be announced during the Holiday Prince & Princess Dinner and Crowning Ceremony on Friday, November 30, 2012 at Chef Patrick’s in

Beth Rudometkin, honored by the County, Sainted by the R.R. Sisters

When you have decided what you would like to donate, please contact Beth Rudometkin of Community First Credit Union at 869-9063. You may drop off at the Guerveville Branch (corner of Main St and Armstrong Woods) or call Beth to pick up. Any donation is acceptable and appreciated: A trip to Bali, a Bentley, four years at Harvard. merchandise, gift certificates and baskets, etc. Open your hearts and wallets and help remind the world of Guerneville’s incomparable generosity.

Writer Spotlight

Stephen Gross, The River correspondent

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