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Lamb Derby royalty crowned
The team of Michelle Wagenman and Ashley Hernandez found the lost lamb Wednesday. Lucy was found in a eucalyptus tree near the old Tops Restaurant in north Willows.
Gabe Huttman was the winner of the $1,000 give-a-way at the Lamb Derby Queen Pageant on Thursday.
By Susan Meeker
Michaela Biggs, a junior at Willows High School, was named 2012 Lamb Derby Queen at Thursday's pageant in Memorial Hall.
The 17-year-old performed a spectacular lyrical dance routine to Ronan Keating's "I Hope You Dance," earning high praise from the judges.
Biggs, who was the first Lamb Derby Princess four years ago, made it clear she was gunning for the crown, rehearsing four months on presentation and talent, and by being a good role model for other young women.
"I wanted to be more involved in the community," said Biggs, who was delighted at being crowned. "This is such a wonderful opportunity in our family of Willows."
Biggs is the daughter of Mike and Becky Biggs.
She was escorted on stage by her cousin, Jake Peters.
When asked by Master of Ceremonies, Judge Donald C. Byrd, the "Ryan Seacrest of Lamb Derby," if she wanted to become famous, Biggs replied that it wasn't fame that interested her.
"I plan to write an award-winning novel, but I plan to use a pen name and not suffer the stress of being famous," she said.
Biggs earned a $500 scholarship, which she plans to use when she attends Grand Canyon University, a private Christian college near Phoenix, Ariz.
Biggs plans to major in business and intends to return to Willows after graduation to operate a dance studio and a restaurant.
Natalie Massa, 17, was named first runner-up.
Massa's presentation and talent - a speech she wrote about being a Super Ewe — boasted her long-rooted ties to the community and her many activities, including 4-H, FFA and as reigning Orland Portuguese Festa Queen.
Massa, the daughter of Gene and Cheryl Massa, spoke from her heart about the importance of community involvement.
"No jobs are too small, and every job can make a difference," said Massa, who earned a $250 scholarship.
Massa plans to attend a four-year university to become an intensive care nurse.
Christine van Tol, 17, was selected Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.
Van Tol, who earned a $150 scholarship, is the daughter of Ted van Tol and Berdine Chappell.
The Lamb Derby queen pageant was the highlight of the week leading up to today's parade and events.
This 79th pageant Thursday offered the largest field of contestants in pageant history, organizers said.
Although not a beauty pageant, spectators said the group of girls were among the most beautiful ever seen on stage, with top notch talent and spectacular evening gowns.
Rebecca Jones, 17, was stunning in a royal blue creation and Kaitlyn Berglof, 17, was pretty in pink.
Jones performed the Martina McBride song, " Concrete Angles," and Berglof performed a comedy routine that poked fun at her own driving skills.
Chanchal Wadhwa, 17, knows as "Chip," brought little sister, Juhi Wadhwa, on stage for a dance routine that combined hip hop with the native dances of India.
Juhi Wadhwa, 13, competed in the Lamb Derby Princess competition on Wednesday.
Nicole Reed, 17, performed a sensational cheer routine, and Delainy Ward, 16, sang Lauren Alaina's "Growing Her Wings."
Ophelia Coffer gave a presentation on photography.
The 16-year old plans to attend an art institute to major in photography, which Coffer said was her passion in life.
Final contestant Brooke Lindell, 17, has a long Lamb Derby history.
Lindell is the granddaughter of 1995 Lamb Derby Grand Marshal Dee Spielman. Her sister is 2008 Lamb Derby Queen Amanda Spielman.
Lindell ran for Little Miss Lamb Derby at age 5 and was also one of the inaugural Lamb Derby Princess contestants in 2008.
Lindell sang Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."
Biggs and her court will ride in today's Lamb Derby parade and reign over the remaining activities.
Biggs, as part of her duties, will remain actively involved in town events over the next 12 months, represent Willows at fairs and festivals, and take part in the planning of next year's Lamb Derby festivities.
Biggs was crowned by 2011 Lamb Derby Queen Mackenzie Gomes.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.