Fathoms royalty crowned for 2011

Kristine Ramsdell (left) and Tawnya Erickson (right) cried while posing for one of their final group pictures as royal ambassadors for Port Orchard.  - Kaitlin Strohschein/Staff Photo
Kristine Ramsdell (left) and Tawnya Erickson (right) cried while posing for one of their final group pictures as royal ambassadors for Port Orchard.
— image credit: Kaitlin Strohschein/Staff Photo

Port Orchard has two new members of its royal family.

Carlene Jensen and Katalina Biondi each won the title of ambassador and a scholarship through a competition hosted by the Fathoms o’Fun organizers.

After they won the scholarship, they each showed off a talent at a “crowning ceremony” and dessert auction hosted by Fathoms on March 19 at Christian Life Center in South Kitsap.

The event was officially called a “crowning” rather than a “pageant,” said Kim Martin, the Fathoms o’Fun royalty director, because the girls had already won the scholarship before the ceremony.

Jensen, a member of the South Kitsap High School dance team, performed a dance to the song “Mercy” by Dufy.

Biondi wrote a song that she called “Orange Juice Overdose” but couldn’t sing it because she lost her voice, she said.

Jensen and Biondi also each modeled a gown and answered questions, in front of the crowd, asked by last year’s royalty.

Former Fathoms royalty sang several songs throughout the ceremony, including “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from the 1964 musical Funny Girl, as well as “Firework” and “God Blessed the Broken Road.”

Now that the ceremony’s over, the work is just beginning for the new royalty.

The girls will each contribute around “750 hours of community service during their reign,”  said Martin.

And they both get a scholarship for $1,000.

“I wanted to represent Port Orchard and give back to the community that has given so much to me,” Jensen wrote.

Biondi claimed that she applied for “many reasons.”

“My friend wanted me to apply,” she wrote. “It is an opportunity to get involved in the community, will help me develop better leadership skills and public speaking, and it was on my bucket list!”

“It’s not just about wearing the pretty dress,” said Hannah Wood, who was crowned Miss Kitsap in January 2011. “They really do a lot of work in the community.”

Wood said that it’s also a lot of fun, and “it goes really fast.”

Last year, Fathoms o’Fun received applications from four girls who met the scholarship criteria, and the event’s organizers gave each girl a scholarship.

They didn’t get an equal amount of money, though.

A committee, organized by Fathoms, decided how much to give each girl.

This year, about six girls applied for the scholarship, Martin said, but Biondi and Jensen were the only two who met the criteria for eligibility.

The requirements include maintaining a 2.5 grade point average, being between 16 and 19 years old and completing the application.

Male applicants aren’t excluded, but none entered this year.

Martin plans to visit local high schools with Biondi and Jensen to promote the scholarship program.

“We attend the schools,” said Martin. “We set a table up. We have applications. We’re there to answer questions.”

Applications will also be available at within several months.

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