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Five hopefuls vie for Miss La Vernia crown

Five hopefuls vie for Miss La Vernia crown

Spring brings April showers, wildflowers, and the Miss La Vernia scholarship pageant, sponsored by the La Vernia Lions Club.

“Beyond talent and beauty,” according to the Lions Club’s website, the pageant “é represents the ideals of our community. é Our goal is to inspire, motivate, and lift young ladies to the realization that they are strong, independent, capable people who can accomplish anything.”

The successful pageant participants become ambassadors for the Lions Club and the La Vernia community as they travel across South Texas to festivals and events.

Miss La Vernia 2013 Haleigh Johnson will crown her successor Friday, May 9, in the La Vernia High School auditorium. The pageant begins at 7 p.m. Plan now to attend this stellar event!

Meet this year’s contestants.

Mikayla Garza

Mikayla, 16, is a junior at La Vernia High School. She is the daughter of Vincent and Susan Garza, and is sponsored by Mag7, Susan Garza.

She is the youngest of seven children. “The most important things in my life are my relationship with God and my family,” Mikayla said. “I have been homeschooled most of my life until January 2014 of this year.”

She participates in Bear’s Care Student Volunteer Program and the student blood drive.

Mikayla volunteers with the Hope Church children’s ministry, sings with the adult praise and worship team, and has led worship with a youth band at camp and the “Pierced by Love” youth band. She helps lead the Revolve youth group at church.

Mikayla also volunteers for the Church Under the Bridge Ministry, has helped lead music for Fields of Faith, and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, among other endeavors.

Along with her brother and sister, she won first place in the Wilson County’s Got Talent show.

Mikayla enjoys playing volleyball, swimming, fishing, hunting, and spending time with family and friends.

Kimberley De La Torre

Kimberley, 17, is a junior at La Vernia High School. The daughter of Oscar and Brenda De La Torre, she is sponsored by Home Vestors-Brownie Lott.

She plays volleyball and basketball for her school.

As a member of the 4-H Club, she showed Red Angus heifers. Kimberley has played with a National Club Volleyball team since sixth grade and has helped organize the Sophie’s Faithful 5K in memory of Sophie Sparks, and helps work track meets hosted by her school.

Kimberley is a member of the St. Ann’s Teen ACTS team, is a fifth-grade CCD teacher, and volunteers at the St. Ann’s parish festival.

Audrey Mayes

Audrey, 16, the daughter of Michael and Marci Ann Mayes, is a La Vernia High School sophomore. Her sponsor is Kathleen’s Foods, Kathleen and Matthew Mayes.

She plays volleyball and has earned All-District Honorable Mention for her skills. Audrey is a member of the FFA agricultural mechanics team that qualified for state in 2013 and 2014, and has participated in numerous other FFA teams and events. She was a Model UN participant and is a member of Bear’s Care.

She attends Hope Church, where she participates in the Revolve youth group and Rekindle. Audrey has attended YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow and has participated in the Camp Flaming Arrow “Ragger” program since 2008.

She has been a participant in the La Vernia Junior Livestock Show, where she earned a blue ribbon for her swine entry, and has been a member of the La Vernia Stock Show cleanup crew. She also plays club volleyball and has been a volunteer coach at Hill’s Gym, among other volunteer work.

Kayla Gladstone

Kayla, 16, is a junior at La Vernia High School. The daughter of Brian Gladstone and Daryl and Misty Kowalik is sponsored by Embroidery Plus.

A member of the La Vernia Honey Bears dance team for four years, Kayla has held numerous titles on the team. She will be the colonel of the 2014-15 Honey Bears.

Kayla is a member of the La Vernia FFA and has been a member of several award-winning FFA teams, including the Junior and Senior Chapter Conducting teams. Kayla is a current member of the Poultry Judging team.

She is a member of the County Line 4-H Club and has served as a club officer. She participated in the Youth Day Show at the San Antonio Rodeo. Kayla has shown hogs for six years, earning reserve grand champion twice in the La Vernia Junior Livestock and Poultry Show.

She earned the Miss Congeniality 2012 title in a previous Miss La Vernia pageant. Kayla has represented and helped her community by participating in Adopt-A-Highway cleanup, volunteering at the La Vernia food pantry, the Lions Club golf tournament, Bluebonnet Festival auction, and many more Lions Club and community events.

Sara Wiatrek

La Vernia High School sophomore Sara, 16, is the daughter of Gary Wiatrek and Diane Smith; she is sponsored by Dumpster Picking Divas, Tracy and Kayla Snow.

She has played freshman and junior varsity volleyball and basketball, has been a member of the junior varsity and varsity track teams, and is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Sara plays club volleyball, and assists with child care at church and student-led Bible study. She also is a youth leader in church.

She volunteers for Church Under the Bridge ministries and volunteers for junior high volleyball and basketball tournaments and junior high track meets. She has participated in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walks, and has volunteered in other capacities, also.

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