ROYAL CITY — Smiles, cheers, and happy tears were abundant Saturday night as Denisse Arroyo was crowned Royal City’s 2017 Distinguished Young Woman.
Joining Arroyo in this year’s court is first finalist Leslie Moreno, and Yajaira Michel who took home the second finalist title.
The DYW program is a scholarship program, during which the contestants were judged, and awarded in five different categories including interview, scholastics, talent, fitness and self expression. The winners of each of these categories were also awarded with scholarship money Saturday night as well.
Arroyo walked away with the DYW title having won the self-expression, talent and judge’s interview awards. Arroyo was also presented with the spirit award, which was voted on by the contestants themselves.
The fitness award went to Michel, and Rebecca Follett took home the scholastic award. Hailey Moore was also awarded the “Be Your Best Self” award.
Traditionally, awards are presented to winners by the outgoing DYW court. However, due to a lack of interest in participation, Royal City did not have a 2016 DYW program last year. This year’s awards were instead presented by Morgan Small, who served as Royal’s DYW in 2013.
In keeping with the “Island Paradise” theme, the audience also enjoyed island inspired performances by Denise Christensen, Moriah Christensen, the RBC Extreme Cloggers, and The Na Pau Nani Dancers. Co-chairs for this year’s program were Lisa Christensen and Sabrina Christensen, and Dain Craver served as Master of Ceremonies.