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Seeking 2019 Sweetheart of the Mountains contestants

The deadline to enter the Sweetheart of the Mountains competition is Dec. 31, 2018. Shown in this photo from left are: 2018 Runner Up Rebecca Leonhardt, 2017 Sweetheart of the Mountains Madeline Williams and 2018 Sweetheart of the Mountains Grace Bristol. Photo submitted

A unique opportunity for the young ladies of Plumas and Sierra Counties has returned. The Plumas Sierra County Fair Foundation and the fair are extending an invitation to girls between the ages of 16 and 20 to apply to compete in the 2019 Sweetheart of the Mountains Scholarship Competition.

In the past five years, the competition has generated nearly $20,000 in scholarships for those that have competed for the title.

With roots going back over 50 years, Sweetheart of the Mountains has evolved from a beauty pageant to the current scholarship program. Contestants are required to demonstrate a talent, exhibit poise through an interview, represent the Plumas Sierra County Fair with public appearances and be a good example of character.

They also have an opportunity to raise funds to benefit the fairgrounds, as well as a matching scholarship fund for themselves. Their efforts in five years allowed the PSCF Foundation, a non-profit corporation established for the sole benefit of the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, to sponsor the fish pond and Artopolis at the fair, install hand dryers in the bathrooms, and underwrite the awards program. Last year’s Sweetheart of the Mountains, Grace Bristol of Portola, raised and won over $3000 for her college career.

The competition is planned for early May. Contestants are judged on a talent and their poise during a question and answer segment, and are awarded points based on how much money they have raised for the Foundation. A Sweetheart of the Mountains is crowned at the competition, as well as a first runner up. Rebecca Leonhardt of Quincy was first runner up last year.

As the modern program progressed, the committee made small tweaks along the way. The age requirement was expanded to young ladies between the ages of 16 and 20 years of age. This opens up the competition to those who may be in their first year of college. It is hoped this will increase the number of competitors as well as expand the interest in the program.

The deadline for returning applications has been extended to Dec. 31, 2018.

Applications can be found in each of the high schools and FRC. They are also available on the fair website at  www.plumas-sierracountyfair.net, and at the fair office.

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