By Michael J. ARVIZU
As two of the seven young women chosen on Monday morning to represent the 2014 Tournament of Roses as members of the Tournament of Roses Royal Court, 17-year-olds Katherine Diane Lipp and Elizabeth Katie Woolf, students at La Cañada High School, hope to use their new role as a springboard to make a bigger impact in their home communities.
“I think this will be the greatest opportunity to give back to my entire community,” said Woolf. “You attend, what, 150-plus events? This is the most positive and amazing way to give back.”
As a new Rose Princess, Lipp will use her new position to further impact the community in a positive way. She believes all teenagers her age should become involved in their respective communities before they begin college or move out of their hometowns.
“It’s important to use that advantage to help other people who aren’t as lucky,” Lipp said.
Woolf believes giving back allows young people to experience things that are “away from yourself,” she said. Young volunteers, she said, can then feed off the energy of giving back.
You can help someone else in order to receive that positive energy, Woolf said, or just for the heck of it.
Both young women already have a significant amount of volunteer experience under their belts, qualities that perhaps served them well during the final court selection process.
Both are members of LCHS pep squad. The squad functions as a morale booster at most La Cañada High School sporting events. The squad also requires its members to participate in at least four hours of community service each quarter.
Among her other volunteer duties, Lipp works with Brothers’ Helpers, an organization which serves meals to the poor living in downtown Los Angeles.
Woolf holds a volunteer position at Pasadena’s Elizabeth House and works as a second grade tutor. She also edits the 2014 LCHS yearbook and serves as a teacher’s assistant at LCHS as well.
“What I want most to do is help inspire other girls to also reach out, to find ways in their community that they can give back, not just through Rose Court, but also through everything you can put your hands on,” said Woolf.
Lipp and Woolf are members of a seven-member Royal Court, reduced from about 1,000 Pasadena-area young women who vied for a spot on the court during initial tryouts in September. Of those 1,000, 30 young finalists were chosen and presented to the media for the first time on Oct. 3. According to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the final seven were chosen based on various criteria, including speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.
The other members of the Royal Court include Ana Maria Acosta, 17, a student at Polytechnic High School; Sarah Elizabeth Hansen, 19, a student at Pasadena City College; Kayla Diyana Johnson-Granberry, 17, a student at Pasadena High School; Jamie Ann Kwong, 17, a student at La Salle High School; and Elyssia Hadi Widjaja, 17, a student at San Marino High School. Of the seven named on Monday, one queen will be chosen and crowned in front of a live audience during a coronation ceremony and luncheon on Oct. 24 at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena.
“I’m still shaking. It’s just amazing; I’m so thrilled for her,” said Johnson-Granberry’s great-aunt
Myla Stokes Kelly, of her great-niece’s selection to the Royal Court. “All 30 of those girls could make it. Any one of them.”