During an evening reserved for celebrating community spirit, La Cañada High School junior Robin Miketta was on Thursday named Miss La Cañada Flintridge 2011.
Inspired by parents Brett and Lynette Miketta to consider a career in teaching, Miketta will lead the town's five-member Royal Court this year in their role as youth ambassadors for the city and chamber of commerce.
Miss La Cañada Flintridge 2010 Malia Mailes passed the crown to Miketta as part of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Association's 99th annual Installation and Awards Dinner, held at the tony ballroom of the La Cañada Flintridge County Club.
"I can't wait to start working with the Chamber of Commerce. The group of girls I'm with on the court are absolutely amazing, and it'll be fun throughout the year. It's something to look forward to, that's for sure," Miketta said while receiving congratulations from chamber board members, city officials and community volunteers also in attendance.
Linda Eaton, a contest organizer with the La Cañada Junior Women's Club, praised this year's court as a remarkable group of smart, talented and sophisticated high school juniors.
The court, carrying on a city tradition established in 1971, also includes Taani Ahluwalia of Polytechnic High School and Stephanie Bathke, Morgan Devaud and Gemma Sokol of La Cañada High School.
"The chamber and the city have a synergistic relationship which is basically focused on improving quality of life in this city. The great thing about this program is that it brings the young people in," said City Councilman Dave Spence.
The evening also included swearing in of the chamber's 2011 board, of which financial advisor and LCUSD board member Joel Peterson will remain chair, and a number of community service awards.
Longtime community volunteer Margaret Pankratz received the night's first honor as the chamber's Ambassador of the Year.
Capt. Dave Silversparre of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station, who attributed reduced crime rates in the city to support from residents, received the chamber's Community Spirit Award.
Businesswoman of the Year was local shopkeeper and chamber board member Sue Stranger, founder of the La Cañada Flintridge Merchants Association.
JPL was honored for Business Achievement, La Cañada High School 7/8 Principal Anais Wenn was educator of the year, Verdugo Hills Hospital was Organization of the Year and Rose Queen Evanne Friedmann received the group's Youth Leadership Award.