Rose Queen Ana Marie Acosta, who attends Polytechnic School, and the six Rose Princesses visited Hillsides' auditorium on the charity's main campus in Pasadena on Thursday, November 7, 2013 for an afternoon of crafts, fresh fruit, vegetables, cookies, and Dots cupcakes.
The afternoon was a huge hit for the girls of Hillsides, who enjoyed every minute of their "royal treatment."
"I love meeting new princesses every year. I want to become one myself," said one Hillsides teen who had participated in the tea for five years. She had been counting down the weeks until the event for over a month, and she was thrilled that the day had finally arrived.
The afternoon started with the Royal Court introducing themselves, each providing her name, age, school, and favorite food. When Princess Sarah Elizabeth Hansen, 19, who attends Pasadena City College, shared the fact that she liked pizza, she received applause and laughter from the audience.
Hillsides Director of Community Resources Laura Kelso encouraged the Hillsides girls to stand up and share the same information, which some willingly did. When one girl was hesitant to introduce herself, Queen Ana stood up with her so it would lessen the awkwardness.
After the introductions, the girls decorated frames with stickers, colored markers, and patterned duct tape, with the Queen and Princesses giving advice and using the time to get to know the girls. "It's beyond special being able to inspire, help or provide giggles to girls, and can keep you beaming for days," said Princess Elizabeth Woolf, 17, from La Canada High School. She said community service was ingrained in her by her parents, who encouraged her to participate in service at church.
"The Rose Queen and Royal Court is an amazing Pasadena tradition, and we feel fortunate Hillsides is able to share in it," said Hillsides chief executive officer, Joseph M. Costa. "This annual visit is something the girls look forward to, and we can't thank the Tournament of Roses Association enough for making it happen."
The Rose Queen and her Royal Court make more than 100 community and media appearances during their reign, culminating with the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game. The Hillsides tea, which lasted from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., was the last of two events on the day's schedule.
[Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of children, youth, and families in need. For more information about Hillsides, please visit www.Hillsides.org.]