Rose Festival Princesses picked in East Portland

Parkrose crowns Margaret Drew, the little gal with the big singing voice; David Douglas chooses Chelsea Linn.

The students at Parkrose High School select Margaret Ann Drew to be their Portland Rose Festival Princess. (Portland Rose Festival Photo)

Story and archive photos by David F. Ashton
While other folks across Portland are just learning about Margaret Drew, we feel fortunate to have watched her “grow up” as a musician and performer at Parkrose High School.

The daughter of Jane and Bill Drew, she’s a Parkrose native. Margaret attended Sacramento Elementary, Parkrose Middle School, and, in three months, she’ll be a graduate of Parkrose High School.

Princess Margaret stands with the other contenders for her title. (Portland Rose Festival Photo)

Asked about what’s in store for her after high school, plans, she said, “I plan to attend a four-year university to study art and music.”

A true performer, Princess Margaret is a member of the Parkrose High School Debonair and A-Choir. She’s also a fourth year member and captain of the dance team. On stage, she had a supporting role in their theatre production of Sound of Music and a lead role in last year’s production of Pirates of Penzance. “I am a three-year member of Student Council, and a member of National Honor Society,” she adds.

Princess Margaret, ready to perform with the Parkrose Debonairs choir.

Princess Margaret said she enjoys attending the national convention for Little People of America. “I am also a teen coordinator for the SED and Kniest Syndrome Organization,” said continued.

In her words …
Read, here, her speech she gave on March 9th at the Parkrose Rose Festival Court Selection competition, and you’ll know why she was crowned princess ‚Ķ

“When I sat down to think about this year’s theme, ‘A Century of Celebration,’ I thought to myself, ‘Where would I have been 100 years ago? Would I have been standing on this stage in front of all of you?’

“Probably not. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit shorter than the rest of you. But really, being a Little Person in Parkrose, in 2007, hasn’t been a problem. As Mr. Reynolds [Parkrose High principal] always says, ‘Diversity is what makes Parkrose so great!’

“Mr. Reynolds, I agree with you.

“In my opinion however, it is not diversity that makes Parkrose great. It is the acceptance and celebration of diversity that makes Parkrose so unique. As a diverse member of this community, I have experienced this acceptance first hand.

“Take for example, my one and only experience running the 100-meter dash. My opponents took only a second to cross the finish line. For me, it seemed like it took a century! Nevertheless, my teammates waited for me at the end, cheering me on, while my coach walked alongside me as I ran!

“Or my time spent on the dance team. Even though I do half turns while other dancers are doing double turns, I have never felt I wasn’t as good. And I know my coaches spend extra time just finding ways to fit me in the routines.”

Jonathan Wheatfall and Margaret Drew, performing their lead roles in the production of The Pirates of Penzance.

“And let us not forget the special rock designed so that I could be eye level with my leading man in Pirates of Penzance!

“Whether or not I would have been standing here in front of you a century ago, I am here now, and proud to know that no matter who I am or what I look like, I am accepted as one of us, one of the diverse members of Parkrose.

“Someone once said, ‘Diversity is the one true thing we have in common. Celebrate it everyday.’ Today we celebrate the past one hundred years and each other. Tomorrow let us strive to share this acceptance and celebration of diversity with the world.”

David Douglas High School’s Rose Festival tiara presented to Chelsea Allison Linn

Portland Rose Festival Princess Chelsea Allison Linn represents David Douglas High School

Ronald and Dawnelle Linn have a newly crowned princess in the family: Chelsea Linn.

Educated in outer East Portland, Princess Chelsea attended Harold Oliver Elementary School, Centennial Middle School, and will soon graduate from David Douglas High School.

Asked about her plans, Princess Chelsea says, “I was accepted to Brigham Young University, and will attend there for four years. I am excited to go, and plan to keep up my grade as I have done in high school. The fields I am interested in are science and dance. As I move through my college career, I plan to learn and experience these more. Once I graduate I hope to obtain a career in one of these fields.”

When she’s not studying, Princess Chelsea says she enjoys dance, reading, surfing, beading, art, acting, interior and fashion design, shopping, spending time with friends, and helping others.

In the David Douglas High School Theater production of Peter Pan late last year, Princess Chelsea, as Tiger Lily, forges an alliance with Peter.

The David Douglas princess lists her activities and honors: Varsity Dance Team Captain, Varsity Dance for three years, Science Club, National Honor Society, LINK Crew, Student of the Month, 4.0 Student, and played the role of Tiger Lily in the musical Peter Pan.

In her spare time Princess Chelsea has been: Young Women’s Church Group Leader, Girl’s Camp Junior Counselor, Girl’s Camp President, and a member of Dance Committee.

In her words …
Learn more about Princess Chelsea Linn, from the speech she gave at the David Douglas High School Rose Festival Pageant …

“A century: 100 years, or 1200 months, or 67,200 weeks, or 470,400 days. A century is built one day at a time. This last century has been full of days for celebration. It seems to me that every day should be a celebration, not just the few days that we recognize.

“In ‘Alice and Wonderland’ there is one character that embodies this idea: The Mad Hatter. He celebrated every day as a un-birthday. Though he went about it in rather unprecedented ways, he had the right idea.

‘Take a normal high-schooler’s day for example: You wake up, much too tired from being on MySpace all night; and your hair is just not cooperating. You hastily eat breakfast so you aren’t late to class, and leave the house in a rush. On your way to school you notice you spilt breakfast on your favorite jeans. Just as you are arriving, you are attacked by a big dog that rips your pants to get your remaining breakfast, and eats your homework.”

Princess Chelsea stands with the other contenders for her title. (Portland Rose Festival Photo)

“Just as your life seems really lousy, you walk into school and find out that it is a late-arrival day, and have to wait around for two hours for school to start. So you have two choices at this point. You can hate life and curse the dog that ripped your favorite jeans, or you can realize that this day is going to be great because you are going to make it great. You even might have something to celebrate about. The kind dog took away your embarrassing breakfast stain, and made your pants highly fashionable because holes are ‘in’.

“This situation might be a little extreme, but the point is the same. We have the control to make each day what we want it to be. You will only have a bad day if you choose to.

“You can celebrate EVERY DAY. Life doesn’t always work out they way you think it should, but you can always look for the bright side of things. For example, in this country, education is available to everyone, which is a pretty good thing most days.

“We need to be the examples for the world. In this day and age everything is so negative and there is constantly talk of war, depression and suffering, we can step out of that, and celebrate the ordinary, our family our friends, and our lives. Remember — a century is built one day at a time. Celebrate your days, and continue to live this celebration into the next century.”

We at East Portland News Service extend our sincerer congratulations to our outer East Portland Rose Festival Princesses.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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