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DELANO RAMBLINGS: Delano's Distinguished Young Woman picked after virtual competition

Aubrey Ruanto has been selected Delano’s Distinguished Young Woman for 2022.

The 26th annual program for Delano junior girls was for the first time held completely virtually.

The five contestants, all of whom are current juniors at Cesar E. Chavez High School, emailed their material prior to the recording performance day.

Judging by a panel of officials from throughout the United States was based 25 percent on scholastics, 25 percent on interview, 20 percent on talent, 15 percent on fitness, and 15 percent on physical fitness.

Interviews were conducted individually by Zoom two days prior to announcement of winners.

Ruanto, a daughter of Mark and Leslie Ruanto, performed a lyrical dance titled “Good Job.” In addition to a $1,500 scholarship and DYW medallion, Ruanto also was awarded a $200 scholarship for the talent award and a $150 scholarship for the fitness award.

First alternate was Hannah Villaruz, a daughter of Nelson and Elma Villaruz. She performed a tap dance to “Levitating.” She gained an $800 scholarship as first alternate and $150 scholarship for self-expression award.

The $250 scholarship for the scholastics award went to Gurnoor Bhatti, daughter of Ranbir and Harjit Bhatti. She performed a Bhangra dance for her talent.

Also taking part were Katherine Cardenas, daughter of Jesus and Nayeli Cardenas, who performed a tap dance to “Prisoner,” and Karyme Mariscal, daughter of Felipe Mariscal and Delores Mendivil, who for her talent performed a traditional religious dance to “La Danza.”

Delano’s DYW, said director Elizabeth Velasco-Ramirez, will represent Delano and serve as a role model to young people by spreading the program’s national outreach message of “Be Your Best Self.”


An 18-member cheerleading squad for Robert F. Kennedy High School for the 2021-22 school year has been announced by Natalie Fragoso, coach/advisor to the group.

Squad members include seniors Laney Tincher, Meshelle Calderon, Devina Davila, Madison Myrick and Kimberly Ramirez.

Future juniors on the squad are Kassandra Hernandez, Jennifer Parra, Esmeralda Rodriguez and Sadie Baldone.

In the fall the sophomores will be Aalijah Abundiz, Laile Montemayor, Desiree Espinoza and Anahi Carrillo.

Freshmen for the upcoming school year are Jannah Cristobal, Alexa Huerta, Esmee Gonzalez, Adela Ledezma, and Kassandra Lopez.


A budget for the upcoming school year has been adopted by directors of the Greater Delano Area Youth Foundation. Allotted for youth programs was nearly $9,000, in addition to funds set aside for first-time requests by groups that fit the criteria for receiving funds.

The latest sponsor for the recent Youth Foundation takeout barbecue is David Couch, Kern County supervisor. Renewing memberships are Cris Wright, Janice Wilkins and Alfonso Hernandez, and a new member is Dan Alegria.

After the May meeting, directors will take off two months for summer and resume meeting Monday, Aug. 16. The August meeting will focus on a possible 50/50 drawing, renewal of the Delano Sports Dinner during the winter of 2022, and again sponsoring a takeout barbecue. All events are fundraisers to earn money for youth projects.


Ruthchie Galanta, a 2019 graduate of Delano High School where she was head cheerleader and currently a Cal State Bakersfield cheerleader, says in April she was recommended to try to enter a magazine competition seen on Facebook by someone “very close to me.”

She gathered her best photos, answered the profile questions, and entered the competition a day before the deadline. “I was quite nervous since I’ve never done anything like it, but I gave it a shot anyway because I knew it would be a great opportunity to gain some exposure in the fashion industry and expand my modeling career by working with brands, photographers, designers, MUADHs, stylists and agencies.”

Ruthchie, a former Delano High cheerleader and great salesgirl of advertising when I was aiding cheerleaders with fundraising, said that Maxim Covergirl is looking for a new face to be featured on their magazine.

The winner receives a grand prize of $25,000, a chance to work with the successful photographer, Gilles Bensimon, a feature in the magazine and worldwide recognition.

There are seven rounds until announcement of the Grand Prize winner. Currently the Delano resident is in the Top 5. Voting for the contestant in the competition is up to the public, she says.

Anyone with a valid facebook account can vote once per day until each round is over or may purchase a Warrior vote, which benefits the Homes for Wounded Warriors Foundation to help build and remodel handicapped accessible homes to suit the individual needs of injured veterans.

“With the help of family and friends, I have been in second place in my group for the first two rounds. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in this competition and in my modeling career. We have a few more rounds to go, and I believe we can get there. I am so proud to be representing my hometown of Delano as a small town girl from the valley who has always dreamed of pursuing a modeling career. I’m finally achieving those dreams!”


Delano Elks Lodge has resumed its twice a month bingo games at the Elks Club. The event will take place the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 6 to 9 p.m. Food is available.

As a welcome back, the May 27 bingo featured a $250 final game jackpot. The usual last-game jackpot is $75.

Alfred Yanez is the caller for the bingo games. Assisting are Anthony Zaninovich, Ariel Menchaca and other Elks members.

Food preparation is handled by Lori Howard, Exalted Ruler, and Vikki Quilantan.