The first Delano Harvest Holidays event leading up to the October 4-11 dress-up week was the Tiny Tots event that took place Sept. 12 at the First Assembly of God Church.

In the 7-9 age division, Zachary Acosta was crowned king and Genesis Fernandez the queen.

In the 5-6 age group, the prince was Caleb Navarrez and the princess Athena Yanez. In the 3-4 age category, Eloy Mendoza was the duke and Scarlett Cuevas the duchess.

Also taking part were Abigail Yanez, Autumn Garcia, Amery Acosta and Mason Navarrez.

Athena Yanez won the Heart of Gold title by aiding the local soup kitchen with the most items donated, collecting more than 1,000 items.

All contestants received gift cards courtesy of Joshua Herrera and goodie bags courtesy of Angelica Fernandez.

Event chairperson April Gonzalez thanked for their help Maria Cisneros, Grand Marshal Mario Nunez and his wife, and Arnold Morrison, Claribel Gutierrez and Annette Salim, along with the church for use of its facilities.

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Nine senior girls from area schools competed Sept. 19 for the title of Delano Harvest Holidays queen. Results were not available at this column’s deadline.

Contestants were given time slots to appear at the Scarlett Oak Room at Adventist Health Delano, appearing before a panel of judges to answer questions, present a talent and appear in formal wear.

About a dozen area businesses have given donations to fund scholarships for the queen and runners-up. More funds are still being accepted.

Four candidates were introduced in a recent Ramblings.

Profiles of five other candidates appear as follows:

Laisha Velasco, daughter of Alberto and Hilda Velasco, is a senior at McFarland High where she has won a certificate of achievement for ninth grade and outstanding achievement awards for English, United States History and World History. She has been a member of Avid Club, Choir Club, soccer team, football team and tennis team. She has volunteered in Pee Wee recreational soccer as a coach and distributed food at DMC Import and Export Inc. during the pandemic. Her goal is to attend Cal Poly to major in psychology.

Delano High senior Mya Garcia, daughter of Robert Garcia and Kassandra Ramirez, has competed in varsity volleyball and basketball, achieving MVP for offensive player in the latter sport. She is a top 25 academic scholar and has gained Honor Roll and Principal’s Honor Roll. She has trained for 10 years as a dancer at Precision Dance Center. Service and volunteer work include EYL basketball and tee-ball coach and EMS assistant volleyball coach. She plans to attend USC to major in kinesiology.

McFarland High senior Cristina Hernandez is a daughter of Herminia and Francisco Hernandez. She has achieved Honor Roll, gained the President’s Award for outstanding academic excellence and earned the AP scholar award. She takes part in Photography Club, as ASB yearbook representative, and Trio. She has volunteered for Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santiaguito, by feeding the homeless, and participating as a food sales representative at St. Elizabeth Church. She plans to attend Fresno State to major in liberal studies.

Priscilla Gonzalez, daughter of Maria and George Gonzalez, is a senior at Robert F. Kennedy High where she has achieved Principal’s Honor Roll, most valuable player for softball, Soroptimist scholarship award winner, and representative of Delano with the folkloric dance team. She has been event coordinator assistant for Tiny Tots pageant and taken part in school in advanced choir, cheerleading, cross country and tutoring. She has done community service as a volunteer for Relay for Life, Feeding the Homeless and helping at Life House Church. Her plan is to attend California State University Bakersfield to major in child and developmental psychology.

Sofia Ceja, a daughter of Nicolette and Ricardo Fariaz, is a senior at Cesar Chavez High where she has achieved Principal’s Honor Roll and took part in Titan choir as treasurer, Titan cheerleading, Distinguished Young Women scholarship participant and United Filipino Organization. She has volunteered with the Special Needs Prom, Relay for Life, Delano Community Alliance clean-up and Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives. She plans to attend USC to major in health and humanities.

Tickets for the Queen’s/Grand Marshal take-out barbecue Oct. 10 are available for $15 each from candidates through September. Proceeds will help with the queen show scholarship fund.

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Former Delano resident Abel Rivera, who is retired from the Delano Union School District’s maintenance, operations and transportation department after more than 25 years of service, is taking part in the Smile for a Lifetime organization’s Bike Ride 2020.

The ride, according to reporter Irma R. Rivera, starts on the California coast and ends in Virginia Beach, Va.

The cross-country ride will raise funds for children who would not otherwise be able to afford braces.

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My failed attempts in sending this column to The Record have put me over a month behind schedule in reporting the 60th wedding anniversary of Dick and Ann Grogan, 1956 and 1957 Delano High graduates respectively.

They are neighbors down the street from me. Ann as a senior was named outstanding girl athlete in her class. Dick from DHS went to operate the Delano Machine Shop for many years before retirement.

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A community forum for Delano’s seven City Council candidates seeking to fill three positions took place at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church hall under sponsorship of the Delano Police Association and the Delano City Employees Association.

What began with just 100 live viewers, said retired sergeant Mario Nunez, climbed to some 3,000 viewers on Zoom.

The Channel 17 moderator gave each candidate a specified time for opening remarks and another timed closing statement. In between, predetermined questions were directed at candidates, sometimes two or three responding to the same question.

The busiest person was a young man who after each speaker stepped up on stage to replace the microphone and clean it before returning it to the mike holder for the next speaker.

The focus of most speakers related to bringing businesses with jobs to the community, the overall economy, water quality and gangs.

All candidates must be applauded for their quick response to questions posed by the moderator. A great deal of study and research is necessary for citizens to be prepared for the council position.

Candidates Salvador Solorio, Joe Alindajao, Carlton Lennon, Grace Vallejo, Joe Aguirre, and Jaime Mendoza were present, and candidate Veronica Vasquez was available after the forum as she could not attend due to coronavirus concerns in her family.

Gene Garaygordobil was present for The Record, but I wrote some notes that I want to comment on.

One item mentioned was the need for year-round jobs, not seasonal as seen in much of local agriculture.

One speaker said that Gov. Gavin Newsom in his release of inmates from state prisons had sent back to Delano 13 persons, including three, said the speaker, who specialized in car thefts.

It was mentioned that Delano’s water supply is served by wells and, like other communities in the valley using groundwater, faces a problem of water quality.

Someone reported that Wonderful — when and if the city gains federal approval to move the airport to the old Voice of America site — could add two more processing plants to give Delano 1,200 new jobs.

Most speakers talked of bringing businesses to Delano to generate more tax money. My thought for some time has been why no electrical company is based in Delano.

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The closing of the Delano Modified Correctional Facility as of Aug. 31 resulted in the layoffs of about 80 employees.

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Two obituaries in The Californian recently have attracted my attention.

One was Sarah Rita Ann (Sally) McNally. She had been married for 55 years to John McNally who had been in the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, if I recall correctly, and later served as a judge in Delano.

Sally spent her professional life as a nurse at Delano Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Rosewood and other sites.

Personally, I just remember the high regard in which her patients and local families held her for her role as a nurse. Also, her sister, Donna (Menagh) Laborde, was a 1954 Delano High graduate and classmate of mine.

Sally’s son, Sean, was on Delano’s Rotary Club Little League team I co-coached. Daughters were Sheila and Theresa and another son, Timothy. I believe I had two or three of the children in freshman English at Delano High.

Silverio (Silver) Eliseo Rabanal was a gentleman I should have known and maybe saw often but did not know personally.

One of his sons, Jesse, also was a player for Rotary Little League. Son Hubert starred in basketball and baseball at Delano High and has been a community leader and even Grand Marshal for Delano’s Philippine Weekend. Mr. Rabanal may have been at many of Jesse’s and Hubert’s events, but I was just unaware that he was there to watch his sons.