HomeCommunity NewsCity Club, Rotary Mingle With Rose Court Royals

City Club, Rotary Mingle With Rose Court Royals

First published in the Nov. 25 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

By Natalie Miranda
San Marino Tribune

For the first time in their decades-long history, the San Marino City Club and Rotary Club recently hosted a joint meeting at the San Marino Center for a memorable night with local royalty.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses’ court and queen graced the event with a fashionable entrance, wearing matching, blush-hued ensembles as they were ushered into the venue. Chaperones guided the special guests in a procession around the tables, with some seats reserved for children to share an up-close and intimate moment with the princesses and queen.

The young women participated in a Q&A session with City Club President Kelly Ryan, offering a glimpse of each court member’s personality and unique charm. But their answers, one by one, revealed more than just their effervescent spirit for community engagement: the responses also shined a light on what they have to offer the world through their passions, ambitions and stances on various topics, including climate change and the U.S. judicial system.
Rose Queen Nadia Chung said events such as these allow the court to exchange ideas publicly as well as individually, which enables them to foster rewarding conversations.
“We love that we were invited to speak and have a moment for a panel discussion, because it really does mean a lot to us when the community wants to get to know us and when we get the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level,” Chung said.
Ryan said the Rose Court members reflect how the schools of the surrounding communities have successfully served the youth.
“Their presence [at the meeting] serves as a reminder to most of us that we have some very thoughtful, articulate individuals serving as ambassadors for not only the Tournament of Roses, but for our public and private school educational systems,” Ryan said. “I am encouraged by the presentation of powerful, positive and intelligent role models for our younger guests, which was very evident.”

Photo by Larissa Althouse / The Tribune
The Rose Court participates in a Q&A session.

Rotary Club President J.P. Mainguy admitted that when he emigrated 20 years ago from France to the United States, the Rose Court tradition was one he did not immediately understand. Eventually, though, he came to admire it.
“It was something new for me and I was kind of wondering, ‘Isn’t that a little bit of a Hollywood thing, where we are physically selecting little stars?’ but I later realized it wasn’t at all like that, it’s about giving young women the opportunity to grow and introduce themselves to the world, and tonight was a very good example of that.
“I was very pleased to meet the Rose Court and was amazed by those young women,” he added. “They were able to answer all of the questions easily and very precisely. It gives a lot of hope for the future.”
As Rose Queen, Chung said she feels the weight of the responsibility in her hands, and wholeheartedly appreciates how she and the princesses have been embraced since their reign began.
“We feel so grateful for the warm welcome that we’ve gotten at this meeting and other events we’ve been to so far,” Chung said. “We feel very lucky that we’re the people the community is proud to have representing them. Any time we get to connect more closely with our community, we feel super happy about that, so tonight was so fun for us and we loved being here.”
Mainguy said the significance of the joint Rotary and City Club meeting is that the two groups can learn from and serve the community with each other’s support.
“We are realizing that in our environment, it’s easy to stay in our own little world, but in my opinion we should enlarge our views and connect with others,” he said. “To me, the meeting was a great night that we could share with the City Club.”
The Rotary Club and City Club plan to meet again in the spring. The two groups said they hope to carry on their newfound partnership and continue to find more opportunities for collaboration.


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