4 young women make up OBF Court

Lindsay's 73rd annual Orange Blossom Festival will begin with the coronation of the Orange Blossom Festival Queen and introduction of her court at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 8 at Sweet Brier Plaza in Lindsay.

This will be followed by a week-long celebration that includes a carnival April 14-17 in the Olive Bowl.

The week concludes with the Orange Blossom Festival Parade beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 in downtown Lindsay. The parade ends at City Park where there will be entertainment, food, and arts and crafts booths - lots of fun for the whole family.

The following are short biographies of the four young women who make up this year's OBF Court.

MARIA 'MARY' GARCIA

Seventeen year old Maria "Mary" Garcia has enjoyed growing up in Lindsay with her parents Joel and Maria Lilia Garcia among the fragrant orange trees that surround her home. She has three older siblings, Jose, Victor and Liliana and baby brother Daniel.

Mary is currently a senior at Lindsay High School where she has devoted many hours to Lindsay Future Farmers of America. She has participated in the Sequoia Section for Creed Speaking where she was honored to give the Opening and Closing Ceremony speech for the Team Division. She was a finalist in the State Finals for Citrus Judging. She also has served as an officer and many other leadership roles in FFA. She enjoys raising lambs and has captured many awards at the Tulare and Porterville fairs.

Mary still finds time to participate in tennis and soccer at Lindsay High School. She is a Lincoln Star Tutor, a life time member of the California Scholarship Federation and received her Academic Lantern for each semester at Lindsay High School

She enjoys being active in Spanish Club, Teens with a Future, Lindsay M.E.Ch.A. Club and was fortunate to addend the Leadership Institute at UCLA.

In August Mary will embark on next phase of her busy life, as she plans to attend either Cal Poly or UCLA. Missing her family and friends and Lindsay's beautiful red sunsets will be hard, but she knows that Lindsay has given her the ability and courage to some day fulfill her goal to become a pediatrician.

ERIKA CHRISTINA GONZALEZ

Erika feels proud to say she lives in Lindsay, a town that shows support and interest in the well being of its citizens.

Erika is the daughter of Ruben and Carol Gonzalez. A major part of her life has been working in her family's restaurant, China's Alley. It has taught her to be organized, disciplined and to set high goals and standards.

Erika is an outstanding athletic. She plays three sports year round; volleyball, basketball and softball. Growing up with brothers, Johnny, Anthony and Bryan and joining them on the basketball court, she acquired excellent basketball skills that have earned her numerous MVP awards and her fellow team mates electing her Captain numerous times. She currently holds the top honor for most rebounds in a season. When Erika isn't out shooting baskets she turns her energy to academics. She is involved with AVID, is a member of California Scholarship Federation, Cardinal Letter Club, and Student Government and is on the Senior Class Council. She was nominated and top finalist for Homecoming. Last summer she attended the Youth Citizenship Seminar at Pepperdine University and the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in San Francisco.

This fall Erika will attend, Westmont College, Santa Clara University or California University Fullerton. Her major will be in Biology. Thanks to her teachers and mentors at Lindsay High School pushing her to be a better student and teaching her valuable lessons inside the classroom and outside, she knows that medicine is in her future and someday she would love to be either a pediatrician or physical therapist

HEATHER HURTADO

Heather Hurt ado is the talented and gifted daughter of Edward and Nina Hurtado. She has lived in Lindsay her entire life and feels Lindsay has been the foundation of who she is today. She is honored to be able to represent Lindsay in one of its greatest traditions.

Heathers is a romantic whose love and passions all relate to the Fine Arts. Among her hobbies and passions are: Writing poetry, songwriting, music and painting. The appreciation for the Fine Arts runs in her family. She loves poetry because of its realism, "It's who I am."

Heather has enjoyed participating in many community activities including helping beautify downtown by planting trees, Special Olympics Bowl-a-thon, annual Easter egg hunts, other beautification projects, mural auction witnessing, Adopt a Star, Kiwanis fashion shows, and Key Club related activities such as canned food drives.

As a senior at Lindsay High School, Heather designed the art work and participated in painting the lifesize fiberglass cow for the Lindsay Cultural Arts Council Cattle Drive fund-raiser. The cow is now on permanent display at the Heritage Complex in Tulare, and giving a plug for the Lindsay Art Association. Heather's sport was basketball. She is a member of Key Club, Art Club, AVID, California Scholarship Federation, Natural Helpers, the Prom Committee, the Guitar Club and Survival Club. She has earned top awards in health, academic letter and Golden Lantern. She was also one of the top Homecoming candidates.

Currently Heather is ranked 7th in her graduating class. Heather is undecided on which college she will attend.

CAROLINA SERNA

Daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend, resident of Lindsay and a senior at Lindsay High School, Carolina Serna is the oldest daughter of Art and Leonor Serna. She has two sisters, Rocky and Artie, and is the proud granddaughter of 2000 Honored Person Teresa Serna.

As extremely active and outgoing 17-year-old, Carolina has participated in various community activities such as Lindsay Skimmers and Lindsay Community Theater productions. Never sitting idle she has devoted her many talents as an active member of the Lindsay High School FFA program. Future Farmers of America has provided her with many leadership and educational opportunities. She has attended national FFA conferences in Louisville, Ky., New York City and Washington D.C. Carolina has served as s delegate and committee chairman for the State FFA conferences for the past four years. Last year she earned her Sate FFA Degree and plans on receiving her American Degree this year. Currently she is raising four hogs and is venturing into her own swine-breeding program. She is a leading team player for the LHS tennis team and serves as senior class vice-president and ASB Secretary fill in her spare time. She attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church where is a lector and greeter. In 2004 Carolina had the honor to represent Lindsay as their delegate to its sister city Ono City, Japan, an experience she cherishes.

This fall she plans to attend College of the Sequoias to complete her general education requirements and transfer to either Cal Poly or Fresno State. It is no surprise that she plans a career as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.

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