Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lilibeth Leon crowned Miss Tennessee Latina 2008/2009

Incoming Miss Tennessee Latina is in the Class of 2010 at UT-Chattanooga

One woman cried, “Viva Latinoamerica!” while others sang cheers for Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua and others

"It's good that there are events like this that unite us"

Photo and story courtesy of Latino News. Editing in English by Hispanic Nashville Notebook. More photos are here, and the original article in Spanish is here.

This year’s crowning of Miss Tennessee Latina was a true Latin American festival.

A Venezuelan man interviewed outside the event said, “It’s good that there are events like this that unite us among the different countries, and we can share some time with people of other nationalities.” And that is Miss Tennessee Latina, an event where all the Latin American nations cheer on the young women who highlight the personal and cultural attributes of the Hispanic heritage that they possess along with all young women of Hispanic descent.

Once again, the tenacity of organizer Marjorie Weller pulled her through at a time when it is not easy to get sponsors or resources. It was a simple and brilliantly elegant ceremony. Winners were chosen in three different categories to represent our state at nationals in Miami late next summer.

There was no lack of commentary among the cheering sections in the audience when the results were announced, possibly because Mexico swept the top spots in each of the three divisions of the competition: Miss Tennessee Latina, Miss Teen Tennessee Latina, and Miss Tennessee Latina Princesa. It might have gone unnoticed by some that the jurors had American, Mexican, and Cuban heritage, and in our opinion the decision was truly difficult but a good one for all three divisions.

The pageant was held in the comfortable venue of Salon de Fiestas El Sol in Madison on November 22, with about 300 people attending. Sponsors included the beauty product brand Rodan + Field, El Manjar Restaurant, La Ilusión Bridal Shop, El Sol bakery, beauty salon Dolce’s of Brentwood, and Latino newspaper.

Mariela Flores and Audrey Taveras, Miss Tennessee Latina 2007 and Miss Teen Tennessee Latina 2007, respectively, presented the crowns to the new reigning queens, who were as follows:

Miss Tennessee Latina 2008: Lilibeth Leon (Mexico)
First Runner-Up: Laura Gruber (Venezuela)

Miss Teen Tennessee Latina 2008: Alexia Medina (Mexico)
Miss Pre-Teen Tennessee Latina 2008: Elizabeth Lara (Mexico).

Other honors awarded:
Miss Ambassador: Gabriela Espinoza
Miss Photogenic: Michelle Muñoz
Miss Congeniality: Laura Gruber
Miss Community Service: Laura Gruber

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