Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Miss Borrego 2019: Danielle Del Bono


Last updated 10/30/2019 at 2:22pm

Jolene Nacapuy

All eyes were on the stage as the crowd in the Borrego Springs High School gym in anticipation of who of the seven contestants would be named Miss Borrego 2019 – 20 on Oct. 12

With all the calculations tabulated by Kathy King, Master of Ceremonies Fred Jee made the announcements

Delaney Barclay was named Miss Congeniality, a vote made by each of the contestants. She was also awarded First Princess. Second princess went to McKinley Parker.

2018 Miss Borrego Dennise Cecena then passed on the crown to Danielle Del Bono, the 2019 – 20 winner.

Princesses from Lakeside, Julian and Ramona joined in on the festivities, showing their support for the girls through the night as they competed through the various categories.

The night began with the casual wear portion, outfits provided by Borrego Outfitters, while performing a three-minute dance to the song "Better When I'm Dancing," choreographed by Corie Loera.

Individually, contestants came back onto the stage to describe how this year's Borrego Days theme, "Bloom in Borrego," corresponded with their life and what it meant to them. Each speech given by the contestants gave similar, and yet unique messages about growing into better versions of themselves throughout the years they have been in Borrego, and that they hope to constantly inspire others.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Valeen Szabo then shared a few heartfelt words, touching on how much the ladies' speeches meant to her. She also thanked everyone for their efforts in lending a hand for this year's Borrego Days Desert Festival and Parade.

Szabo then presented Cecena a Certificate of Appreciation from Congressman Duncan Hunter, along with a gift on behalf of the Chamber.

The stage looked unique, displaying a beautiful silver backdrop filled with handmade decorations of ocotillo's and butterflies created by Leslie Duncan and the students of the Borrego Art Institute Art Program.

Andy Macuga, and his wife Polly, reflected on his first year as Honorary Mayor. He shared what it means to live in Borrego Springs, and listed many reasons why it is the best place in the world. The Mayor assured everyone that the trusty stoplight is sitting in Carlee's and will not be seen on the streets any time soon.

Judges for the evening were Candy O'Key, Jill Fleming and Sheryll Loftin, who critiqued each contestant carefully, based on personal statements, casual dress, individual speeches, formal wear, and their posture/poise.

Pageant Director Sylvana Meeks put on a wonderful evening yet again, with all her hard work and dedication to this event with the participating ladies.

Following a brief intermission, the ladies were escorted back onto the stage by their partners in their star-studded elegant evening gowns, as the crowd cheered them on.

Prior to announcing who would be crowned the new Miss Borrego, Cecena shared words of wisdom to each contestant, plus what she has learned over the last year as the reigning queen.

"I hope the responsibilities given to you will craft you into the best version of yourself, like it did with me. Most of all, don't lose love and faith in your community," she said.

Cecena thanked the community and those involved with the pageant – Sylvana Meeks, Corie Loera, Fred Jee, the Chamber of Commerce, and her loving parents.

"To my community and my people, I am honored to have been able to represent you. As I leave here tonight crowning the new queen, I walk away knowing that I am not only a greater person for the journey that came with the crown, I walk away knowing in my heart that I gave it my most, and that I am able to share that with the next generation."

She added that despite any negativity or obstacles, "the crown reminds you that you are strong, and to be the backbone of the community. Leaving a positive mark for future ladies to follow, that is what makes you a queen."

Look for Miss Borrego Danielle Del Bono, First Princess Delaney Barclay and Second Princess McKinley Parker, along with the rest of the court in the Borrego Days Parade Oct. 19.