Ready to take the stage

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By Special to the Monitor

Mrs. Los Alamos, Bernadette Lauritzen is heading into her final stretch for the Mrs. New Mexico competition on June 20.

Her final attempt at fundraising concludes with a bake sale and raffle during the Chamberfest activities on June 13.

“I really enjoy fundraising for other entities,” Lauritzen said, “but I’ll be happy to see the fundraising for myself come to an end.”

Lauritzen has had to raise funds to cover nearly $900 in entry fee pageant expenses.

Lauritzen also needed to come up with the sponsorship of an advertisement in the Mrs. New Mexico catalog, which was covered by the MainStreet program for the promotion of The Next Big Idea, July 18. The advertisement will give the science-related community event statewide recognition.

“I’ve been really lucky to have family, friends, neighbors and school staff willing to support my efforts by baking for the many bake sales I’ve held,” Lauritzen said. The sales were held at  Los Alamos National Bank and the  Family YMCA.

The fundraising efforts don’t end with bake sales, as Lauritzen is also selling raffle tickets.

A $5 ticket provides a chance to  win cookies delivered once a month for year. A $25 raffle ticket will net someone a homemade dinner delivered right to their door.

“I had to think of something I could do to make it appealing in these tough economic times,” Lauritzen said.

Several of her friends have also donated raffle items.

Jennifer Bartram, of Viewfinder Traveling Portraits has donated a portrait of Anderson Overlook, framed by Village Arts by Marilyn.

Linda Harlow with Avon donated a piece of jewelry, Laura Parker with Mary Kay Cosmetics donated Mary Kay products as well as  items from another home- based business and Glass Moons by Sara Kaupilla donated a piece of art from her collection.

Lauritzen said she is  amazed by the community support from CB Fox, Dr. and Mrs. Lewis Roberts, Los Alamos National Bank  and County Councilor Sharon Stover, the Chamisa PTO, YMCA and donations from school parents.

Lauritzen said she is especially grateful to Blair Leonard of  White Rock who is  a professional movie and television hair and make-up artist.

“Blair met with me to provide input on outfit selection and do my hair and makeup for the official pageant picture,” Laurtizen said.  

Lauritzen’s husband, Chad, who has been referred to as Mr. Los Alamos, will also step into the limelight on June 20 as his wife’s escort during the evening gown portion of the event.

The Mrs. New Mexico contest has three components to the competition with 25 percent in evening gown, 25 percent in swimsuit and 50 percent in the interview portion.

As a primer for the interview portion, several organizations that work with Lauritzen have containers collecting input from residents asking for their two cents on what they love most about Los Alamos or White Rock.

Lauritzen hopes to have 60 different reasons to love Los Alamos and White Rock prior to the pageant. Those sponsoring the donation stations are: the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the Los Alamos Monitor, AM 1490 KRSN radio and the Bandelier Grill in White Rock.

The containers will be collected prior to Chamberfest and the reasons will be posted for all to see.

Supporters are encouraged to  wear 60th Anniversary buttons and sit together during the pageant.

During the pageant, “I hope to meet Mrs. Española while at the pageant and in tribute to the Juntos program which joins youth in the communities, to invite her up to take part in the Fair and Rodeo parade,” she said.