Teens from five Maui high schools are vying for the crown of the 60th Chrysanthemum Festival, a Japanese cultural event that raises funds for scholarships and the historical preservation programs of the sponsor, Maui's Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans.
The event will be Dec. 1 at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Exhibits and entertainment will be offered at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m.
Admission to the festival is free. Tickets for the dinner cost $15 each.
The queen of the festival is the contestant who raises the most money through ticket sales. This year's contestants are:
* Stacie Cuadro, 16, a senior at Baldwin High School, and the daughter of Kim and Nestor Cuadro of Wailuku. She is a member of the Roselani Na Aikane 4-H Club, Maui Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, Hawaii Swim Club and the National Honor Society at Baldwin. After graduation, she plans to study political science, preferably at Linfield College, with an eye on a career in international law.
* Andie Matayoshi, 16, a junior at Seabury Hall, daughter of Lynn and Derek Matayoshi of Pukalani. She has been a member of the Maui Dolphins Swim Club for about six years and of Art With Heart, a student-run club at Seabury. She also enjoys playing the piano. She hopes to major in business at Pacific University.
* Maile Naito, 16, a junior at King Kekaulike High School, daughter of Yoko and Masato Naito of Haiku. She is the Associated Students of King Kekaulike junior class president and a member of the Key, Leo and Japanese clubs. She plays basketball for King Kekaulike and for Upcountry Elite Basketball, and she dances for Halau Hula Kauluokala. After high school, she would like to earn a bachelor's degree in architecture and/or something in the art field.
* Brandi Anne Silva, 17, a senior at Kamehameha Schools Maui, daughter of Pamela and Billy Silva Jr. of Wailuku. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America, Spanish and Interact clubs, and the Rachel's Challenge movement at her school, and of the Wailuku Junior Tennis Club. After high school, she would like to attend college in Hawaii or on the West Coast.
* Tia Seki, 16, a junior at St. Anthony Junior Senior High School, daughter of Rae and Tom Seki of Wailuku. She is president of her junior class, Action Team captain, color guard co-captain and secretary of the band. She also is a peer mediator, student ambassador, cheerleader; a member of the National Honor Society and Interact, Spirit and Japanese clubs; and on the sporter air rifle and tennis teams. Seki is considering a career as a physician or dentist.
Proceeds support the sponsor's historical preservation projects, which are done for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, and for scholarships, given in partnership with Maui AJA Veterans Inc.
This year, $10,000 scholarships were awarded to 10 graduates of high schools on Maui.
The Chrysanthemum Festival includes the coronation of the queen. During this segment, a choreographed dance is performed by the court members and their escorts. They are preparing for this performance at weekly sessions with ballroom dance instructors Jeffrey and Lydia Dela Cruz.
Contestants also represent the Sons and Daughters and the NVMC at various events throughout the year.
For ticket or event information or to contribute, call Leonard Oka at 249-2163 or 385-7670.