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Meet our dynamic new Miss Fallbrook

 

Last updated 4/17/2008 at Noon

She sizzles with positive energy, has a warm heart and possesses a dynamic desire to serve her community. Meet 19-year-old Lynita Hernandez, our newest Miss Fallbrook.

“I am excited about all of this,” said Hernandez in a personal interview after winning the March 29 pageant.

Hernandez, who will be assisted by First Princess Chantal Ariosta and Second Princess Melissa Lopez, will reign over the 22nd annual Avocado Festival this Sunday, April 20.

“I am proud to invite all my friends from out of town to this so they can see what Fallbrook truly is; we are the Avocado Capital and we are proud of it,” Hernandez enthused. “It shows we are the Friendly Village, because we all come together for one great day.”

Hernandez, who hails from a Marine Corps family, lived on Camp Pendleton during her youth and graduated from Fallbrook High School in 2006.

When her parents, Michael and Traci Hayes, announced they were relocating to Florida, Hernandez accepted an offer from a close church friend, Liz Briel, to live with her in Bonsall so she could attend Palomar College, complete her general education courses and move on to a four-year university to achieve her goal of becoming a credentialed special needs teacher.

“Liz and I have lived together for two years and we are the closest people you’ll ever meet,” Hernandez said. “We were made for each other. I can never thank her enough. She is an amazing lady.”

Briel, officially retired, works part time at Christ The King Lutheran Church and is an artist and avid volunteer in the community.

“I look up to

because she takes the time to meet people and get to know them for who they are,” Hernandez said. “She is a great godmother and mentor.”

A high-energy young woman with great faith, a passion for dancing and cheerleading, Hernandez has several goals established.

“I love to do church activities and am looking forward to becoming a youth leader,” she explained. A six-year member of Christ The King, Hernandez is making strides toward that goal.

She is a cheer captain for Palomar Community College; cheers for JAMZ, a private cheer organization that participates in regional and national competitions; and has a goal to be a cheer coach.

“I love to teach cheer; I am in the process of becoming a cheer coach for Sullivan Middle School in Bonsall,” Hernandez said. “I have cheered since Pop Warner.”

An alumna of the Performance Dance team at Fallbrook High School, Hernandez says her love of dance originated in ballet and jazz.

“I attended the Ballet Society in Fallbrook and what I learned from Jackie Hepner is amazing,” Hernandez says. Continuing her passion for dance at Palomar, she is currently exploring choreography and finds it a rewarding creative outlet.

“Dance is a big passion in my life,” she says.

Other hobbies include anything that involves the water. “I’m a water baby,” she says. “I love the beach, surfing and boogie boarding.”

When it comes to expressing her love of Fallbrook, Hernandez bubbles with enthusiasm.

“I love going shopping in the downtown shops with my friends,” Hernandez says. “I like talking to the shop owners, getting to know the people in the businesses and getting associated with people. I feel like I’m giving back to the community by shopping here.”

She said some of her favorite food-related habits include going to the Garden Center Café for Sunday brunch and eating at Sunrize Café in Bonsall’s River Village.

On a serious note, this Miss Fallbrook also worries about her community.

“The recent loss of some of our local restaurants makes me sad; my heart goes out to them,” she says, referring to Cask ’n Cleaver Steakhouse and Sweet Leilani’s.

Hernandez also acknowledges that Fallbrook faces challenges that will require unity in the community.

“There are some problems we could solve – for instance, gang violence,” she said. “If we all came together on that and helped law enforcement in every way we could, we could make Fallbrook the biggest friendly village in the world. Other than that, it is a wonderful town.”

Seeing challenges optimistically, Hernandez says she feels all it takes is people working together to make a positive difference.

“There are small problems, but compared to the great love here, they are not big problems,” she says.

Of her experience in the Miss Fallbrook pageant, she says, “Wow! The pageant experience was amazing from the first meeting to the last rehearsal.” Hernandez says the contestants became “great friends.”

“Momma Trish

was an outstanding director,” she said. “The day of [the pageant] we were all so close; I can’t express that enough. We still have a couple of events we are doing as a group.”

“I talked to some of the judges and they said everyone did a great job,” she said. “It had to be a really hard decision. I am thankful to have [the honor] but I wish we all could have gotten something. I love all those girls. I’m glad I got to meet them all and that everyone did so well.”

Expect to see Hernandez around the community at a number of diverse venues, because she is an active young adult who has a passion for sports. “I love to go to activities at the high school – football games and other sports events.”

Ready to greet the public en masse at the Avocado Festival, Hernandez says she is anxious for visitors to Fallbrook to see what all it has to offer and to return.

“I love the Avocado Festival because it is a chance for people to see our cute shops on Main <Avenue>,” she said.

“The Avocado Festival is a great example of what we are; it’s not who we are, but through that you see we welcome visitors with open arms,” she says. “We are the Friendly Village. I hope people can see Fallbrook is a great town to visit because we have great food, shops and atmosphere.”

To top it off, this Miss Fallbrook is a big fan of avocados. Enjoying the fruit in a salad prepared with fresh greens, cucumbers and ranch dressing, she says, is “my favorite way!”

 

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