http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2011/12/30/more-than-sparkly-crowns


Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - December 30, 2011

More than sparkly crowns

Miss Pleasanton heads for state pageant in Miss USA contest

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Foothill High 2010 grad Danielle Alvari, aka Miss Pleasanton, will represent her city and the Bay Area next week in a pageant being held in Palm Springs to choose Miss California, USA 2012. The winner will go on to compete in Donald Trump's Miss USA pageant in April.

"I participated in my very first pageant this past year and I have quickly developed a competitive spirit for them," said Alvari, 19. "I have discovered that pageants are, as I had hoped, more than glamorous dresses and sparkly crowns.

"They celebrate incredibly talented young women -- real girls, real role models -- who are truly assets to their families, friends and their communities."

After coming in 12th out of 160 contestants in the Miss Teenage California pageant last year, based on a 30-second speech, Alvari wanted to give it another go. She'd aged out of that contest so decided to enter Miss California, USA. She was chosen Miss Pleasanton after an application process that included a series of interviews.

"The interviews get addicting," she said, noting that many young women continue to enter one pageant after another.

"Although I don't know if you'd consider me an addict yet," she added with a laugh.

The Miss California, USA contest includes interviews, and swimsuit and evening gown judging, all judged on character, poise, confidence and personality. In the swimsuit portion, the judges will look for physical fitness. Miss USA goes on to compete for Miss Universe.

"When people hear about this they think I'm this crazy pageant girl," Alvari said, "but there's something to be said for having this experience. I've done cheerleading and dance, and I'm primed to do this type of thing."

Alvari, a sophomore at Las Positas College, believes in giving back to her community. She volunteers for the Livermore READ Project, tutoring non-native English speakers one on one. She's an ardent supporter of the American Red Cross and has donated blood every 60 days since she turned 16.

"My platform, should I win Miss California, USA, is one that is of vital importance: obesity. It's becoming an epidemic," Alvari said.

She is especially concerned about overweight trends in children.

"Girls in the contest said they used to be overweight but I never had that problem," she said, explaining that her concern stems from her mother being a dietician and her father being athletic.

"After the Miss California USA pageant, I intend to address this issue by speaking at some of the elementary schools in Pleasanton, encouraging kids to get active," she said.

Alvari was a member of the Foothill Cheer Squad that went to national championships in 2008. She also earned varsity letters in swimming, track and field, and wrestling.

"As I am a highly competitive person by nature, without question I want to compete with the best. So here I am, competing for the title of Miss California, USA 2012," she said.

Alvari has lived here all her life and attended Fairlands Elementary and Hart Middle School. She plans to transfer to a four-year university in September, possibly UCLA or the University of Texas, to major in communications. She's considering a minor in political science.

"It's an honor for me to represent my hometown of Pleasanton," she added.

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