A 21-year-old Seattle woman representing the Seattle Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is the new Miss Seafair 1991-92. She was crowned last night in ceremonies at Meany Hall at the University of Washington.
Sherene Chan, who will be a UW senior in the fall, said she'd like to become a high-school counselor. She is focusing her studies at the UW on psychology and communication.
Chan emerged the winner from 26 participants in the annual pageant. She is the daughter of Cherry Vallone and the late Gregory Chan.
In the talent portion of the pageant last Friday, Chan performed a ballet she had choreographed to a song from the score of "Phantom of the Opera."
She will reign over the rest of Seafair and represent the city in events around the state for the coming year. She won $6,000 in college scholarships; an additional $5,000 was awarded to other winners in the competition.
Besides Chan, other winners were Aradhna Forrest, Miss India Community Scholarship Pageant, first runner-up; Leanne Draeger, Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, second runner-up; Meg Coyle, Delta Tau Delta fraternity, third runner-up; and Teresa Lynn Wedeberg, Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce, fourth runner-up.
The pageant also drew protesters who staged a "Myth Seafair" event in front of Meany Hall.
Demonstrators, drawing attention to the judging criteria that include "visual poise and appearance," said the pageant reinforces inappropriate standards of beauty for young women.
"King Neptune doesn't have to do any of this beauty stuff," said Kirsten Anderberg, a UW political-science student. "Why does Miss Seafair have this additional requirement of visual poise?"
Other criteria for the 10 finalists are academic performance, their handling of an interview, creative expression or talent, and spontaneous communication skills.