CCLP/DAVID MORRIS Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant owner Maura Martinez gives a thumbs up to the royalty as they visit the restaurant for dinner, Wednesday afternoon.  Giovanni’s has joined the sponsors list for the inaugural Five Hills Scholarship Pageant with their commitment for the 2016-17 year.

Giovanni’s joins Five Hills program, adding to prize packages


Cove Leader-Press


Gathered around the dinner table, members of the 2016 Rabbit Fest Royalty shared about their year as they were treated to a family style meal thanks to Giovanni’s restaurant, one of the newest sponsors to join the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant family.  

“We are able to help and this is something different than helping a school or civic group.  Wendy works very hard with the girls and all the volunteering they do for our community and we want to contribute to that process,” Emmanuel Aguillar, Giovanni’s manager, said. “I would not have guessed that this group would have 5,000 hours of community service. That’s amazing. For us, everybody counts and that is why we decided to award for all the royalty winners from fourth place to the title winner.” 

The Italian eatery is providing a $20 gift certificate to each of the members of the royalty court, and contestants who place in the top four of each age bracket as well as opening their doors for an annual celebration for the titleholders.

“I am surprised to see the variety of ages who participate in the pageant,” Giovanni’s owner, Maura Martinez, said. “It is great to see members of the royalty from all ages and all that they have accomplished in the year-long reign and that is why we want to open our doors to them.”

Giovanni’s will also be catering the meal for judges and workers of the pageant between the doubleheader on May 13 at Lea Ledger Auditorium.

“This is the first time we have done anything this large as a sponsorship,” said Martinez. “We have participated with a few civic clubs but nothing as big as our commitment to the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant. We have to pick and choose who we can help, and learning about their community service, this is something we want to participate with.”

Other sponsors to join the family of the pageant include WB Development who is providing the 13 educational savings bonds for the incoming court, Bill French Jewelers who sponsored the custom crowns, Dell computers who is providing a laptop to the Ambassador and Anytime Fitness who is providing fitness packages to the older members of the court.

“Our contestants in this year’s pageant will be blessed with the continued support of our sponsors again this year with passes to Austin Zoo and Spurs game of their choice to gift certificates to local restaurants which is also great for our local small businesses,” pageant directory Wendy Sledd said. “ Our contestants ages 9 and older also receive a day of beauty valued at more than $300 per contestant to help them prepare for the pageant.  Total value of prizes for this group of contestants is $600+.”

Contestants ages 9-50 will receive hair styling services, make-up application, tanning sessions, manicure and pedicure, and tattoo coverage to prepare for pageant. All contestants will receive a customized cast iron Five Hills Scholarship Pageant medal in addition to perfume/cosmetics, salon and restaurant gift cards, professional sporting events, zoo and museum tickets, one month of martial arts or self-defense lessons and more including a spa facial for use by the contestants or their moms. 

Contestants will receive a lip color matching session prior to the pageant. The Pre-Teen and Young Miss categories will receive one month of gymnastics, dance, or cheer lessons. 

Prizes for the Miss, Ms. and Sr. Ms. categories receive a free It Works! body wrap session ($25 value) prior to competition on May 11, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.  All contestants in the Teen/Miss/Ms./Senior Ms. categories will also receive a private one-on-one fitness session with fitness professional Beatrice Greene following the pageant and those selected for the court (1st-4th runner up) in each category will receive prizes of gym memberships, jewelry, cosmetics, salon certificates, restaurant gift cards, and custom-made official Five Hills Scholarship Pageant crystal platters engraved with placement.  

“The pageant requires our older contestants to speak publicly on stage in front of a live audience and develop those skills as well as perform community service work,” Sledd added. “It is those prizes for all contestants that entice them get out of their comfort zone and enter the pageant. Without a doubt, the pageant would not be the largest community pageant in the state of Texas without the support of our sponsors which draws the contestants.”

Registration forms can be downloaded from the city Parks and Recreation website at or may be picked up at the civic center at 1206 W. Ave. B.  All applications must be postmarked or turned in to the civic center no later than Monday, May 1.  

Civic center hours are 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday - Friday.

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