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South Texas Living

Meet the Miss La Vernia contestants

Meet the Miss La Vernia contestants
(l-r) Sara Wiatrek, Mikayla Garza, Audrey Mayes, Kayla Gladstone, and Kimberley De La Torre

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May 7, 2014
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Meet the five candidates seeking the title, and plan now to attend the La Vernia Lions Club’s Miss La Vernia Scholarship Pageant this Friday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in the La Vernia High School auditorium.

Members of this court travel South Texas, appearing in parades and at fund-raisers and other public events, as ambassadors for their city and community. The pageant’s aim is “... to inspire, motivate, and lift young ladies to the realization that they are strong, independent, capable people who can accomplish anything,” according to the Lions Club website,

Mikayla Garza

Age: 16

Grade: junior, La Vernia High School

Parents: Vincent and Susan Garza

Sponsor: Mag7, Susan Garza.

She is the youngest of seven children. “The most important things in my life are my relationship with God and my family,” Mikayla said. “I have been homeschooled most of my life until January 2014 of this year.”

School: Mikayla participates in Bears Care Student Volunteer Program and the student blood drive.

Church: She volunteers with the Hope Church children’s ministry, sings with the adult praise and worship team, and has led worship with a youth band at camp and the “Pierced by Love” youth band. She helps lead the Revolve youth group at church.

Community: Mikayla volunteers for the Church Under the Bridge Ministry, has helped lead music for Fields of Faith, and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, among other endeavors.

Along with her brother and sister, she won first place in the Wilson County’s Got Talent show.

Mikayla enjoys playing volleyball, swimming, fishing, hunting, and spending time with family and friends.


De La Torre

Age: 17

Grade: junior, La Vernia High School

Parents: Oscar and Brenda De La Torre

Sponsor: Home Vestors-Brownie Lott.

School: She plays volleyball and basketball for La Vernia High School and has been a member of the junior varsity and varsity teams. She was co-captain of the basketball team as a junior.

Community: As a member of the 4-H Club, she showed Red Angus heifers. Kimberley has played with a National Club Volleyball team since sixth grade and has helped organize the Sophie’s Faithful 5K in memory of Sophie Sparks, and helps work track meets hosted by her school.

Outside/Church: Kimberley is a member of the St. Ann’s Teen ACTS team, is a fifth-grade CCD teacher, and volunteers at the St. Ann’s parish festival.

Audrey Mayes

Age: 16

Parents: Michael and Marci Ann Mayes

Grade: sophomore, La Vernia High School

Sponsor: Kathleen’s Foods, Kathleen and Matthew Mayes.

School: She plays volleyball and has earned All-District Honorable Mention for her skills. Audrey is a member of the FFA agricultural mechanics team that qualified for state in 2013 and 2014, and has participated in numerous other FFA teams and events. She was a Model UN participant and is a member of Bears Care.

Outside/Church: She attends Hope Church, where she participates in the Revolve youth group and Rekindle. Audrey has attended YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow and has participated in the Camp Flaming Arrow “Ragger” program since 2008.

Community: She has been a participant in the La Vernia Junior Livestock Show, where she earned a blue ribbon for her swine entry, and has been a member of the La Vernia Stock Show cleanup crew. She also plays club volleyball and has been a volunteer coach at Hill’s Gym, among other volunteer work.

Kayla Gladstone

Age: 16

Grade: junior, La Vernia High School

Parents: Brian Gladstone and Daryl and Misty Kowalik

Sponsor: Embroidery Plus.

School: A member of the La Vernia Honey Bears dance team for four years, Kayla has held numerous titles on the team. She will be the colonel of the 2014-15 Honey Bears.

Kayla is a member of the La Vernia FFA and has been a member of several award-winning FFA teams, including the Junior and Senior Chapter Conducting teams. Kayla is a current member of the Poultry Judging team.

Outside/Church: She is a member of the County Line 4-H Club and has served as a club officer. She participated in the Youth Day Show at the San Antonio Rodeo. Kayla has shown hogs for six years, earning reserve grand champion twice in the La Vernia Junior Livestock and Poultry Show.

Community: She earned the Miss Congeniality 2012 title in a previous Miss La Vernia pageant. Kayla has represented and helped her community by participating in Adopt-A-Highway cleanup, volunteering at the La Vernia food pantry, the Lions Club golf tournament, Bluebonnet Festival auction, and many more Lions Club and community events.

Sara Wiatrek

Age: 16

Grade: sophomore, La Vernia High School

Parents: Gary Wiatrek and Diane Smith

Sponsor: Dumpster Picking Divas, Tracy and Kayla Snow.

School: She has played freshman and junior varsity volleyball and basketball, has been a member of the junior varsity and varsity track teams, and is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Outside/Church: Sara plays club volleyball, and assists with child care at church and student-led Bible study. She also is a youth leader in church.

Community: She volunteers for Church Under the Bridge ministries and volunteers for junior high volleyball and basketball tournaments and junior high track meets. She has participated in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walks, and has volunteered in other capacities, also.

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