Valley Center, CA
June 7, 2023
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

Amanda Yates wants to give back as Honorary Mayor

Amanda Yates is running for Honorary Mayor, representing the Valley Center Pageant.
“I’ve been with the program for eight years,” she told The Roadrunner. “So I kind of grew up with them. It’s cool that I get to represent them, instead of just having a title.” During her time with the pageant, Yates has won five titles, the most recent being Miss Valley Center First Princess. She has also been a Junior Princess, Junior Miss Valley Center and three times as a Princess.
She described why she is so devoted to the program. “It’s more than just having a crown,” she said. “You get to give back to your community and make friends. It’s a great group.” Amanda Yates graduated from Palomar College with a degree in social and behavioral sciences.
Since she was little she has been around at and worked at Nurtured by Nature, which is operated by her family. “We’ve had Nurtured by Nature since 2008,” she said. “We provide exotic animal encounters for Make a Wish and also to fund those programs through animal educators, provided to the public by reservation. Our main thing is Swimming with Otters.”
They have other animals too, including a capybara, kangaroos, lemurs, armadillos, porcupines and a toucan. “My job is curator of reptiles. I’m in charge of our 200-plus reptiles, lizards, snakes, tortoises and other reptiles,” she said. Nurtured by Nature is in the process of moving its main production to its Pauma Valley Property. “It’ll be a very interactive,” said Yates. “Hopefully we can provide to a lot more people. You’ll be able to feed lizards and snapping turtles and monitors.”
Ninety percent of the funding she will raise as Honorary Mayor candidate will go back to scholarships for local high school seniors. “Everything we are raising goes back to the kids,” she said.
Although it is customary for Honorary Mayor candidates to make silly promises,” she is taking a different approach. “We’re serious about representing Valley Center. It’s big boots to fill. Cowboy boots, of course!” she said.
To raise money, members of the pageant are selling raffle tickets to a picnic, including everything that you need for the picnic. Tickets cost $5 and you don’t need to be present at the drawing to win. “To buy a ticket, find a girl with a crown and you’ll find your ticket,” she said. The drawing is Friday June 2 at the Guns and Hoses chili cookout.
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