The Delano Royalty Organization (DRO) was designed for one main purpose: To foster growth and leadership abilities of young women of Delano. DRO consists of approximately ten volunteers who collaboratively recruit candidates, provide scholarship, and organize community involvement and public speaking opportunities for Delano royalty.

While representing Delano, DRO candidates and ambassadors make appearances at community events around Minnesota where they promote Delano 4th of July festivities. Candidates and ambassadors also promote local businesses, network, form new friendships, and build leadership skills through community involvement. In addition to these opportunities, the ambassadors attend the St. Paul Winter Carnival. One ambassador is chosen to represent Delano at the Minneapolis Aquatennial as a candidate for the Queen of the Lakes Scholarship Program.

“During my year with the Delano royalty, I did not yet realize how the experience would promote my leadership and public speaking abilities or how valuable these skills would be in my future,” said Emily Hutter, Delano Princess 2007-2008. “After high school, I felt confident speaking to large groups and conversing with business professionals thanks to my experience with Delano royalty. My goal is to help the candidates and royalty build this same confidence and skill repertoire which is why I recently joined the DRO.”

“I’ve been the coordinator of the program for the past six years, and I can tell you that I really do see a positive change in these young women,” said Delano Royalty Organization chairperson Lesley Berscheid. “During the candidacy recruiting season, all candidates become good friends and get the chance to spend time together in the community. Going through candidacy recruitment and coronation gives the girls the opportunity to be leaders and to get on stage in front of a large crowd to work on their presentation skills. It’s amazing to see how they change just in the short couple of months during the candidacy period.”

This rewarding opportunity extends to the parents of royalty as well. Parents may take turns escorting their royalty to events if they choose. Organization members are also available when parents are unable to supervise.

Candidates and royalty are encouraged to play an active role in the community and act as ambassadors for Delano.  However, DRO recognizes schedule constraints, so few events are mandatory.

Qualifications to become a DRO candidate are as follows:

  • The female candidate must be between the ages of 17 and 22 years old.
  • Candidate must be a Delano High School student or live in the Delano School District.
  • Candidate must be actively seeking or have already received a high school diploma.
  • Candidate/royalty must be a single female, and agree that she has not been, is not now, and will not become pregnant or married or cohabitate during her candidacy and reign as royalty.
  • Candidate/royalty must be willing to always represent Delano in a positive and friendly manner.

A non-commitment, informational meeting is hosted each March. A parent of each candidate is required to attend the meeting to ensure they have full knowledge of the parent involvement required with the candidate/ambassador program.

Applications for the program are due March 31.