By Raiza Giorgi
As a local youth who has used many of the services and facilities provided by Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation over the years, this year’s Youth Rec Queen Lilly Masopust was honored to represent this year’s campaign.
“I would like to thank everyone who donated auction items, attended events, helped set up or clean up, the barbecue and kitchen crews, sold tickets, auction help, donated food for events, promoted the events, and everyone who purchased our wonderful items,” said Lilly, 16.
Based on initial numbers, the queen campaign raised about $171,000, which is one of the most successful campaigns, according to Frank Kelsey, executive director of SYV Youth Rec.
“Lilly and her entire family worked tirelessly to make this one of our most successful campaigns. She was a great queen and really made an effort to get as many people as she could to come to the events, even with having to cancel (the traditional event at) Nojoqui due to rain,” Kelsey said.
SYV Youth Rec sets a goal of raising $150,000 each year. Last year the group raised roughly $160,000 with 2018 Queen Madi Bramsen.
Lilly is the daughter of Ian and Robin Roberts Masopust of Los Olivos. She followed the path of her mother, who was the Elks Rodeo Queen in 1995 before Youth Rec split off from the larger Santa Maria Elks campaign to raise money on its own.
Lilly is proud of her roots as a sixth-generation resident of Los Olivos. Her great-great-great-grandfather lived there, and her great-great-grandparents farmed and raised cattle. The property they live on has been in their family for several generations, and at one time before Highway 154 cut in front of their property, the Roberts family also owned a restaurant.
“I love that I live in the same house my grandfather and great-grandmother grew up in. Being out on the ranch with my family, raising cattle and riding my horses are just a part of me,” Lilly said.
She has also grown up in 4-H and is now the president of her club, Valley 4-H. She shows her steers and heifers every year at the Santa Barbara County Fair and also takes her steer to jackpot shows to earn money for her cattle herd and rodeo horses.
In rodeo she competes in the California High School Rodeo Association District 7 and the Central Coast Classic Association. Lilly rides in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, break-away roping and more.
She is a sophomore at Dunn School, where she is on the basketball team and the student council.
Youth Rec continues to sponsor youth basketball and summer swim programs, support Arts Outreach youth programs, and maintain the support of local youth teams and tournaments in the Santa Ynez Valley and Los Alamos.
“I have had a great time being queen and meeting so many new people; it was truly amazing. I hope everyone enjoyed everything as much as I did. We all raised so much money for the youth of the valley,” Lilly said.
For more information on SYV Youth Rec, log onto www.syvyouthrec.org or follow the group on Instagram and Facebook.