Student stars in county’s ‘Let’s Do This!’ health campaign

September 20, 2011

By Tom Corrigan

Hillary Dominguez, 12, of Sammamish, poses near the ‘Let's Do This!’ campaign billboard on East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. By Greg Farrar

“When she was really little,” Frances Clairmont said of daughter Hillary Dominguez, “she used to point at the TV and say, ‘I’m going to do that.’”

Clairmont said that at first, she and the rest of her family really weren’t sure if Hillary was hoping to be a doctor, a model or whatever other profession was being portrayed on the screen.

“We just thought it was really cute,” Clairmont continued.

Later, Hillary, now 12, let it be known that the portrayal was the key. She began bugging her parents, lobbying hard for acting classes. Hillary was able to take — in her words — “lots and lots” of acting and singing lessons. She was 8 when she got her first part: a featured extra in a locally produced independent movie, “Dear Lemon Lima.”

Flash forward a few years and you might recognize Hillary from a Public Health – Seattle & King County’s “Let’s Do This!” campaign for 2011.

Hillary is featured on billboards, posters and in videos urging kids to lead healthy lifestyles by avoiding smoking, eating right and being active.

Very well spoken and friendly, Hillary said the campaign already has changed her own habits.

“I haven’t had a soda in three months,” she said.

On the Web

Learn more about “Let’s Do This!” from Public Health – Seattle & King County and see Sammamish resident Hillary Dominguez at the campaign’s website,

Hillary added she takes pride in having been involved with something that might help people lead better lives.

While lately she’s been working on another independent movie, doing some modeling for Nordstrom and getting ready to play the lead in a Kirkland production of “Annie,” Hillary said she’s hoping to be able to concentrate on her seventh grade studies at Pine Lake Middle School.

“I really want to be focused on my grades,” the Sammamish resident said.

Both Hillary and her mom seem well versed in Hillary’s various accomplishments to date. While she didn’t have a big part, “Dear Lemon Lima” was a good experience, Hillary said. The cast included some Disney actors who had some advice for her.

“They said to do theater,” Hillary said. “They said to explore everything theater has to offer.”

She seems to be following that advice. Besides the starring role in “Annie” at Studio East, Hillary has played various roles in area productions of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Footloose: The Musical” and several others. Venues have ranged from Village Theatre in Issaquah to spots in downtown Seattle. A production of “Fiddler on the Roof” provided her with her first singing solo. Hillary admitted that experience gave her some butterflies.

“I get nervous pretty easily,” she said. “But after a while I calmed down.”

While other gigs have given her plenty of experience, the “Let’s Do This!” campaign probably has provided her with the most exposure. When campaign ads appeared on the sides of King County Metro Transit buses, they even attracted some controversy.

Matias Valenzuela, public education coordinator for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said because the ads carried a specific message, they attracted some attention last spring during a controversy over whether Metro buses should run ads expressing political or possibly controversial viewpoints.

For the ads, Hillary played a young girl named Mia. Hillary said her friends have taken to referring to her by that name as a joke.

By the way, none of her friends are jealous of her, Hillary said.

“They just think it’s all kind of cool,” she said.

Hillary’s next big project is another production of “Annie.” She said she plans on sticking with performing for the foreseeable future.

“I know I really want to do this for a really long time if not the rest of my life,” Hillary said.

So far, she doesn’t have a favorite part or play.

“I love it all,” she said.

Tom Corrigan: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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