The 2011 500 Festival princesses represent 11 Indiana colleges and universities and 24 cities and towns across the state. The young women were selected from 278 applicants based on communication skills, poise, academic performance, and community and volunteer involvement. The 500 Festival has narrowed the field to 33 princesses who will serve as ambassadors for the 2011 500 Festival.
In this blog series we will introduce you to the 500 Festival Princesses, share what they are doing in Indiana communities and their tips for the month of May. We will also share their dream line-up of 33 drivers from TheGreatest33.com. Want to earn bragging rights by sharing your line-up with friends and family too? Be sure to click the “share” feature after finalizing and submitting your line-up!
With 25 days remaining until the Indy 500, we’re pleased to introduce you to Ashlyn and Fayeann!
School: Ball State University
Number of years you have attended the Indy 500? Never been! The 500 Festival Parade? Also a new experience for me!
Your tips for someone attending the Indy 500 for the first time: Because I grew up in southern Indiana, over three hours away from Indy, it was never a tradition in my family to make the trip to Speedway for the race each Memorial Day. I’m most excited to experience the 500 and see what everyone has been raving about! I know that last year was the hottest race in history, so staying hydrated and wearing sunscreen is a must. If anyone has any tips for me as a first timer, I would love to hear them!
Your tips for someone attending the 500 Festival Parade for the first time: Because it’s the third largest parade in America, I’m sure arriving along the parade route to claim your seat early is a must. The biggest tip that the princesses have heard is if you know someone in the parade (and want them to see you!) be sure to bring a big sign!
This is what I am doing in my community as a representative of the Princess Program: In my hometown and college community, I am partnering with organizations I have a personal connection with. At Ball State, I’m doing outreaches with College Mentors for Kids, the Muncie Children’s Museum, and various schools and nursing homes in the area. At home in Jasper, I’m volunteering at the Dubois County Museum, speaking to elementary and high school students, as well as promoting the event to the local Kiwanis Club. Additionally, I want to show my support of racing by singing the National Anthem and passing out trophies at the Bloomington Speedway. Finally, I’m trying to support my fellow princess by attending their outreaches and helping out with all the 500 Festival events that I can!
My Greatest 33 Line-up and what’s worth checking out at TheGreatest33.com: On my greatest 33, I chose many rookies who did incredible things at the race. Like me, they experienced their first Indianapolis 500 in a big way and made their mark on its history! TheGreatest33.com was a big help in picking my drivers, because I’m not a racing buff. One driver I wish I could have included in my line up is Spike Gehlhausen, also a young rookie of the year, from my hometown of Jasper, Indiana. What a race it would be if all these drivers actually got to compete together!
This May, I’m most looking forward to seeing: The Pace Car reunion!
School: Ball State University
Number of years you have attended the Indy 500? This is my very first time! The 500 Festival Parade? This will be my first time as well!
Your tips for someone attending the Indy 500 for the first time: This is my very first time attending the Indianapolis 500!
Your tips for someone attending the 500 Festival Parade for the first time: This is also my first time attending the 500 Festival Parade, and what better a time than when I am serving as an ambassador to the Indy 500 events!
This is what I am doing in my community as a representative of the Princess Program: As a representative of the Princess Program I have planned and scheduled various events throughout my community. I have created a multi-media presentation to showcase the history and fun facts about the Indianapolis 500. I have been sharing this with elementary schools from Jackson and Jennings County. I have also made an Indianapolis 500 Jeopardy game to share with local nursing homes. In addition, I will be appearing and participating in events at the Brownstown Speedway where we will be making a video to submit for the Back Home Again in Indiana Contest.
I am hosting an after school program at Hayden Elementary with 4-6th grade girls. Here I will speak about self-esteem and proper etiquette; we will also have race day snacks. I am volunteering at Girls Incorporated where I will do various crafts including making princess sashes. Lastly I am volunteering at an event titled Princess for a Day, which is a fundraiser and silent auction benefiting Flashes of Hope. “Flashes of Hope is a nonprofit organization that changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography and raises money for pediatric cancer research.”
My Greatest 33 Line-up: To see Fayeann’s Greatest 33 Line-up click here.
This May, I’m most looking forward to: The Back Home Again in Indiana Contest!