The Blog

Where’s Hernando? Fall 2015

hernando-de-soto-queen-2015It was 6:30 on a hot and steamy July morning when I arrived at the DeSoto float, the San Cristobal, to start my journey with a group of Manatee County’s finest business leaders, also known as the Crewe of DeSoto. Each crew member is colorfully outfitted in uniform and armed with a variety of beads and coins to greet the groups at the Friendliest Catch Fishing Tournament for the physically and mentally challenged. As the DeSoto float and Crewe arrived at Ken Thompson Park we handed out beads and welcomed groups of individuals from several of Manatee and Sarasota County’s organizations. Based on he smiles and laughter, I would say that it was a good day spent doing what the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society does best: giving back to the community.

This year’s goal as the Crewe of Hernando DeSoto is to represent 100% by making a difference in and around our community. Either by just making a child smile or helping to raise money for a worthy cause, we want to make a difference. With events such as, spending a morning at Camp Flying Eagle with the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis’s Christmas in July, Cornerstone Walk for Life, and the Rubonia Mardi Gras Golf Tournament Fundraiser, Kiwanis Toys-For-Tots just to name a few the 25 plus event appearances in our community.

For over 76 years the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society has been supporting charities and businesses in Manatee County. The DeSoto parade has made an impact on families and put smiles on children’s faces for decades. The Hernando DeSoto Historical Foundation is our way of supporting nonprofit organizations within Manatee County through a grant process of giving back to our community.

Be sure to look out for the Crewe of Hernando DeSoto at a location near you soon!

— Hernando de Soto 2015-2016, Bob Richardson

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From our Queen: Fall Chronicles of the Crown

I can’t believe that I am already 6 months into my reign as DeSoto Queen 2015. I can’t wait to see what is to come in the holiday season.

October has been the busiest month yet with the DeSoto Crewe and appearances.

We have done a lot of local events, including attending Walk for Life, Rubonia Mardi Gras golf tournament, Mexicali Capture, Downtown Bradenton’s farmer’s market, Sisterhood of the Crown Masquerade Ball, Manasota B.U.D.S. walk and the Breast Cancer Walk.

Manasota B.U.D.S. (Bringing Up Down Syndrome) walk was held at Hunsader Farms on a beautiful fall day. Meeting the children that were walking and their families was one of the most special events that I have been to thus far during my reign. I was able to talk to the kids while handing out beads before they started the walk.  Hearing their stories and their interests was amazing; I could have listened for hours!

One little girl about four years old couldn’t take her eyes off of my sparkly crown. When I bent down and let her touch it, her eyes lit up and her smile was so big from ear to ear. It’s the little things like this that makes me feel so lucky to be in the position that I am in. Although we are there for the kids to make theirdays special, our days are made and our hearts are left full by their positive attitudes and bright smiles.

In the middle of month, the Royal Family took a trip to Panama City to attend the Dominique Youx festival. It was great to see everyone from the past festivals that I have befriended and also meeting new friends. We took our float all the way up to Panama City. Yes, the Float Crewe drove the San Cristobal all 8 hours! Aren’t they awesome? We had the float for the parade and it also made an appearance on T.V. when myself and our Hernando, Bob Richardson, got interviewed for live news!

During the month we also returned and captured my alma mater, Palmetto High School! (Go Tigers!) It was wonderful to see everyone from my high school and be able to share a place that is so close to my heart with the Crewe. It was fun, and a little bittersweet, to walk on the football field one last time.

For DeSoto events, the royal family helped with the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society’s Crewe Golf Tournament. This tournament benefited Miracle League of Sarasota. It was a very fun day on the golf course for everyone who participated. It was great to see all of the members who participated. Princess Bailey and myself were working a fundraiser and got to meet the different members of the community who participated as well. We also attended S.O.T.C.’s annual masquerade ball! We danced the night away in our ball gowns and masks. We had such a great time with all of the past DeSoto royalty!

I hope you enjoy some of my personal pictures I have taken this past month!


Your Queen,

Ellie Sharp