For over 70 years the De Soto Heritage Festival has celebrated the beauty and talent of a select group of special young women from the community by naming them to the De Soto Queen’s Court, a scholarship pageant . Candidates are recommended by the community and then the Hernando De Soto Historical Society makes its choices on the basis of character, appearance, scholastic ability, high morals, and personality. The current De Soto Queen’s Court serves as good-will ambassadors for the Hernando De Soto Historical Society and Manatee County through the Spring of 2014.
Requirements for eligibility:
- -Age requirement of 18 years of age, up to 22 at the time of application.
- -Must have graduated high school by June 2014.
- -Must be a permanent resident of Manatee County for the past 6 months.
- -Required to be single, never having been married.
- -Has never been pregnant.
- -Has never been charged or convicted of a crime.
- -Has never been involved with illegal drugs.
If a young lady is selected as one of the Queen’s Court contestants, they will be required to attend rehearsals on Saturday’s beginning in February 2015 through the end of April. For the young lady selected as our Queen, their availability for the reigning year is imperative! It is extremely important that if they are attending school or working locally, speaking with a school counselor or employer is a must to avoid scheduling conflicts with activities in conjunction with the Festivals (April 2015 through April 2016). We feel it would be most difficult for one to participate as actively as required if there is a commute of more than two hours to Manatee County.
2014-2015 Queens Court
Devin Deanne Brinkley
Devin Deanne Brinkley is the 20 year old daughter of Kyle and Deanna Brinkley. She has blonde hair and green eyes and is a 2012 graduate of Manatee High School. While in high school, she was active in Key Club, Ocean Awareness Club, and Honors Government. Currently Devin attends the State College of Florida where she interns with Mote Marine. Her hobbies include running, wakeboarding, diving, and choreographing dance. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with local Animal Shelters. Devin’s future plans include becoming a real estate investor and to continue studying marine life on the side.
QuinLynne Ellanore Kalish
QuinLynne Ellanore Kalish is the 19 year old daughter of Johnny and Shelley Jander. She has brown hair and green eyes and is a 2014 graduate of Manatee High School. While in high school she was a member of Mam’Selles service club and was selected to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security in Washington, D.C. She also was an active 4-H member where she won numerous equestrian achievements including placing Grand Champion in Hunter Geldings and was the only rider from Manatee County to qualify for the 4-H Southern Regional’s Horse Show. Currently QuinLynne attends the State College of Florida and continues her love for horses by working the Polo Club. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, crafting, and attending concerts. QuinLynne’s future plans are to attend Florida State University to continue her education with a double major is Psychology and Criminology.
Savannah Elizabeth McGee
Savannah Elizabeth McGee is the 18 year old daughter of Steven and Pamela McGee. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and is a 2014 graduate of Manatee High School. While in high school she graduated in the top 10% of her class, was a Debutante, and was active in Mam’Selles service club where she was the only member to be on board all four years. Currently Savannah attends University of Central Florida where she is in the top 10% of the 2014 class and is an active member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. In her spare time, she enjoys calligraphy, going to Disney, and working with Starlite Princess Parties where has the opportunity to visit terminally ill children/families or charity events. Savannah’s future plans include graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Hospitality and Communication, get married, and settle down in Bradenton.
Sadie Alexis Montanus
Sadie Alexis Montanus is the 21 year old daughter of Keith Montanus and Jennifer Eddy. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and is a 2011 graduate of Bradenton Christian School and a 2014 magna cum laude graduate of Florida State University. In addition to receiving numerous academic honors in high school and college, Sadie lettered in 4 different varsity sports and held many leadership roles while in college which include Council of the Student Alumni Association and Chairwoman of the Seminole Investment Club. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano, baking, traveling, and volunteering with Junior League of Manatee County. Sadie’s future plans are to lobby in the commercial aerospace industry.
Celeste Bailey Mosley
Celeste Bailey Mosley is the 19 year old daughter of Clint and Tiffney Mosley. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and is a 2014 graduate of Palmetto High School. While in high school she served as class president and varsity cheer captain as well as being involved in SGA and the delegate sent by rotary to Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders. Currently Bailey attends the University of South Florida where she is a Zimmerman advertising inductee and a member of Rotaract USF. In her spare time, she enjoys making costumes and jewelry. Bailey’s future plans include graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Mass Communications and pursue a career in sports broadcasting.
Francesca Marie Ricciardo
Francesca Marie Ricciardo is the 20 year old daughter of Robert and Pasquina Ricciardo. She has brown hair and brown eyes and is a 2012 graduate of Cardinal Mooney. While in high school, she was the cheerleading captain, Key Club member, and a member of the Joey Powers Foundation for Cancer. Currently Francesca attends the University of South Florida where she is a member of Psychology club. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, teaching, and traveling and also volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and collecting money for pediatric cancer research. Francesca’s future plans include obtaining a Master’s degree in Psychology and to work helping and counseling children.
Ellie Elizabeth Sharp
Ellie Elizabeth Sharp is the 20 year old daughter of Steven and Kathleen Sharp. She has brown hair and brown eyes and is a 2013 graduate of Palmetto High School. While in high school she graduated in the top 10% of her class, was the treasurer of the National Honor Society, was active with the school newspaper, and a cheerleader. Currently Ellie attends the State College of Florida where she is on the Dean’s List. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, crafting, and being active with the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Ellie’s future plans are to receive a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in educational leadership and become a Principal in a local Elementary School.
Stephanie Anne Tuner
Stephanie Anne Tuner is the 19 year old daughter of Mike Turner. She has brown hair and green eyes and is a 2014 graduate of Palmetto High School. While in high school she was the co-editor of the school newspaper, a member of National Honor Society and Mam’Selles service club, was a Golden Herald nominee, and is a Junior Leadership Manatee Alumna. Currently Stephanie is a student at the University of Central Florida where is a member of Volunteer UCF and a member of the UCF Advertising Club. In her spare time she enjoys boating, painting, and spending time with family. Stephanie’s future plans are to graduate with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations.
Abigail Sloan VanOstenbridge
Abigail Sloan VanOstenbridge is the 20 year old daughter of Scott and Susan VanOstenbridge. She has brown hair and blue eyes and is a 2012 graduate of Bradenton Christian School. While in high school she received many academic and athletic honors and was active in National Honor Society, Beta Club, and was a MVP Volleyball player. Currently Abi attends State College of Florida where she is on the Dean’s List, played Volleyball, and was on the FCSAA Academic All-Team. In her spare time she enjoys Volleyball and reading. Abi’s future plans are to receive a degree in education and become a guidance counselor.
Alexandra Deane Watson
Alexandra Deane Watson is the 19 year old daughter of Steve and Edie Deane-Watson. She has brown hair and blue eyes and is a 2014 graduate of Bradenton Christian School. In high school Alex played volleyball and captained the soccer team which led to her being voted Female Athlete of the Year. She was a member of National Beta Club, National Honor Society, Reinaunce Service Club, a 2013 Debutante and graduated with honors. Currently Alex attends Tallahassee Community College where she is a mentor with Girls on the Run as a Running Buddy and is Manager at M&M Monogramming. In her spare time she enjoys painting and dancing. Alex’s future plans are to receive a degree in preservation architecture and preserve historical landmarks as well as identify new ones.