The following 17 women will compete for the title of the 2018 Greater Alliance Carnation Festival queen.
Leelee Weatherspoon, a senior at University of Toledo, is the 20-year-old daughter of Eve Weatherspoon. She is sponsored by Tanner Real Estate.
When Weatherspoon has free time, she enjoys reading, running and both leading and attending leadership camps. Her favorite TV show is "Game of Thrones," her favorite color is orange, favorite food is pickles and her favorite musical artists are Panic! At the Disco and Chance the Rapper.
Weatherspoon describes herself as original.
If Weatherspoon could have one power, she would choose to fly so she could vacation without paying airfare and visit her family with ease.
She has her sights set on traveling to Thailand someday.
Weatherspoon is a part of the Mortar Board National Honor Society — top 30 leaders at University of Toledo and a part of the Blue Key National Honor Society – top 13 leaders at the University of Toledo.
Weatherspoon’s role model is her mother because of her driven personality. This is something that Weatherspoon has always loved about her mother, along with the fact that her mother passed on the same ideals of being willful and driven.
Once Weatherspoon graduates, she plans to become a medical social worker, move out of state and marry her long-term boyfriend.
She has been attending Carnation Festival Events for 20 years, and her favorite is Days in the Park.
"The balloon liftoff and fireworks are always so good and they get people to come outdoors," Weatherspoon said.
Weatherspoon is content with the festival but would add more appealing attractions for teens and young adults.
She wants to be Carnation queen to pay it forward and serve the city that helped raise her.
To her, the Scarlet Carnation is significant because it is not only the Ohio state flower, but home.
Nickey Marteney is an 18-year-old senior at Marlington High School and the daughter of Helen Shell. She is sponsored by Jon Schleuder-State Farm.
Marteney’s hobbies are gaming, camping and volunteering. Her favorite TV show is "The Walking Dead," her favorite type of music is rock, her favorite color is purple. Her favorite foods are steak and salad.
Marteney describes herself as weird, shy and goofy.
One super power that she would like to have is invisibility, "you don’t have to run, like in a comic book, you would just have to go ‘missing to the eye,’" Marteney said.
Marteney would like to travel to California one day.
She received the award of Duke of the Month in March 2017.
Marteney said that her role model is her mom because even though they go through a lot, she is always there and is Marteney’s world.
While having fun, in the future Marteney would like to settle down, get a house and maybe start a family someday.
To Marteney, the Scarlet Carnation is significant because the moment President McKinley took the carnation off to give it to a kid, he was assassinated.
Marteney would like to be Carnation queen because she thinks it will be a fun experience that helps her break out of her shell.
Abby Moore, the daughter of Mark and Kristi Moore, recently graduated from Alliance High School and is 18 years-old. Her sponsor for the 2018 summer is Ron Moore Jr. Art Studio.
Moore has many hobbies, including bowling, fishing, eating ice cream and spending time with her family and friends. Moore’s favorite TV show is "Criminal Minds," her favorite singer is Ed Sheeran and her favorite color is pink. She enjoys Chinese food the most.
In one word, she describes herself as caring.
If Moore could have one power, she would choose the ability to heal people, so no one would have to suffer anymore.
One place Moore wants to travel someday is Haiti, "so I can help at the orphanage that my friend was adopted from and one day adopt my own child," Moore said.
Moore was a member of the National Honor Society, she graduated at the top 10 percent of her class, was NBC first-team Stark Country for bowling, was Alliance Review athlete of the week in 2015 and 2018, and was the top bowler for Alliance High School all four years she was there.
Moore’s role model is her mother because she said her mom has taught her how to be strong and be herself. Moore also added that her mother helped her become the person she is today.
Moore’s future plans are to attend Walsh University and pursue her bowling career.
She has attended the Carnation Festival events for 18 years and her favorite event is the pet show. She enjoys the pet show most because she participated in it for many years, winning first and second place, and loves to see all the animals.
If Moore could change one thing, she would like to see more activities for teens during Days in the Park, or any other time throughout the festival.
The Scarlet Carnation is significant to Moore because it was founded in Alliance and worn by President McKinley.
Moore wants to be Carnation queen so she can be a role model for little girls and be an ambassador for the great city of Alliance.
Jena Bennett, the 19-year-old daughter of Charlie and Amy Bennett, is a sophomore at Stark State College. Her sponsor is Amy’s Hair Design.
Bennett most enjoys her free time when she is barrel racing and horseback riding. Bennett’s favorite TV show is "The Ranch," her favorite band is Florida Georgia Line and favorite color is red.
To describe herself in one word, she chose ambitious.
If Bennett could have any power, she would want the ability to be invisible so she could see things without others knowing.
Bennett said that someday she would love to travel to Sicily.
Bennett’s achievements include membership in National Honor Society, being a part of Beta Club and being the head majorette.
Her role model is her dad because he has always been there for everything, including all her horse shows and sporting events.
In the future, Bennett wants to become a respiratory therapist and work at Akron Children’s Hospital.
This year, as Bennett runs for queen, will be her first time attending any Carnation Festival events.
Bennett wants to be Carnation queen to "learn about the heritage of Alliance and help others as much as possible," Bennett said.
Emma Holodnak, 21, is a senior at Kent State University and the daughter of Rob and Michelle Holodnak. She is sponsored by Nails by Anna Runyon.
Holodnak enjoys spending her time with family and friends, laughing, reading, hiking and practicing yoga. Her favorite TV show is "The Office," her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is snow crab, her favorite musician is Elvis and favorite band is Panic! At the Disco.
Holodnak describes herself as optimistic.
If Holodnak could have any super power, she would choose invisibility because that way she can sneak up on her enemies and easily defeat them.
Someday, she would like to travel to Ireland.
Holodnak’s achievements include being the Elks Teen of the Month and being on merit roll and honor roll. She also was the Sebring Fireman’s Festival queen and homecoming queen.
Her role model is her grandpa Bob. Holodnak said that he is the most down-to-earth man she has ever met and wishes to be like him one day.
Holodnak plans to graduate with her bachelor’s in psychology, attend Kent State University for her masters and doctorate, then one day own her own practice for child psychology.
Holodnak has been attending festival events for 19 years, and her favorites are the parade and fireworks. She said she is a huge fan of parades and looking at all the floats with her family each year. But, if she could change one thing, she would add more fireworks. "Alliance does a beautiful job with their fireworks and I never want them to end," Holodnak said.
To Holodnak, the significance of the Scarlet Carnation comes from 1876, when President McKinley started wearing the Scarlet Carnation.
Holodnak would like to be queen because she has always loved pageants and she wants to show little girls that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
Jessica DeVore is a senior at Marlington High School. The 17-year-old is the daughter of Lewie and Lisa DeVore and is sponsored by DeVore’s Custom Restoration.
DeVore enjoys doing anything that involves being outdoors. Her favorite TV show is "Friends," her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is mozzarella sticks, and her favorite musician is Billy Currington.
In a word, she describes herself as determined.
If DeVore could have one super power, it would be the ability to fly so she can travel the world.
Someday, she said she would like to travel to Paris.
DeVore was chosen to be part of Marlington High School’s Link Crew.
DeVore’s role model is her mom. DeVore said it is because they are so alike and her mother is very determined and strong.
In the future, Devore wants to become a travel agent and start her own family.
She has been attending the Carnation Festival events for "as long as I can remember, since I was in a stroller," DeVore said.
DeVore’s favorite event is the Glamorgan Castle Tour because of all the history in the castle and the amazing memories she has made there in the past.
If DeVore could change one thing about the festival, she would relocate the princess tea party to Glamorgan Castle.
DeVore said she believes that the Scarlet Carnation is significant because it is a symbol of Alliance’s place in presidential history.
She would like to be queen so she can be a positive role model and help others.
Carolyn Garrison is a recent graduate from Alliance High School. The 18-year-old is the daughter of James Garrison and Cori Cook-Pahndis. Her pageant sponsor is Givens-Grove Insurance.
Garrison is an outdoor girl who loves to fish, hike, boat and tube. "Mainly outdoor stuff is the way to go for me," Garrison said.
Her favorite TV show is "Vampire Diaries," her favorite band is Nickelback, favorite food is macaroni and cheese and her two favorite colors are pink and red.
In one word, she describes herself as outgoing.
The power she would choose to have is speed writing, so that way she could take notes without falling behind.
One day, she would like to travel to the Bahamas.
Her achievements include being a member of the National Honor Society and being on the honor roll throughout high school.
Garrison’s role model is her grandmother.
In the future, Garrison wants to attend college and major in biology, hoping to go to medical school and earn a doctorate degree.
Garrison has been attending the Carnation Festival events for as long as she has lived in Alliance, six years, and would change nothing about it. Her favorite events are the pet shows because she loves pets and how people dress their pets up and train them to do tricks.
She wants to be queen because she said she thinks it would be a great opportunity to learn more ways to be responsible and to be herself.
To her, the Scarlet Carnation is significant because it is the marking of Alliance.
Alexandra Hill, 17, is a recent graduate of Alliance High School and the daughter of James and Gail Hill. Her sponsor is the Alliance YMCA.
Hill spends her time visiting residents where her mom works, giving blood and helping homeless people. She also enjoys spending time with her pets. Hill’s favorite TV shows are "Criminal Minds," "Sailor Moon," "Gotham" and "Super Natural." She also has a few favorite bands and musicians, such as the Backstreet Boys, One Direction, Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran. Hill’s favorite color is mint green, but she likes all colors, and her favorite food is Texas Roadhouse’s pork chops.
Using a word, she describes herself as loyal.
Hill would like the have a super power that allows her to heal others because no one deserves to be in pain and everyone deserves happiness.
Hill would like to travel to Paris one day.
Hill was accepted to both Youngstown State University and the University of Mount Union. She received scholarships for college and was on honor roll and merit roll. She also competed in National American Miss.
Princess Diana is Hill’s role model, because Hill said she admires the way she broke traditions and acted by her heart.
Hill will be attending the University of Mount Union. In the future, she would like to get her doctorate in psychology so she has the ability to help people in her community.
She has been attending the Carnation Festival events for five years, and her favorite event is the pageant because she likes seeing the confidence the contestants have.
Hill would change nothing about the festival. "I love the festival as is because I love how the community comes together," Hill said.
The Scarlet Carnation is significant to Hill because when Levi Lamborn ran against President McKinley, he gave McKinley a carnation as a sign of respect.
Hill wants to be queen to show others that they can do anything if they have courage, and that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty.
Olivia Morey, 19, is a student at the University of Mount Union and the daughter of Rex and Christine Morey. She is sponsored by Hartville Lumber.
In her free time, Morey enjoys working with animals and exploring different types of art, specifically painting. Her favorite TV show is "Even Stevens," her favorite band is The Beatles, her favorite color is green and her favorite food is chicken alfredo pasta.
She describes herself as multifaceted.
If she could have one power, she would choose teleportation because it would allow her to travel anywhere instantly.
She plans to travel to Africa someday.
Morey’s achievements include being a member of National Honor Society, being on the dean’s list, receiving an alumni scholarship, and being Junior Artist at the Mount Union Art Festival. She said she has been the sticky arts winner for two of her paintings.
Her role model is her mother. "She has been through so much and always kept a positive attitude. She always puts others before herself and is so caring toward everyone she meets," Morey said.
Morey’s future plans are to finish college and pursue a career in acting while completing a vet tech program.
She has only attended Carnation Festival events for one year, but still has a favorite event. She said she enjoyed the Carnation Queen Pageant the most because she was able to cheer on her friends who were in the pageant.
If Morey could change one thing about the festival, she would make it more inclusive to other communities, so they could have the opportunity to learn about Alliance.
She decided to run for queen because she would like to be more involved in the community and represent Alliance in a positive way.
To her, the Scarlet Carnation is significant because it represents the history of Alliance.
Dyamond Green, 16, is a senior at Alliance High School and the daughter of Heather Green. She is sponsored by Stillwell Seamless Spouting.
Green enjoys swimming, fishing, helping children and is interested in sports medicine. Green’s favorite show is "Grey’s Anatomy," her favorite musician is NF, favorite color is blue and her favorite food is tacos.
In a word, Green describes herself as compassionate.
The one super power Green would choose is the ability to make sure that all kids have a loving and safe home because she said she believes that all kids deserve a stable, loving home.
Someday, Green said she hopes to travel to Europe.
Green is a NEOMED Scholar’s Day section winner.
Her role model is her mom because her mom taught her respect and morals. Green said her mom also taught her how to be a strong person.
In the future, Green wants to go to college for pediatric sports medicine.
Green has been attending Carnation Festival events for her entire life, and her favorite part is the pageant. She enjoys the pageant because it is something she looks forward to going to every year with her aunt, and she enjoys seeing all the girls dressed up and having fun.
Green said she believes that the significance of the Scarlet Carnation is to honor President McKinley.
Green wants to be Carnation queen because, "I want to be an active part of the community that children can look up to," said Green.
Maddie Dustman is the daughter of Bill and Carla Dustman. She is 18 years old and a recent graduate of West Branch High School. Her sponsor is Marketing 5.0.
Dustman is interested in psychology and criminology and enjoys playing the trumpet, clarinet and violin. Her favorite show is "The Walking Dead," her favorite color is blue, favorite food is pickles and her favorite musician is Elvis Presley.
Dustman uses the word quirky to describe herself.
If Dustman could have one power, she would choose to be telepathic because she wants to be a psychologist, so it would help her in her career.
Someday, Dustman would like to travel to Italy.
Dustman was the president of her school’s band, a National Honor Society member, a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and a recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award.
Dustman’s role model is her mom because, "she manages to be a full-time mother, take care of my niece while her mother is working and keep the house afloat," Dustman said.
Dustman will be attending the University of Mount Union to pursue a career in psychology and criminal justice in the future.
Dustman has attended the Carnation Festival events for 16 years. Her favorite event is the air balloon liftoff because her whole family always went to watch together.
Dustman would like the festival to be more inclusive. She would open more events, not just for families, but for the elderly, outcasts and anyone else.
To Dustman, the Scarlet Carnation is significant because it is Ohio’s representation and our connection to the federal government.
She wants to be queen because she wants to inspire younger girls to be confident in themselves.
Natalie Bert, 18, is the daughter of Terry Bert and Stephan Alexi. She is an Alliance High School graduate and her sponsor for the summer is Heggy’s Confectionary.
Bert’s favorite TV shows are "Riverdale," "Law and Order" and "Criminal Minds. Her favorite color is green, favorite food is pineapples and her favorite musician is Lauren Daigle.
In one word, she said she is self-motivated.
If Bert could have any super power, she would choose teleportation because it makes travel faster.
One day, Bert said she would like to travel to Italy.
Bert is an Investment Alliance award winner, was a two-year member of National Honor Society and she graduated in the top 10 percent of her class.
Bert’s role model is her mother because Bert said that her mom is strong-willed and dedicated.
In the future, Bert plans to attend the University of Mount Union and major in marketing.
She has been attending Carnation Festival events for 12 years, and her favorite is Carnation Idol because she loves to sing.
Bert said there is nothing she would change about the festival.
Bert said that she believes the Scarlet Carnation is significant because of the sentimental connection it has to President McKinley.
She wants to be queen because, "I would love to represent the city I grew up in and love," Bert said.
Dynasty Ford, 17, is the daughter of Shelley Hathaway and a senior at Alliance High School. She is sponsored by Lamp Post Properties.
Ford enjoys reading, working out, listening to music, astrology and spending time with her younger sisters. Ford’s favorite show is "Grey’s Anatomy," her favorite food is steak, favorite color is pink and favorite musicians are Maroon 5 and Beyoncé.
Ford describes herself as compassionate.
She would like the ability to see people’s intentions, so she could use the super power to know their heart.
Ford said she will someday travel to Africa.
Ford has been on the honor roll throughout all her schooling, she is a HOBY leadership attendee and an Alliance Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month.
Her role model is a former teacher, Mrs. Jackson, because she was a former Carnation Queen, and Ford has always looked up to her and taken her advice, even after leaving her class.
Ford’s future plans are to go to college for a degree in psychology and become a prison psychologist.
She has attended Carnation Festival events for three years, and her favorite is the Carnation Day Parade. She enjoys this event because she is in the band and enjoys performing in the parade.
"I would love for the celebrations to last longer because it’s so fun and brings the community together," Ford said when asked what she would change about the festival.
The Scarlet Carnation is significant to Ford because it is the official flower of Ohio and Ford said Ohio is her home and where her heart is.
Ford wants to be Carnation queen because she would love the opportunity to represent the city that helped shape her into the person she is and become a role model for others.
Bri Bondoni, 18, is a sophomore at the University of Mount Union and daughter of Paula and Jim Bondoni Jr. Her sponsor is JC Masonry Construction.
Bondoni spends her free time singing and playing travel softball. Her favorite TV show is "Face Off," her favorite color is blue and favorite food is chicken tenders. She does not have a favorite band but enjoys music from the ‘80s and ‘90s.
In a word, she describes herself as well-rounded.
If Bondoni could have any super power, it would be mind reading so she can know what people are thinking and help them.
Someday, she would like to travel to Italy.
She has had many achievements over the years, including: receiving an athletic letter for softball and soccer all four years of high school, being part of the National Honor Society, a four-year member of the Alliance High School Jetsetters, on All NBC first team for softball twice and receiving NBC honorable mention for soccer.
Bondoni’s role model is her great-grandma because she is the most amazing person she knows. Bondoni said her great-grandmother is twice widowed, defeated cancer three times and recently joined social media.
Bondoni plans to be an elementary math or science teacher once she finishes school.
She has been attending the Carnation Festival events for 17 years. Her favorite events are Days in the Park and vintage baseball because she loves walking around the park with her friends and learning about the history of baseball.
If Bondoni could change something about the festival, she would include a tour of the castle because it is unique to Alliance.
She would like to be Carnation queen because she needs help furthering her education and because "it would be an honor to represent the city of Alliance," Bondoni said.
The Scarlet Carnation is significant to Bondoni because it is the state flower and senior athletes receive them.
Marian Davidson, 17, is the daughter of Glen and Kimberly Davidson and a senior at Alliance High School. Her sponsor is McCrea Manor.
Davidson has many hobbies, including singing, dancing and taking care of children. Her favorite show is "Grey’s Anatomy," her favorite musician is Adele, favorite color is purple and her favorite food is spinach.
She said she is selcouth, which she describes as, "unfamiliar, rare, strange, and yet, marvelous."
If she could have any power, she would want super speed so she could get places quickly and do things quickly.
One place she would like to travel is London.
Davidson is part of her school’s honor roll.
Davidson said her mother is her role model. "She is so strong and she sacrifices everything for her family, and I admire that," Davidson said.
In the future, Davidson plans to enter the medical field as a pediatrician.
She has been attending festival events for eight years. Her favorite event is days in the park because there are so many fun events and when she is there she cannot help but smile.
If she could change one thing about the festival, she would like to see more people getting involved with everything.
To Davidson, the carnation is a symbol of hope and prosperity.
She wants to be Carnation queen because Alliance has given her so much and she wants the honor of giving back to the city.
Gabrielle Lozoya, 17, daughter of Chasidy Burchfield, is a senior at Sebring McKinley High School. Her sponsor is Tailgaters.
Lozoya enjoys writing and traveling in her free time. Lozoya’s favorite TV show is "Scandal," her favorite color is blue and favorite food is pizza.
In one word, she describes herself as special.
If she could have one super power, she would want the ability to read minds. "I like knowing what people are thinking," Lozoya said.
She would like the chance to travel to Cuba someday.
Her achievements include being the Alliance Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month, receiving the Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Award, and being on honor roll.
Her aunt is her role model because she is extremely strong and has taught her never to give up.
In the future, Lozoya plans to attend college and major in criminal justice.
She has been attending the Carnation Festival events for as long as she can remember. Her favorite event is the rib burn off because of the food that they serve.
If she could change one thing about the festival, she would want to make it even bigger than it currently is.
To Lozoya, the Scarlet Carnation is a representative of Alliance, Ohio.
She decided to compete for queen because she thinks it would be a great experience and does not want to sell herself short.
Riley Rowles, 17, recently graduated from Sebring McKinley High School and is the daughter of Krystle Welty and Gary Rowles. She is sponsored by DC’s Hair Department.
Rowles spends her free time playing softball and spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite TV show is "Grey’s Anatomy," favorite musician is Rihanna, favorite color is red and favorite place to eat is Chipotle.
Rowles describes herself as determined.
If she could have one power, she would choose the ability to fly so she can go anywhere in the world when she wants to.
Someday, she would like to travel to Africa.
Rowles was a part of National Honor Society, she received an honors diploma, she was football homecoming queen and was an Alliance Review student of the month.
Her role model is her cousin because since Rowles was young, she has watched her cousin work so hard to become a teacher and achieve her goals.
In the fall Rowles will attend the University of Mount Union, where she plans to earn her bachelor’s in nursing to become a trauma or neo-natal nurse in the future.
Rowles has been attending Carnation Festival events for 10 years and her favorite is Days in the Park because of all the activities and good food there.
If Rowles could change something about the festival, she would add an event to help people in need, with an example being a clothing drive for the domestic violence shelter.
The Scarlet Carnation is significant because "it represents the beautiful city of Alliance," Rowels said.
She wants to be Carnation queen so she can be involved and represent Alliance.