In 2017, members of the 500 Festival Princess Program planned, executed, and attended more than 300 community outreaches in only a few months. One of the program’s key components is an emphasis on community service. By completing these outreaches in each of their hometowns, college towns, and communities, Princesses were able to impact individuals in all corners of the state; a pretty massive accomplishment for a group of 33 full-time students! Outreaches are an important part of the Princess Program, but often one topic that applicants have questions about. We asked our 2017 Princesses to share some stories about their community outreaches last spring.

“I did a total of 15 outreaches in my community. I enjoyed going to speak at Rotary and being present at other events, but my favorite event was planning the mother-daughter tea for the local Girl Scouts. I planned the crafts and spoke to them about my experiences as a Girl Scout and a 500 Festival Princess. I also loved seeing the elementary school classrooms. They were always so much fun.”


“I organized a lot of my events at elementary schools. This was because I just graduated with my degree in elementary education. I loved being able to go out into my community and the community around me and talk to students about the program, Indiana history, and the race. It gave me true joy to see them learning and having fun at the same time. I believe I did a total of 14 or 15 of my own, and I would have loved to do even more than that. I think each Princess should go to more than two of her peers’ outreaches, too. I went to 20 or so, and I think it really lets someone see more diversity and connect more with fellow Princesses. I learned so much about all of the girls because I went to so many outreaches and spent quality time with these women. It was honestly the best decision that I made.”


“I did an outreach with Gleaner’s Food Pantry where they did a food giveaway in Putnam County. I came to be a volunteer and help hand out food to underprivileged families. Another outreach I did was at Lebanon’s Nursing Home where I went around rooms, gave them 500 Festival buttons and just talked to them! I also did a big speech to some of them about the history of the 500 Festival and they were able to come outside to see the pace car. Another outreach I completed was at Deer Meadow Primary School. I brought cookies and read them a race day book, then they each came outside to get a picture with the pace car. My director had a professional photographer come and take pictures of each kid with me and the pace car that they printed off and they were then able to take home to their families.”

Being a member of the 500 Festival Princess Program means pushing your comfort zone. With 32 others right by your side, giving of your time and of yourself are some of the most valuable experiences for 500 Festival Princesses.

Interested in becoming a 500 Festival Princess in 2018?