Fishers well represented in 500 Festival Princess program


It seems fitting that the 500 Festival Princesses reception program was held April 22 at The Club at Crosspoint at Fishers.

After all, four Princesses are from Fishers. Only Indianapolis has more 2023 Princesses with six.

Ellie Albin, Reagan Frank and Chloe Smith are Fishers High School graduates, while Savannah Boneta is a Hamilton Southeastern graduate.

Albin is a junior majoring in journalism at Indiana University,

“I’m a lifelong IndyCar and Indy 500 fan and I’ve known about the Princess program my whole life,” Albin said. “It’s a lifelong dream to do this. I’ve always seen the Princesses around and I love the Indy 500 so much.”

Albin said she has participated in a fourth-grade education program and a 10-miler series to prepare people for the Mini-Marathon, which is set for May 6.

“I also have a lot of outreaches I’m looking forward to, libraries, Girl Scouts and Girls, Inc., in Bloomington,” Albin said.,

Albin also is eager to be with the other Princesses in the May 27 parade. The Indy 500 is set for May 28.

“I’ve never been to the parade, but I’ve seen it on TV,” she said. “I’ve been to the race several (times).”

Boneta, a public relations major at Ball State University, said she has two older sisters and a strong mother.

“In my household, it was always empowering women around you and building each other up instead of tearing each other down,” Boneta said. “I didn’t grow up in Indiana, so I didn’t know much about the history of the 500 Festival, so this gives me a really cool perspective on what I missed. It’s a great insider perspective to the 500 that most people don’t really get because they just watch it happen and they go home. We get to pour into the community that feeds the 500, and I think that’s really special.”

Boneta, who moved to Fishers before her junior year in high school, said she looks forward to the Breakfast at the Brickyard event at 8 a.m. May 20.

“I’ve heard it’s a really fun event and you get to meet a lot of very influential people,” Boneta said. “I’m also excited for the 500 (race) because I’ve never been.”

Smith, who is graduating this spring from Valparaiso University with a health science degree, has a direct admission into Valparaiso’s physicians’ assistant program.

“I saw the Princess program on the float at the parade last year when I went with my family,” she said. “That was the first time I saw anything about it, and I was definitely intrigued. When I looked it up, I saw it was about academics, leadership, community service and I thought I would apply.”

Smith also attended her first Indy 500 last year.

“I’m looking forward to the parade to hopefully inspire other young women and, of course, race day,” Smith said.

Smith conducted an outreach event at Camp Tecumseh, where she was a counselor in high school and attended in seventh grade. She also is organizing some blood pressure screenings and workout classes.

“Those are things I’m passionate about and want to do in my future career,” Smith said.

Frank, a sophomore at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, said a woman in her scholarship program was a Princess last year.

“I watched her social media feed last year and it seemed really neat,” Frank said. “I was really attracted to the community outreach part of it. I had never done anything with the Indy 500 before, so it’s a cool opportunity to get an inside look. I’m an entrepreneurship major and my most recent outreach I went to an entrepreneurship class at an Ellettsville high school (Edgewood) and talked to them about the entrepreneurs who are part of the Indy 500, like (Michael) Andretti starting Andretti Autosport and (Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger) Penske with all the businesses he has.”

Frank said she is excited for the parade as well.

“I’m practicing my waving skills,” Frank said.