Margaret Long crowned Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2011.
Margaret Long of Cincinnati was crowned the 2011 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio during a ceremony held April 16 at the Roberts Centre north of Wilmington.
Margaret Long crowned Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2011
She received her crown after participating in two individual judging sessions, as well as other activities, throughout the April 15-16 event sponsored by companies such as R&L Carriers, Generations Pizzeria, OAMES and Care Medical.
The weekend concluded with a formal crowning, when Long was chosen as the new titleholder, while fellow contestants Melanie Spencer McAleese of Canal Fulton claimed 1st runner-up and Angela Hunter of Wooster claimed 2nd runner-up.
The crowning ceremony was attended by more than 50 family, friends and community members. The event consisted of platform speeches by each of the three contestants, as well as two on-stage impromptu questions.
At the start of the event, the audience was presented with the state and national flags in a display by the Laurel Oaks Air Force JR ROTC Color Guard while Alisha Taylor sang the national anthem. This year’s emcee was Anthony Goddard, president and CEO of HOSTNewtech, and, as the judges were making their final calculations, Alisha Taylor entertained the audience, singing “I Hope You Dance” as an inspiration to the women.
Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2010, Amy Jo Riter was unable to attend the 2011 pageant.
Long wants to educate others about the affects of gun violence and uses her experiences to change minds, heal hearts and save lives. She was paralyzed at the age of 19, yet was unable to confront her attacker until 2007, almost 16 years later. This confrontation began her course of healing herself which eventually led to a desire to assist those in similar situations. In Cincinnati, she is active with community groups, including Out of the Crossfire and the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati.
Long will now serve as a role model and spokesperson for all people with disabilities in Ohio in the coming year. She will strive to educate, advocate and empower Ohioans by speaking with various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities. She will encourage others to reach their full potential by working to highlight the accomplishments of the disability community, as well as encourage acceptance and equality throughout our state. She will ultimately represent Ohio in the Ms. Wheelchair America competition, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., in August.
To schedule an appearance or presentation by the new Ms. Wheelchair Ohio, contact Melissa Milinovich, state coordinator, at 937-416-8189 or via email at email@example.com. News and events about the Ms. Wheelchair Ohio program can also be found on Facebook.