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May 02, 2018

DATE:              May 2, 2018
CONTACT:        Ryan Murray, Public Relations Coordinator
               / 518.434.5415

Albany, NY - Mayor Kathy Sheehan introduced the five 2018 Albany Tulip Queen finalists at a press conference in Washington Park today. While only one of these remarkable young women will be crowned the 70th Albany Tulip Queen, all five will work together on community service and literacy advocacy initiatives as the 2018 Albany Tulip Court. 

These young women were chosen from a pool of dozens of nominees by a committee of local leaders through an extensive interview process based on their volunteer service, commitment to the local community and leadership skills. The 2018 Tulip Queen will be crowned at the Lakehouse Stage at Tulip Festival presented by Citizens Bank on Saturday, May 12 at noon by Mayor Sheehan, 2017 Tulip Queen Ashley Loggins, and Chad O’Hara of B95.5.

The finalists are:

Sawyer Cresap, Age 23, Albany
Sawyer Cresap is a Syracuse University graduate completing a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Policy with honors.  She currently works as a Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator at the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.  Sawyer has served in AmeriCorps, volunteered as an art instructor with 4H, and assisted locally with the Ronald McDonald House. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast who loves running, hiking as well as painting and drawing.  As a member of the 2018 Tulip Court, Sawyer hopes to inspire others' curiosity about the world and the community around them through nature and literacy.  

Katherine Donnelly, Age 23, Latham

Katherine is a Sage College of Albany Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology. She is currently working towards a Dental Hygiene degree at Hudson Valley Community College, where she serves as the Vice President of the Student Chapter of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Katherine currently works as a pediatric dental assistant and is looking forward to becoming a full time hygienist. Her most rewarding volunteer experiences include Special Olympics, Joseph’s House and Shelter, Sage Allies and more. Katherine enjoys traveling to St. John in the US Virgin Islands and Glacier National Park in Montana. In her free time, Katherine loves reading, singing along to the radio, spending time with her family, and playing softball. As a member of the 2018 Tulip Court, she plans to promote literacy with a focus on children’s mental and physical health. 

Xavia Francis, Age 18, Albany

Xavia is a high school senior graduating this spring from Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls.  She has been accepted and plans to attend the University at Albany this fall.  In 2017 she was named a Women at Work 20 Under 20 Leadership Initiative Award winner.  Xavia currently works as a freelance photography and hopes to open her own studio after college.  She volunteers with Grassroots Givers, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and as a photographer for the Scholastic Talent Showcase.  In addition to her passion of photography, Xavia enjoys playing volleyball.  As a member of the 2018 Tulip Court, Xavia’s goals are to create book drives, be an active role model in the community and raise awareness about teen homelessness.

Natalie Joseph, Age 18, Guilderland
Natalie is currently a sophomore at The College of Saint Rose, working towards receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing. Her volunteer experience ranges from the Albany County Foster Parent Appreciation Brunch, Albany County Annual Foster Care Awareness Walk, the Ronald McDonald House Homecoming Gala, modeling at the Fancy Schmancy’s fight for Juvenile Diabetes, and serving as a Lector at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. She enjoys Dancing, Singing, Performing in Musical Theatre Productions and volunteering as a Tour Guide at the NYS Museum. As a member of the 2018 Tulip Court, Natalie’s goal is to provide effective literacy reading interventions for children with Learning Disabilities. 

Elizabeth Stenard, Age 19, Albany

Elizabeth is a freshman attending Hudson Valley Community College in their honors scholars program. She plans to graduate with an Associate’s degree in Liberal Art and Humanities and then pursue her certificate in Radiologic Technology and Echocardiology.  She has volunteered as a teaching aid at Mater Christi School and summer camp, cooked meals at St. Joseph’s House and was an Albany High School Key Club member.  In her free time Elizabeth enjoys cooking, baking, yoga and visiting national and state parks across the country.  As a member of the 2018 Tulip Court, Elizabeth plans to combine her love of cooking and reading to create a Recipe for Literacy.  

For more information on the Albany Tulip Queen & Court, visit Media partners for the 2018 Tulip Queen program include B95.5, WVCR and WSG.

The 70th Annual Albany Tulip Festival presented by Citizens Bank will be held May 12 & 13, 2018. For more festival information call 518.434.2032 or visit  

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