Ohio Wheelchair News

Ms. Wheelchair Ohio was established in 1972, in Columbus Ohio by Dr. Philip Wood. 
 In 1974, the first Ms. Wheelchair America event was developed. 
Since then this non profit program brought together the most enthusiastic women in wheelchairs
to promote awareness and break barriers that many of America's disabled face.

Ms Wheelchair America

Ms Wheelchair USA

 If you know of anyone who might be interested in the 2016 competition
 please have them contact
the State Coordinator
Jessica Kelbley 


or go to the
Ms Ohio Wheelchair Facebook
to register for the 2016 Pageant



Ms. Ohio Wheelchair 2015

2015 Ms Wheelchair Ohio - America

Congratulations Jasmine Spradley

Jasmine Spradley is a Psychology major and at Wright State University seeking to be a therapist for families and married couples.

She was raised in Piqua, Ohio by two amazing parents and had three brothers. Her disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, is a genetic condition which produces fragile bones and a short stature. Jasmine depends on a power wheelchair for her mobility needs and has grown up taking precautions to avoid injury from her already weakened bones.

In 2013, Jasmine received her Associates Degree from Edison Community College and will receive a Bachelors Degree in May 2015 from Wright State University.

2015 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio pageant
was held at
Wright State University
 February 22nd, 2015

Congrats to all of the ladies who participate with the 2015 event!!

To see more photos and stories of this event -  go to the
Ms Ohio Wheelchair Facebook




Ms. Ohio Wheelchair 2014

Congratulations to

Elizabeth Schrack


Congrats to Elizabeth Schrack, our Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2014.

Crowned on February 22, 2014 - at the Roberts Center in Wilmington Ohio

From her facebook page -


Elizabeth was born March 7, 1992. She was born with a condition called Cerebral Palsy and has been a wheelchair all her life.
Even though her younger sister is able-bodied she was always told they could both do the same things.
She was also taught to never give up, and she never has and never will!

When applying for Ms. Wheelchair Ohio, Beth described herself as Determined, Compassionate, Intelligent, Funny, and Trustworthy.

She will use all of these strengths to show people with disabilities
as well as those who don't understand disability that your only barrier stopping you is the one you refuse to face.

Beth has certainly faced multiple barriers, including but not limited to; seven surgeries, academic challenges,
 becoming Ms. Wheelchair Ohio, and hopefully becoming Ms. Wheelchair America!!

See mpre photos from the 2014 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant at -



Ms. Ohio Wheelchair 2013

Congratulations to

Jessica Kelbley

Jessica is a senior at Wright State University in Dayton Ohio.

Jessica's facebook link is below - please help us congratulate her for her achievement!




Ms. Ohio Wheelchair 2012

Congratulations to Angela Hunter

Crowned on March 17, 2012 - at the Roberts Center in Wilmington Ohio

Angela is from Wooster Ohio and has attended Wright State University.

Angela's facebook link is below - please help us congratulate her for her achievement!


Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2011 Margaret Long, 1st Runner-Up MWO 2012 Stephanie Royster, Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2012 Angela Hunter, 2nd Runner-Up MWO 2012 Stevie Beale

(These photos were from Angela's facebook page as she shares her story with our community.)

Any interest in assisting the 2013 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant, please contact the coordinator Melissa Milinovich at the facebook link



Congratulations to Margaret Long
2011 Ms Ohio Wheelchair

The 2011 Ms Ohio Wheelchair Pageant was hosted on April 16, 2011 in Wilmington Ohio.

Melissa Milinovich was the 
2011 pageant coordinator and has agreed 
to host the 2012 Ms Ohio Wheelchair event.

You can contact her at 



Anthony Goddard was this years MC.



Judges are (from the left)
Jill Caruso from Monroe Michigan, Linda Allen from Hillsboro Ohio, and Owen Dunn from Toledo Ohio.


Special thanks to the Laurel Oaks Air Force Jr. ROTC Cadets for performing the flag ceremony and volunteering as formal escorts for the 2011 pageant contestants.

Alisha Taylor performed the National Anthem and intermission musical entertainment.


The young flower ladies presented our 2011 contestants with a fresh bouquet. 

On stage, the 2011 Ms Wheelchair Ohio contestants await the judges decision.  From the left - Melanie Spencer McAleese from Canal Fulton Ohio, Margaret Long from Cincinnati Ohio, and Angela Hunter from 


Congratulations to all of the 
2011 Ms Wheelchair Ohio contestants 
and special thanks for all that they do to represent our Ohio wheelchair community.

Hope to see you all at the 
2012 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant!

2012 Contestants and Sponsors
please contact Melissa Milinovich at 



Margaret Long is crowned as 
Ms Wheelchair Ohio 2011.




Congratulations to
2010 Ms Ohio Wheelchair

Amy Jo Riter
Canton Ohio

The 2010 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant was hosted
on March 12 and 13, 2010 in Sunbury Ohio

Congratulations and Thanks
to all who have participated and supported the
2010 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant!

Check out Amy's website and schedule at


2010 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant Review

Click on any image to enlarge
Photos are copy write to
Cory Anderson and
and can be asked for permission through OhioWheelchair@gmail.com

Full size photos available upon request.

A beautiful stage setting was created at the Northgate Church in Sunbury Ohio

Boy Scout Troop 108 from Delaware Ohio opened the with a traditional Flag Ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance.

Troop leader Sandra Stults led the National Anthem as the audience accompanied.

Master of Ceremonies  Christopher Chuck from Delaware Ohio was introduced as master of ceremonies and kicked off the event.

Leekay Bennett from Delaware Ohio presented her poem wings on wheels.

The 2010 Ms Wheelchair Ohio contestants lined up to be brought onto the stage and introduced.

Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant Director Carol Tolsen introduced Danielle Brown (Ms Ohio 2009) onto the stage.

Danielle reviewed her experience at the 2009 Ms Wheelchair America pageant in South Dakota

Danielle then congratulated all of the 2010 contestants and shared some insight to her experience as Ms 2009 throughout Ohio.


Carol Tolson introduced the panel of judges for the 2010 event. 
Starting on the right is the official time keeper - Ann Smith 
and judges -  Beth Shank from Newton Falls Ohio, Matt Lawson from Columbus Ohio and Leekay Bennett from Delaware Ohio


Margaret Long from Cincinnati Ohio during her final presentation describes herself as a woman of courage, strength, grit, self determination and fearlessness.

She was paralyzed by a gun shot at 19 years old and has turned the challenge into an educational tool for programs such as Scared Straight and Cease Fire Cincinnati.


Latisha Martin from Dayton Ohio passionately described herself as smart, determined, helpful, talkative, and an advocate.  She uses her challenge of Cerebral Palsy to help advocate those who share the same conditions to what resources they have for assisted living.

Amy Joe Riter from Canton Ohio described herself as brave, funny, determined, loyal, and first of all MOM. 

Deleria Tobias from Coshocton Ohio returned to Ms Ohio after competing in 1978.  She describes herself as determined, courageous, stubborn, ambitious,  and social.

With many challenges facing her, she was able to complete several degrees from Malone College and Muskingum Tech College, and has served a three year term on the Ohio Governor Board of Disabilities.

During intermission, the audience enjoyed a  live performance of a singing duet Karen Lindsay and her sister.

After intermission, the 2010 contestants took their places on the stage to patiently await for the results from the judges.

From the right - Margaret Long - Latisha Martin - Amy Joe Riter - Deleria Tobias - and Danielle Brown

While the judges finalized their results, Danielle Brown expressed some final thoughts to the contestants and congratulated all of them to having the ambition to participate in the 2010 Ms Wheelchair Ohio pageant.

Second runner up was presented to
Deleria Tobias


First runner up was presented to
Margaret Long

Carol Tolson presented Any Joe Riter as Ms Wheelchair Ohio 2010.

Amy Joe Riter is crowned as Ms 2010 by Danielle Brown (Ms 2009).

The 2010 Contestants all pose with Emcee as the 2010 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Pageant comes to an end.

Congratulation to all of the ladies who participated this year. 

OhioWheelchair.com salutes all of these ladies who strive to make their world a better place by the ambiitons they have!

Good luck with all of your future



Special Thanks to our very helpful escort Mike for his energetic effort to keep our ladies safe while traveling up and down the stage during the event.


Special Thanks to those who helped behind the scenes to make the 2010 pageant a huge success!

Also, special thanks to our 2010 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Hosting Sites

3701 E. STATE ROUTE 37, SUNBURY OH 43074


AT 7097 E. STATE ROUTE 37, SUNBURY, OH 43074

and all of those who donated and supported this 2010 event!

Good luck to Amy Jo at Ms Wheelchair America


See you in 2011

Hit Counter



***2009 review ***

The 2009 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio Pageant,  a part of the Ms. Wheelchair America program was held
March 26-27, 2009

at the DoubleTree Hotel in Columbus Ohio.

Congratulations to 
Danielle Brown of Danville Ohio


Danielle Brown is a 25 year old  from Danville Ohio who strives to make people more aware of disability issues and to see people first before their disability.  She is the treasurer of the Kiwanis Club where an adaptive group helps promote accessibility awareness.

Danielle recently graduated from the Knox County Career Center where she studied Computer Office Technology.  She hopes to attain a secretarial position with a goal of independent living.

As she was crowned the 2009 Ms Wheelchair Ohio, Danielle reflects on her experiences with this event and has expressed how much she has learned and grown from the other contestants.  Her experience with Shari Cooper (Ms Wheelchair Ohio 2008) was very informative as Danielle will fill those big shoes left from Shari's 2008 term.

Best wishes to Danielle and all of the 2009 candidates in their efforts to promote awareness and visibility to our communities.

Below are the scenes from the 2009 MS WHEELCHAIR OHIO pageant.

The Pageant began with the Frankiln Heights NJROTC performing a Color Guard flag ceremony.

From the left is Sean Hartley (left rifle) Erica Woodring (Commanding the US Flag) Nick Pickering (Ohio Flag) and Robert Choate (right rifle). 

Carol Tolson then led the National Anthem.

Pageant coordinator Carol Tolson and MC Matt Lawson kicked off the event with history and facts about Ms Wheelchair

Captain Tom Lennon and the Franklin NJROTC chaperoned the contestants
onto the stage and helped make the pageant a success.

Special Thanks for their support!

Jennifer Kilman of Grove City was honored as the first runner up for the 2009 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio.

Jennifer is a graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design and enjoys doing graphic design and strategic marketing planning.  She volunteers for CASA started a non profit called Bucks for Bones that raises funds for children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta.  Jennifer plans to go back to school for a Masters in Law for children rights.

Danielle was Crowned Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2009 on March 28, 2009.

Congratulations Danielle!

Latisha Martin from Dayton was honored as the second runner up for the 2009 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio. 

Latisha has worked with Youth in Leadership and has lectured others about coping with physical and mental disabilities.  She also advocates others about resources available for assisted living, housing, employment, and recreation.

Shari Cooper (2008 Ms Wheelchair Ohio) shares her experience with Danielle and give pointers for the 2009 adventure.

See Shari's 2008 review below!

Stay Tuned for more photos!

Danielle poses with the 2009 pageant judges as she celebrates her crowning. 
From the left to the right - Michelle Milinovich, Danielle Brown, Cory Anderson and LeeKay Bennett. 

The job of choosing the best candidate is not an easy one.  Every candidate has special qualities.  Just being a part of this event shows the influential  characteristic of those who participate.

Overview of
Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2008

By: Shari L. Cooper

     My reign as Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2008 was an extraordinary experience!  I got the chance to travel the great State of Ohio and speak on my platform “A Positive Self-Image” for People with disabilities.  From the moment I won the title as MWO 08; Ohio really supported me significantly.  I did several TV interviews and had numerous articles written on my reign.  At the national Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant I was chosen to receive the Nicki Ard Achievement Award along with $500.  Along my journey I met many strong advocates and everyday people fighting for positive change in the disability community.  Overall my year was one that I will never forget.  Always remember “To have the Faith and everything “Will Fall Into Place”!

Thank You Ohio,

Shari L. Cooper

 P.S. -   Special Thanks to following organizations:
Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley
National Easter Seals
NAACP (Dayton)
Sinclair Community College
Price Brothers Formal Wear
Gorman Hewitt Ayers Foundation
Montgomery County MRDD
United Rehabilitation Services
Access Center for Independent Living
Phi Eta Beta Sorority
MC Mobility
People First of Ohio
Ohio Wheelchair Network
Ohio Developmental Disability Council
Dayton Daily News
Dayton Weekly
Fox 45
Richland Newhope
Ms Wheelchair Ohio “Board” & Carol Tolson “Coordinator”
Mayor Rhine McLin
First Baptist Church of Ridgewood Heights
The “Cooper” Family”
Friends & Relatives


Congratulations to the 2009 pageant participants
and Thanks to all who helped and supported the 2009 Ms Wheelchair Ohio.

See you all in 2010!

***2008 review ***

The 2008 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio Pageant,  a part of the Ms. Wheelchair America program was held
April 11 - 12, 2008

at Recreation Unlimited in Delaware, Ohio, which is about 20 miles north of Columbus.

Congratulations to 
Shari Cooper of Dayton Ohio

2008 Ms Wheelchair Ohio
Shari Cooper is 35 and lives in Dayton Ohio.  Her long list of achievements include Disability Hall of Fame Award, Goodwill Industries Achiever of the Year, and an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Disabilities Intervention Services.  While not serving on the Consumer Advisory Commission Service, Board of Dayton Advocates, Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, and as Secretary of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, she enjoys shopping and spending time with her four brothers and sisters.  Shari will go on to the 2008 Ms. Wheelchair America pageant hosted in Rockville Maryland July 21-27, 2008. This national event is never easy, for the competition Shari will face is very competitive, but she is ready for the challenge and represent Ohio like a champ.

2008 contestants from right to left are:

Krista Baron of Strongsville
Shari Cooper of Dayton
Margaret Long of Cincinnati
Elizabeth Shank of Newton Falls
Danielle Brown of Danville

All of these ladies were awesome candidates and very promising individuals.  There were no last place positions. Everyone who participated had a very dynamic personality and were already ambassadors to disability awareness.  Best wishes to everyone who supported this event and continues to educate and enhance others that live their lives on wheels.

A full story of the 
2008 Ms Wheelchair Ohio pageant 
is now here - click the link below!
2008 Ms Wheelchair Ohio Newsletter



***2007 review ***

Ms. Wheelchair Ohio - April 14th, 2007

Congratulations to Jan Mitchell

Janni (Jan) Mitchell, a 41 year old from Canton, believes that our obstacles and problems shape us for our ultimate destiny.  Her lifes ambition is to bring understanding to the word disability with an emphasis to the word "ability".  She advocates on the Ohio Governors Council for People with Disabilities and has received recognition from the Internal Association of Assistance Dog Partners.  America Online featured her in 2004 in honor of her work for the disabled and with service dogs. 

2007 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio Runner-ups

Danielle Brown

Danielle Brown, a 23 year old from Danville Ohio, plans to attend school to pursue a career in Administrative Sciences.  She has participated in Special Olympics to win gold and silver medals in swimming.

Danielle describes herself as
a survivor, persistent, optimizing, caring and sensitive.


Elizabeth Shank

Elizabeth Shank, a 33 year old from Newton Falls, is a peer mentor for others with a SCI.  She has participated in several of the Ohio Wheelchair games where she has won gold medals in Air Pistol and enjoys the 5k races at Hillside Hospital.  Beth's favorite hobby is cross stitching but also enjoys turkey hunting and watching bull riding. 

Elizabeth looks for the beauty in everything and hopes to convey to others that she can do the same things they can, albeit from a lower altitude.




2006 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio winner Carol Tolson
opened the pageant ceremony and introduced show MC Don Johnston.

Don Johnston MC's the Pageant introducing the candidates, judges, and sponsors.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge picture.

Candidates pose on stage for group photo.

Stacy Hubbard has coordinated the show for the last 8 years and believes that is is an important project that supports community awareness of those who live in wheelchairs and face challenges.


Congratulations to everyone who participated with the Ms. Wheelchair Ohio pageant and has devoted their lives to help expand knowledge throughout the Ohio community of those who depend on wheels. 

Carol Tolsen,  Ms. Ohio Wheelchair coordinator, states that this pageant is in no way a beauty contest, but a competition to select the most accomplished and articulated spokesperson for the millions of Americans with disabilities.  The selected representative must be able to communicate both the needs and the accomplishments of her constituency to the general public, the business community and the legislature. 



Ms Ohio Wheelchair winners from other years:

2005 Melissa Melinovich


2004 Rosemarie Rosetti, Gahanna

2003 Betsy Volk

2002 Stacey James


Ms. Wheelchair Ohio was established in 1972, in Columbus Ohio by Dr. Philip Wood. 
 In 1974, the first Ms. Wheelchair America event was developed. 
Since then this non profit program brought together the most enthusiastic women in wheelchairs
to promote awareness and break barriers that many of America's disabled face.

You can find out more about Ms. Wheelchair America by reviewing the link below.