On December 7, 2008, Ashley Bond was crowned Miss Illinois USA 2009. Ashley knew her life had changed forever. With many excited friends and family to share in her joy, Ashley became the 58th honoree to win the title of Miss Illinois USA. The reality of the moment had not truly set in, until one of her brothers asked “Is this your best day ever?” As she thought about it for a millisecond, she smiled and said, “Yes”!
Ashley is the only daughter to Michael Bond and Kelly & Steve Patten. She is also the proud big sister to eight year old twin brothers, Sean & Brad. Currently, the 24 year old brunette resides in the city of Chicago, a place that has introduced her to great people and wonderful opportunities.
Ashley grew up in Streamwood, IL, and graduated from Streamwood High School in 2002. She always knew she wanted to go to a Big Ten College and couldn’t dream of attending one in any state other than the great state of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign then became her home for the next four years. While attending the University of Illinois, Ashley became a member of numerous organizations: the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, Delta Gamma Sorority and the world-renowned Marching Illini in the section of Illinettes.
The Illinettes, the official dance team of the University of Illinois, named Ashley captain her junior year. That year she also had the honor of being a part of the NCAA final four as the Fighting Illini headed to St. Louis. The amazing accomplishment of the basketball team provided many nationally televised interviews and appearances for Ashley. In May of 2006, Ashley graduated with high honors as a James Scholar and an eight time Dean’s list recipient. Receiving her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois has and will continue to help her reach many of her lifelong goals.
Ashley has already accomplished many of her dreams since earning her degree. After graduating, Ashley left home and began working for the Fortune 100 Company Walt Disney. As a cast member in the entertainment department at Walt Disney World Resorts, Ashley performed in numerous events including the "Celebrate the Seasons" show at Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom. After returning from Orlando, Ashley began working as a personal trainer. It was then that Ashley realized the positive impact she could have in society by educating, motivating and teaching others to lead a healthy lifestyle.
To keep herself healthy, Ashley continues her passion and dances. Dancing since the age of two, she is honored to now be a two year veteran of the Chicago Luvabulls, the dancers for the NBA Chicago Bulls. As one of ten ladies chosen to represent the NBA and the Luvabulls overseas, Ashley left for Paris and Holland two weeks after winning the title of Miss Illinois USA. Ashley performed and brought awareness to the Miss Illinois USA title in each country. She hopes to have many more opportunities to travel the world and represent, not only her state, but her country. She is grateful for the many opportunities being a Chicago Luvabull, an NBA ambassador and a personal trainer has given her.
Charity work is also an important part of Ashley’s life. She has been involved with numerous organizations such as The Make a Wish Foundation, Catholic Charities, and Charitabulls. In addition, she has volunteered at numerous dance clinics and physical education events in elementary schools. During college, Ashley took part in a philanthropy event in which she bought Christmas gifts and delivered them to children in an elementary school. Seeing the excitement on the children’s faces created such joy for Ashley. It was during this profound moment that Ashley realized she wanted to focus her energy on helping children.
Ashley has a strong commitment toward ending childhood obesity. The rate of childhood obesity has nearly tripled since the 1980’s and currently affects more than 16% of our nations youth.¹ During her reign as Miss Illinois USA, Ashley will continue to bring more attention to the topic of childhood obesity in the United States. Working with district administrators, Ashley will help improve physical education programs by creating curriculum that appeals to all children. She will also visit schools to mentor children about the importance of physical activity and nutrition. Ashley is excited to combine her three passions in life: physical activity, dance and children by working with the NBA Chicago Bulls Energizabulls organization.
In addition to these causes, Ashley will be an integral part of the Dream for the Stars Organization (which creates awareness of child abuse and domestic violence) and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Through these actions Ashley hopes to positively change as many people’s lives as possible.
Currently, Ashley is a professional model, spokes model, fitness model, dancer, actress and employee of the famous Gibsons. Ashley plans on continuing her education by working to receive her Masters Degree in exercise physiology and nutrition. She looks forward to combining all of her passions by creating her own nationally televised children’s fitness show. Her personal motto is also Nike quote, “somebody busier than you is running right now.” Ashley believes that no matter how busy life gets it is important to make the time to keep yourself healthy. Keep your mind and body in the best shape they can be so you can use them to follow all of your dreams.
In her spare time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family & friends, playing Wii with her little brothers and watching them at their extracurricular activities. In addition to dancing, Ashley loves exercising, going to the movies, trying out new restaurants and attending sporting events.
Ashley is an energetic and vivacious individual who is looking forward to representing Illinois at the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas, NV. Be sure to watch NBC on April 19, 2009 as Ashley vies to bring the title back to her home state.
¹ National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, NACHRI Online, January 2007, www.childrenshospitals.net, ( November, 1 2009 ).