[UPDATE – May 25, 2017: Paige Todd has stepped down as Miss Florida Citrus to focus on studying for her LSAT’s in June. Rachel Smith has stepped up to be Miss Florida Citrus 2017]
Since 1924, 75 young ladies have held the title of either Florida Citrus Queen or Miss Florida Citrus. Add another name to the long, prestigious list as the latest pageant winner has been crowned.
Paige Todd of Orange Park took the honor during the 2017 Miss Florida Citrus/Miss Imperial Polk County Scholarship Pageant, which was recently held at the Theatre Winter Haven. The pageant, hosted by Miss Florida 2016 Courtney Sexton and David Lang of Regalia Magnificent Apparel, is a Miss America preliminary event where contestants are judged on multiple criteria including: Interview/On Stage Question, Evening Wear, Talent, and Swimsuit.
Todd was sponsored by Ben Hill Griffin Inc. and is currently a Resident Assistant for the University of Florida’s Housing and Residence Education Department and a tour guide for the University’s Admissions Office. Her platform is “Volunteers for our Voiceless,” promoting child advocacy as a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer who visits foster children, makes sure the children receive necessary services, and advocate for the children by bringing recommendations before the judge. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship along with numerous other prizes and will represent the Florida citrus industry at various trade shows and events throughout the year.
Miss Florida Citrus 2017 runner-up Rachel Smith of Clearwater earned the title of Miss Imperial Polk County. Smith graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications. She plans to attend graduate school there to obtain a Masters in Sports Management. Sponsored by RiverBrite Citrus Inc., she is a PR/Communications Executive of the Gator Football Ambassadors and a member of the Junior Board for her platform, “GiGi’s Playhouse” – an organization that provides a place for individuals with Down syndrome to learn new skills, and a place to socialize with each other. She also will receive a $1,000 scholarship, along with other gifts, and will represent Polk County at various events throughout the year.
Both titleholders will go on to compete in the Miss Florida Pageant, which takes place in Lakeland June 27—July 1. The winner will compete in the Miss America pageant.