July 23 , 2012
» Miss Florida USA 2013 REVIEW IN PICTURES
For the next five weeks we will review our state championship of pageantry through the eye of our staff photographers. It was one fun and hectic week celebrating the seventy-five strong Class of 2013. From the Westin Diplomat Resort on Hollywood Beach to Bailey Concert Hall in Davie we were making memories. It all began on Tuesday July 10th in the Convention Center Lobby with registration before the members of the national and international press. Reports went back to all ports of Florida as well as internationally on CNN and domestically on Good Morning America.
After a quick turnaround our ladies were on USA Transportations Buss Line headed to downtown Hollywood for the traditional opening dinner at Mama Mia’s. The Hollywood Dining Series takes the delegates to three fantastic epicurean treats during pageant week as nobody eats as well as our delegates! Then the day ended with a late night rehearsal in preparation for the live broadcast some four days later.
Next week it’s a long day of rehearsals rewarded by some of the freshest seafood that South Florida has to offer at GG’s on the Intracoastal waterways of Hollywood. Then it culminates with Fun and Games night hosted by Jimmy Jam Productions. That’s next Monday right here at Faces + Places only at www.MissFloridaUSA.com.
Ms. Santiago awaits the CNN Cameras
Ms. Brown, Ms. Ward and Ms. Perera await registration in the lobby of the Westin Diplomat Convention Center
Ms. Nikkita, Ms. Aguiar and Ms. Robinson share a photo opportunity / Ms. Jackson is interviewed by the local news media
The registration line as Miss Florida USA 2013 was about to begin
Ms. Ward officially registers on Tuesday
Karina Brez, Miss Florida USA 2012 before the production cameras introducing Mama Mia’s to our home viewers
The window table before the evening buffet at Mama Mia’s
Ms. Close, Ms. Aguirre, Ms. Brunet and Ms. Aguiar take a post dinner photograph
Another table shot as the delegates made new friends at the orientation dinner
Ms. Washington enjoys her much deserved
pasta dinner Tuesday evening
» MISS FLORIDA USA WEEK NUMBER ONE
family portrait as Ms. Aguirre signs her official contract
When you become Miss Florida USA you hit the grown running as Michelle Aguirre just found out last week. Sunday morning less than 12 hours after her crowning moment she left the friendly confines of The Westin Diplomat and headed to WPLG Local 10 ABC for our annual on-air interview. Of course we were received warmly by our anchor friends Todd Tongen and Nikki Mohan. It was a solid five minutes of Miss Florida USA fun and their inside report lead to the live interview. We brought back some video for you to enjoy below.
Several interviews took place for both print and electronic media followed Sunday evening and Monday morning. Then it was off to The Hollywood Production Center for the signing of the official contracts. Ms. Aguirre officially became Miss Florida USA at 3:18pm when she signed the paperwork before her adoring parents. The rest of the afternoon was spent with Pageant Director Mary Lou Gravitt going over the appearances and demands of the new title.
evening we rendezvoused with Ms. Aguirre and her mother Esther as they were
special guests of Mundo Fox’s/AmericaTeVe live talk show “A
Mano Limpia". The final guest of the night had a solid fifteen minute
talk block as they got to bestow their South Florida and Hialeah pride before
the international audience. With interview requests from as far away as
Colombia this year our pageant has gained international attention. Next up for
Ms. Aguirre is Miss Seminole Tribe Pageant this next weekend. Always a yearly
hi-lite so look for pictures and a report next week from Hollywood as the fun
continues all year round here in the Sunshine State.
set with Mr. Tongen and Mrs. Mohan before her interview
Everyone in the newsroom wanted a picture
We love Local 10 Miami / Daughter and mom awaiting the cameras
set before Mundo Fox interview
Final picture with the evening’s host
» MISS FLORIDA USA FAMILY IN THE NEWS
Miss Florida USA pageant's blind contestant is uncommonly perceptive and positive
Connor Boss, who will be wearing the Miss Delray Beach sash Saturday night in the Miss Florida USA pageant at Broward College, isn't much on talking about herself. The 18-year-old Royal Palm Beach resident will admit to being “really excited” about the pageant, her fifth since she began competing by winning the Harvest Queen crown in Belle Glade as a 16-year-old. She'll brag on her older sister attending Florida State, her mom being a teacher at Everglades Elementary, her dad's work with the Broward Sheriff's Office fire-rescue department. She tells you she just graduated from Glades Day School, forgetting to mention her 4.2 GPA and that she was senior class president. If you ask her, she'll describe her high school accomplishments in track and field, where she ran the 800 meters for four years. But she'll downplay her 2-minute, 45-second personal best: “I wasn't very good,” she says.
She also doesn't see the point in mentioning that she's legally blind. No, to pry that out of her you need to call back and ask her specifically to confirm what you discovered after your first conversation about the pageant: That she has Stargardt's disease, a retina-ravaging disorder that presented itself when Connor was 8, turning typical 20/20 vision into 2400/2600 vision and rendering the world a hazy blur. “When she heard you found out, she turned to me and said, ‘Oh, no…',” says her mom, Traci Boss, during the second call. “She does not want to be treated differently. She does not want sympathy from people.”
Connor doesn't drive a car (“a huge bummer,” she says); she excelled at school with the help of special magnifiers, enlarged worksheets, books on CD and having tests read to her; and she has a lot of trouble with stairs. Not a good thing for a beauty pageant contestant. Each competitor in the Miss Florida USA pageant, the winner of which represents the state in the Miss USA judging, must walk a predetermined pattern to hit certain marks onstage at Bailey Hall Saturday night. Connor, who navigates her way through the pageant largely by sound and memory, will get extra rehearsal time to count out her steps onstage. At last year's Miss Florida USA pageant, when Connor finished as second runner-up in the teen category, she stumbled on the stairs in the swimsuit segment. Unless there is bright-colored tape on the edge of each stair, they all blend together for Connor. She doesn't know what the stage set-up will be this year, but isn't concerned how it might affect her poise. “I'm just gonna do it. I'm gonna do it to it!” she says brightly. Executive producer Grant Gravitt has been with the Miss Florida USA pageant since 1978 and says Connor is the first legally blind contestant in pageant history.
“But she doesn't play that card. You will never hear her mention that,” says Gravitt, who has known Connor for more than three years. “She's just cool, cool. Very inspirational.” The Miss Florida USA pageant will be televised around the state Saturday night , including WPLG and WTVK, but Connor won't use the same cues that viewers will to compare herself to the rest of the women. She has little sense of what she looks like and can't see other contestants' faces unless she gets uncomfortably close and uses her peripheral vision. Bodies are just blurry shapes. “I have to judge people by their personality. Not to talk pageant-y, but I like to think that beauty comes from within. It's important to exude that, to try to be kind to everyone,” Connor says. Traci Boss hopes her daughter's story is an antidote to the “terrible stereotype” of beauty pageants as focused exclusively on visual superficialities. The Harvest Queen crown two years ago turned Connor into a new person, she says.
“There was a change in her, in her self-confidence, and she's just kept going,” Traci says, rattling off a list of Connor's subsequent volunteer work, mentoring efforts and speaking engagements. In the fall, she'll start college at FSU. “She has overcome every obstacle. If [her pageant appearance] inspires people, that's even better.” Connor herself, however, will admit that she has not overcome every obstacle. “I walk into the men's bathroom all the time. All the time,” she says with a laugh. “Usually, by the time I figure it out, it's ‘Whoops! Sorry!' People think I'm crazy.”
» KUDOS & DID YOU KNOWS:
- Kudos to our Miss Tampa USA 2013 Ashley Day who was a guest and super volunteer at ”BeYouty” Camp for Girls sponsored by the Shriners Club of Tampa. Be-YOU-ty Camp is 5 days of life-changing fun for girls. The camp was designed to empower girls through a fun venue. Ms. Day assisted in the teaching of life changing skills in a fun and girl friendly environment. Way to get involved in such a great week of mentoring Ashley!
- Did You Know our Miss Delray Beach USA 2013 Connor Boss will be a special guest on next weekend’s CBS Morning News. After her remarkably inspiring story on being the first legally blind contestant in Miss Florida USA history has been seen worldwide on CNN, Good Morning America and Fox + Friends the icing on the cake was a trip to New York to be interviewed live. But unfortunately the breaking Colorado massacre bumped her from last week’s broadcast it was taped and will show this Saturday. Way to be such an inspiration to the young women of Florida Connor!
» THIS WEEKEND ON FLICKR
We have found a great host for all of our pictures before they are formally posted here on our home page starting on Monday. Visit our new channel at http://www.flickr.com/missfloridausa/. We are always trying to stay ahead of the communications curve here at Miss Florida USA! This week it’s all about Miss Teen USA 2012 as look for updates all the way from arrival on Wednesday through the crowning on Saturday evening then following our new titleholder through the next week. Picture’s garden fresh only from your friends at Miss Florida USA the only camera on the island!
& STORIES WANTED!
If you enjoy reading the stories of our Miss Florida USA Family and want us to know what great things are happening either during or after you reign please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love touting our sorority of outstanding Florida women. Please send us a paragraph (or two) on your appearances, awards or community service and include pictures. We want you to have all of the support of this great lifestyle we call Miss Florida USA!
»ALUMNI NEWS WANTED!
If you know of any Miss Florida USA alumni in the news please drop us an email to feature them in future articles. Email all info to email@example.com! Until next week here to good pageantry!
PICTURE OF THE WEEK!
such a spectacular Miss Florida USA weekend you know we were working on a
theme during our weekly selection meeting. With so many great images from
Hollywood we had to embrace the winning moment as the world met Michelle
Aguirre. So with multiple images that captured the moment we selected this
beautiful image with Ms. Aguirre caught up in the emotions that come with
being selected that special young woman of Florida. Congratulation Ms.
Aguirre on your second big achievement in a week!
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