(Source: Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing)- via WFLA
Petitions to formally change Tampa Bay to “Champa Bay” should seriously be considered because it seems like every game, competition, and contest over the past year has some winning ties to the Bay area.
Joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, Miss Tampa was recently crowned Miss Florida 2021 and is set to represent the Sunshine State in this year’s upcoming Miss America Competition in December at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut.
After two rounds of competition at the RP Funding Center’s Youkey Theatre in Lakeland, Miss Tampa, Leah Roddenberry, 22, will carry the honor of representing Florida at the 100th Miss America Competition.
“On Saturday night, my dream came true,” wrote Roddenberry in an Instagram post in the days following the show. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be named as the 85th Anniversary Miss Florida and represent Florida at the 100th Anniversary Miss America Competition this year!”
The Florida native out of Bradenton is currently studying Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida and is a member of the Florida Blue Key, the oldest and most prestigious leadership honorary society in the state.
According to her bio on her personal website, Rodenberry is heavily involved at her university and local community, carrying leadership responsibilities in multiple organizations, including one she founded and serves as president of, UF IGNITE, “a movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders.”
“I would not be here without the sacrifices and support of so many individuals. Eternally grateful for my family and support system that have believed in me since the beginning,” she continued in her post.
Leah is the author of a children’s book called “Leah Goes to Washington” and is the founder of “Be a LeadHER: Igniting the Spark Within,” a foundation that helps young women learn the foundations of leadership, courage, and self-confidence.
Along with the title and crown, the two-time Miss Florida’s Oustanding Teen Winner also took home an $18,000 scholarship.
“I am honored to join the elite sisterhood consisting of the finest women in Florida and work with the Miss Florida board this year,” said Roddenberry.
Miss Florida is “ecstatic to bring another title home to Tampa Bay” and aims to join the elite group of recent winners in the Tampa area.
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Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.