New Miss Florida Citrus Winner Zooms to Stardom
Posted by Paul Rusnak | June 22, 2020
In this day and age of coronavirus, almost everything is taking place virtually. Add to that list the long-running, tradition-rich Miss Florida Citrus Pageant. The very first virtual running of the Miss America preliminary event in the Sunshine State took place via Zoom and saw Leila Sabet of Ponte Vedra Beach earn the title of Miss Florida Citrus 2020. Runner-up Cassidy Goldman of Jacksonville was crowned the new Miss Winter Haven.
Both titleholders will now go on to compete in the Miss Florida Pageant, the winner of which will compete in the Miss America Pageant. Both pageants were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and exact dates have yet to be announced.
Miss Florida Citrus 2020 candidates participated in various stages of competition, which included their Personal Interview, On-Stage Question, Talent and Red Carpet/Social Impact Statement — all from their laptops or phone.
The top five finalists won more than $3,000 in cash and prizes.
Sabet, who is sponsored by Intense Ink Graphics, graduated Cum Laude from Florida State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies. She plans to pursue an MBA degree and become a Senior Executive for a Fortune 500 Company.
She is currently a Manager in Operations for Amazon Fulfillment in Tampa. Her social impact statement is “Lift & Be Uplifted: Increasing Women’s Influence in the Professional World.” For her talent, she performed a Persian dance to the song, “Golzar” by Bijan Mortazavi.
Sponsored by Florida’s Natural, Goldman is a Senior at the University of North Florida, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Journalism and plans to be a creative entrepreneur. Her social impact statement is “#BreakTheCycle: Human Trafficking Awareness.” She has held several leadership roles and earned numerous awards for her talent. She performed an opera vocal called “Mein Herr Marquis” from “The Magic Flute” as her talent in the pageant.
The new titleholders attended a luncheon last week where they were greeted by Winter Haven Mayor Brad Dantzler, Miss Florida 2019 Michaela McLean, 1954 Florida Citrus Queen Ann Daniel Adams, Kelly Bailey, Pageant Coordinator, and Brenda Eubanks Burnette, Executive Director of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and past Florida Citrus Queen.
The Florida Citrus Queen Pageant began in 1924 and has been part of the Miss America Organization off and on throughout the years, with the name changing to Miss Florida Citrus in 1984.