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Gulf & Main Magazine

Lindsey Lenhart of Fort Myers Crowned Miss Florida USA Ambassador 2018

Feb 21, 2018 08:08AM ● By Kevin

Lindsey Lenhart of Fort Myers, who was recently crowned Miss Florida USA Ambassador 2018. Photo by Bill Krautler Photography.

Lindsey Lenhart of Fort Myers was recently crowned Miss Florida USA Ambassador 2018, according to a press release. She competed in fashion wear, onstage conversation/chat, evening wear and interview. She will advance to the National Pageant held in Palm Harbor, Fla., in July.

"The USA Ambassador Pageant is a charity-driven organization that promotes success through leadership, integrity, character and confidence," the release says. "The pageant donates to many charitable organizations, especially the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization which serves as their national charity beneficiary."

During her reign, the release continues, Lenhart will promote her personal platform Service that S.M.I.L.E.S: Sparks Movement, Influences Lives and Encourages Support. "She hopes to educate people to understand the impact volunteering can have on the community and choose to become involved."

We caught up with Lenhart to discuss the competition, her history in pageants, the Service that S.M.I.L.E.S: Sparks Movement, and more, in a special Q&A.

Gulf & Main Magazine: Tell us a little bit about your recent Miss Florida USA Ambassador 2018 experience. What was it like?

Lindsey Lenhart: In order to capture the crown, at the state pageant, I competed in fashion wear, onstage conversation/chat, evening wear, and interview. The fashion wear and evening gown phases of competition are designed so that contestants can showcase their personality, poise, and confidence on stage. The interview and onstage question portions provide the judges with the opportunity to get to know the contestant on a personal level and how well they can answer questions under pressure. 

While I enjoyed the stage areas of competition, my favorite phase would have been the individual interviews with the judges because I got to connect with them personally and convey who I am and what I want to accomplish with the title. All in all, it was an exciting day and I am thankful for the opportunity to represent Florida at the national pageant. 

GM: Have you competed before?

Lenhart: I have won titles in other pageant systems, but this is my first time competing in the USA Ambassador system. What sets this system apart from others is that it is a charity-driven organization that promotes SLICC: Success through Leadership, Integrity, Character and Confidence. The pageant donates to many charitable organizations, especially the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization which serves as their national charity beneficiary. For me, the focus on service and community is important because it aligns well with my platform and volunteer efforts.
 
GM: Do you look forward to the National Pageant in July?

Lenhart: Absolutely! Aside from the actual competition, the week-long event is jam packed with dinners, rehearsals, a charity auction, a group outing, bling bingo, and other events. I always enjoy getting dressed up and sharing my talents with others. This competition will allow me to dance, speak, model, and entertain the audience in exciting ways. Also, I am looking forward to watching the other Florida titleholders compete in their respective age divisions, as well as getting to know some of queens that are part of the Ambassador Family.

GM: We saw that you are hoping to use your reign to continue your personal platform, Service that S.M.I.L.E.S. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Lenhart: My personal platform, Service that SMILES: Sparks Movement, Influences Lives, and Encourages Support, is the means by which I devote my free time. For me, community service is much more than just giving a few hours of time to help the community. I have developed a three step system based on giving of one’s time for someone else’s benefit.

The first component is sparks movement. To fulfill this part, one must get involved in anything that means something to them, while ensuring that it is a task that they actually want to do. In order for a participant to be actively involved in the service project they are doing; they need passion, drive, and support for the cause. With this enthusiasm, they will spark movement not only within themselves, but with others. Positive energy is contagious and it is likely that others with notice the impact that service has and will join efforts and continue the support.

Influencing lives is the next step. Service should make an impact on someone, whether it is the volunteer them self, another person, or the actual recipient of the service.  It is crucial that any actions made are meaningful to those involved. The relationships built through service are some of the strongest interactions one can experience. It is not every day that one can give of one’s self and ask for nothing in return.

Lastly, encouraging support is an integral part of the community service experience. Getting others to join the activity or cause whether physically or monetarily is key. Involvement can only begin once awareness of a potential cause and the need is identified and shared with others. 

Anyone, anywhere, at any time has the potential to leave a positive lasting impression and all it takes is a little time and lots of passion. I encourage everyone to complete service that makes you (and others) smile. The first step is to be motivated to make a difference and I hope that community service and volunteerism is the next thing on everyone’s to do list. 

GM: What are your goals for the future?

Lenhart: Since being crowned, I have had the opportunity to participate in Pine Island Fall Fest, Spook-Tacular with Special Education, Southwest Florida Walk and Roll, Goodwill Festival of Trees and more. In addition, I have made donations to the Pace Center for Girls, The Salvation Army, The Heights Foundation, Toys For Tots, Eva's Closet, and Community Cooperative. I will continue to serve and represent the local community and the state, but I hope to bring home the national title so that I will be able to promote the pageant’s motto of SLICC and my personal platform on a larger scale and impact more lives. 

GM: What's something that you like to do for fun?

Lenhart: When I am not involved with local organizations and projects as a member of the Fort Myers Metro McGregor Kiwanis Club. I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, and playing soccer. I also serve as a board member for Luvybear Quilts 4 Tots Inc., a nonprofit organization that bring smiles to children’s faces in hospitals in Lee County by providing them with a bear wrapped in a quilt. Needless to say, I try to stay busy!

GM: Anything else we should know about -- you, the pageant, your platform, etc?

Lenhart: Those who would like to have me speak to their group may email me at lindseyllenhart@gmail.com.

For more information about the USA Ambassador Pageant visit usaambassador.com. For more information on Service that S.M.I.L.E.S visit its Facebook page.