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Kissimmee woman claims Miss Florida crown

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 01:22 PM
ST. PETERSBURG -

For Kristina Janolo, the fifth time was the charm.

After four unsuccessful tries, the 24-year-old from Kissimmee won the Miss Florida Pageant Saturday night at the Mahaffey Theater.

"There are not enough words to express what that moment was like," said Janolo, who had been selected to compete after being named Miss Winter Park.

Janolo will now compete in the Miss America Pageant Jan. 14{+ }in Las Vegas.

She won nearly $15,000 in scholarships and $25,000 in prizes, including a new wardrobe, cosmetics, photo sessions and hair services.

Being Miss Florida is a full-time job, requiring Janolo to represent the state at various programs and events. So she'll have to put her senior year at the University of Central Florida on hold.

The marketing major said being the face of an organization will be great for her career. And the experiences will also give her lots of memories, she said.

Competing in pageants has helped Janolo develop many skills, such as speaking and fitness.

"It has helped me become the woman I am today," she said.

As part of her duties, Janolo plans to promote CARE -- Commitment to Always Remember the Elderly -- a nonprofit she founded five years ago to help connect young people with seniors.

A total of 43 contestants between 17 and 24 vied for the title of Miss Florida, competing in talent, swimsuit, evening wear and interview categories.

Mary Sullivan, president and executive director of the pageant, said Janolo was flawless.

"She was a very consistent contestant," Sullivan said. "She actually didn't have a weak area. Kristina had everything together."


jpatino@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7659

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