Who are the contestants representing Polk in the Miss Florida Pageant

Eryn LaLonde graduated from the University of Central Florida with her master’s in healthcare administration in May. She achieved her goal of graduating debt free thanks to the Miss America Organization.

“Through the Miss America Organization and connections I’ve made I’ve been awarded over $200,000 in scholarships,” the 24 year old said. “I haven’t touched my college savings at all and I’m debt free in school.”

LaLonde, a native of Manatee County and who currently resides in Apollo Beach is the current Miss Polk County.

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Sheriff Grady Judd with Miss Polk County Eryn LaLonde.  LaLonde is competing in the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant.

Jada Carter, 19, started her pageant career in high school when her dance instructor who was also pageant director asked for one more participant. She won Miss Mecklenburg County Outstanding Teen in 2019. She also won Miss Jacksonville (North Carolina) in 2020.

The North Carolina native is now the current Miss Winter Haven.

LaLonde and Carter are two of five contestants who won pageant titles in Polk County. None of the contestants were born or raised in Polk County. Miss Lakeland Lindsay Frranxman is from Orlando and Miss Swan City Kierra Hilts is from Pasco County. Payton Barrington was crowned Miss Florida Citrus in Winter Haven in January. All are competing in the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant.

“The eligibility for Miss America is they either have to be a full-time resident of the state, a full-time student or work in the state full-time,” Florida executive director Keith Williams said.

Miss Swan City Kierra Hilts, Miss Lakeland Lindsay Franxman and Miss Polk County Eryn LaLonde are competing in the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant.

Williams, 60, has volunteered with the Miss America Organization for 43 years. He says pageant hosts have a licensed agreement and can set the rules for the pageant they host. Pageants can either be open to all ladies who meet the Miss America state qualifications or pageants can have boundaries where contestants must be from the county or surrounding areas.

“That’s a decision each local competition can make,” said Williams.

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