“Every Path Starts with Passion”
- Gainesville City Motto
Gainesville’s City motto can be seen everywhere and is the adopted mantra of the Miss Gainesville Scholarship Organization. Passion drives purpose, discipline, and meaning in the things we do. My path with the Miss America Organization started at a young age, when my mother was a board member of Miss Florida. This exposed me to the purpose and meaning of philanthropy and contributing to a cause larger than yourself. Seeing first-hand, the impact the program made on young women and the opportunities that it fostered sparked my passion to volunteer and eventually direct my own preliminary.
I was given a unique opportunity this year to assume the directorship of an organization with an amazing history. 2015 marks the 9th year the Miss Gainesville Scholarship Organization has offered competitors and titleholders scholarships to continue their education and opportunities to engage in our community. To date, the Miss Gainesville Scholarship Organization has awarded over $20,000 in scholarships to local-area women. The Miss Gainesville program consistently sends strong competitors to Miss Florida and Miss America. Tonight we will welcome 4 young women into the ‘Team Gainesville’ family and are sure to continue our success.
Here are just a few Team Gainesville success points:
Since our inception in 2008, we have awarded over $20,000 in scholarships. Our winners have advanced to the Miss Florida & Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen Pageant earning an additional $86,400 in scholarships.
We consistently have our Miss Gainesville, Miss Florida Gator, Miss Ocala and Miss Lake City representatives in the Top 15, Top 10 and Top 5 at Miss Florida.
In 2009 Miss Gainesville’s Outstanding Teen, and our 2011 Miss Gainesville, Myrrhanda Jones went on to win the Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen title and finished 2nd Runner Up to Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. She became Miss Florida 2013 and was 3rd Runner Up to Miss America. She has won $57,750 in scholarships since winning our local title in March 2009.
Our contestants and titleholders have raised more than $43,000 for Children’s Miracle Network and our titleholder won the state Miracle Maker award in 2008 and 2009. Two of our local Sunshine Princesses have also won the Little Miracle Maker award at the Miss Florida Pageant.
The Miss Gainesville Scholarship Organization relies on countless volunteer hours accompanied by generous financial and service contributions which provide all of its members the opportunity to be a part of what we believe is one of the best local organizations in the state.
Zachary A. Radke