Congratulations to all the Florida State finalists!!!
You all are about to embark on a fantastic adventure – one that will change your life forever! I am so proud of you for taking this step and becoming a state finalist! The pageant weekend is going to be so much fun and I am so excited to share it with you!
My name is Ella Votapka and I am 7 and ½ years old from Orlando, Florida. I am an honor roll student and on my way to 2nd grade in the fall. I enjoy tumbling, t-ball, clogging, ballet, girl scouts, and singing in church. In my free time I also love to do art projects, play with my brother and sister, and ride my bike. This was my second year competing in NAM and I was so excited and honored to be the 2016 Miss Florida Princess.
I have learned so much about what it means to truly be a Princess by giving back to my community and to those in need. I started my journey off by promoting a message of hope and love to our Florida communities by visiting the One Orlando memorial. I visited Give Kids the World with my sister queens and helped greet the guests. I loved meeting and talking with all the children! I volunteered at Feeding Children Everywhere by packaging meals, and helped out at the Ronald McDonald House a couple of times by making dinner, making desserts, and delivering 9 dozen homemade cookies for the families. I also helped bring Christmas dinner to our local fire station, visited the elderly at Dixie Oaks Manor, and read a story to a group of VPK and Kindergarten classes from the daycare I attended when I was little. I enjoyed representing NAM as I rode in the Christmas and 4th of July parades and of course, I helped out our Central Florida Animal Shelter by showing some love to the cuties up for adoption.
Nationals in Anaheim, California was a week filled with fun! My favorite parts were meeting so many new friends from across the USA and going to Disneyland! I was the first one in the Princess division to win a Spirit Stick for my pageant spirit and I also won 2nd runner up for my essay about NAMily – how the friends you make in NAM become like your extended family. Some of my best friends came from NAM and I am truly grateful. I will forever cherish these lifelong friendships and the experiences we shared together.
This year has been unforgettable and I am so excited to pass on this role to my successor. Remember to be yourself, meet lots of new friends, and have the time of your life!
I will forever be your 2016 Miss Florida Princess, Ella Votapka.