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New Miss Apopka is crowned

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Lindsay Bettis, the new Miss Apopka, is crowned by Sara Zeng, the current Miss Florida.

Lindsay Bettis was crowned the new Miss Apopka on Saturday, November 4, at Apopka High School, beating out five other contestants for the title.

As her platform, she will promote inclusion and integration for people with intellectual and developmental differences.

By virtue of being named Miss Apopka, Bettis, 20, of St. Augustine, qualifies to compete in the Miss Florida Pageant in summer 2018 and, if she wins that title, will go on to the Miss America Pageant later that same year.

Bettis hopes to be a role model in the community, especially for young women and girls, by being a constant presence and being open about her experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

“I hope to be there a lot of the time and go to community events, meet a lot of people in the community,” she said. “That’s the most important thing, to be present. One thing I hope to do is share my story. I actually have OCD, and I want to show people, little girls and young women, that no matter what you consider as holding you back, you can turn that into an ability and use it, as something that can help you.”

A junior marketing major at the University of Central Florida and a 2015 magna cum laude graduate of Ponte Vedra High School, Bettis is pursuing a career in amusement park marketing. She wants to get a bachelor of science in business administration degree.

Contestants must live in one of the listed Florida counties to qualify in the Miss Apopka Pageant. Bettis’ hometown is St. Augustine, located in St. Johns County, one of the qualifying counties.

She will work on her platform through the Best Buddies Organization, dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities from one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental differences.

She was involved with Best Buddies throughout her high school years and is still involved with it as a college student.

Bettis’ other pageant titles are Miss St. Augustine 2017, first runner-up to Miss Florida 2016, and Miss Daytona Beach 2016.

Rosali Morris, president of the Miss Apopka Scholarship Pageant committee, noted Bettis’ drive.

“She was the first young lady to have all of her paperwork in way ahead of time,” said Morris. “That tells you this girl’s organized. She knows what she wants and she goes after it.”

Upcoming Apopka community events Bettis will participate in are Shop With a Cop, where Apopka police will help local families shop for holiday gifts, and the Apopka Christmas Parade.

“She is a busy lady,” Morris said. “She’s a cheerleader for UCF.”

A full page of pictures is on page 1D of the Friday, November 10, issue of The Apopka Chief.