Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa native, aspiring doctor, captures 2017 Miss Tampa title

For years, she's been known as the daughter of Dr. Madelyn Butler, a past president of the Florida Medical Association and founder of the Woman's Group, a Tampa obstetrics and gynecological group.

Now, Olivia Butler jokes, people may begin to refer to the good doctor as Miss Tampa's mother. Butler, a Tampa native and Wake Forest University graduate, earned the title and a healthy degree of admiration for her competitors.

"The other 13 women in the competition were so enjoyable and part of a night that was absolutely incredible in every way," Butler said.

With the win, Butler receives a $5,000 scholarship to help fund her ongoing educational pursuits at the University of South Florida. She is completing post-graduate work before applying to medical school.

At Wake Forest, however, she majored in communications and honed her operatic singing skills with a music professor at the school. That work paid off in the talent portion of the competition, held on Feb. 4 at Busch Gardens' Moroccan Palace.

Butler's platform involves advocating for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She started competing in pageants as a way to redefine herself as a woman after a sexual assault.

In addition to the overall prize, Butler also earned the Cathy Pike Abridge Spirit Award, essentiality the congeniality award.

"That really meant a lot to me," Butler said. "At the end of the day, people won't remember if a person won the crown, they'll remember if a person is kind of not."

Other finalists included first runner-up Angela Tompkins; second runner-up Anastasia Lusnia, third runner-up Paige Millirons and fourth runner-up Payton Barrington. The Miss Tampa pageant, which traces its origin back to 1947, award $12,150 in scholarships and donations at the pageant.

Butler, 23, now moves on to the Miss Florida pageant in July, where she will compete for a chance to advance to the Miss America Pageant. Last year, after winning the Miss Pasco County title, Butler finished in the top 10 at the state pageant.

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