Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa native, aspiring doctor, captures 2017 Miss Tampa title

 Tampa native Olivia Butler earned the title of Miss Tampa on Feb. 4 at the Moroccan Palace.

Photo by Joyce McKenzie

Tampa native Olivia Butler earned the title of Miss Tampa on Feb. 4 at the Moroccan Palace.

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.

Tampa native, aspiring doctor, captures 2017 Miss Tampa title 02/08/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 5:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term


    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  2. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges


    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?


    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  4. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination


    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.

  5. Editorial: UF should reconsider denying white nationalist's request to speak


    University of Florida president Kent Fuchs understandably cited security concerns Wednesday in denying white nationalist Richard Spencer's application to speak next month on campus. But those security concerns could be addressed, and they should not stamp out free speech at a public university that aspires to be great. …

    The University of Florida, citing security concerns, has denied white nationalist Richard Spencer’s application to speak on campus in September.