It all began Sunday, November 3, as Jacksonville and the Miss Florida Organization welcomed home their very own Leah Sykes and crowned the new Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen, Leah Roddenberry, at the Kent Campus of Florida State College. Several local titleholders and both Leahs performed for the crowd. Thank you to Mary Sullivan and her team for a wonderful event, and to David Lang for always making things interesting!
On Friday, November 15, Leah left for Syracuse to celebrate the homecoming of her "Big Sister," Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri. Leah was immediately busy upon her arrival, interviewing with the local CBS station, presenting the Girls Know How series to the Onondoga Public Library, and signing autographs at the Syracuse Crunch hockey game.
Saturday, November 16, was just as busy and began with a visit to the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. There Leah made crafts and spent time with these miracle children. After an autograph signing at the Destiny Mall, Leah ended the day by attending the Miss America Homecoming Reception. To conclude the trip, Leah performed live in the official homecoming show on Sunday, November 17, at the Landmark Theater.
After a few days home in Jacksonville, Leah left Monday, November 25, to celebrate Thanksgiving in Philadelphia. A few hours after landing and being greeted by Alyson Sulpizio and headed to the Miss America Offices in New Jersey for lunch. Leah made her first appearance of the trip at the Philadelphia Free Library.
Tuesday, November 26, was busy with three appearances. Leah visited the Woods Academy, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the U.S. Dream Academy. To end the day, Leah saw the Broadway show Beauty and the Beast. Thank you to Anthony LoRusso for making her Broadway experience possible!
On Wednesday afternoon, Leah was at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She spent time with these special children, shared laughs, played a nutritional game, and heard their inspirational stories. This visit showed the true meaning behind Thanksgiving, and we are grateful to be the national ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
All eyes were on Leah Thanksgiving Day as she performed a special song live for the 6ABC Thanksgiving Day parade. The highest rated local television event, Leah performed among other great performers such as Debbie Gibson, Jay Sean, Regina Belle, Danielle Bradbery from "The Voice," American Idol runner-up Elliott Yamin, and Pretty Poison's Jade Starling.
Leah was also in great company on her float, riding with Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund, Miss New Jersey, Miss Delaware, Miss Pennsylvania, Miss New Jersey's Outstanding Teen, Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen, and Miss Pennsylvania's Outstanding Teen.
After a great visit to the City of Brotherly Love, Leah departed Philadelphia and joined her family in Houston to celebrate the remainder of the holiday weekend.
Source: MAOTeen Photo: Miss America Organization President Sharon Pearce with MAOTeen 2014 Leah Sykes.