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Friday, Sep 22, 2017
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Two women with local ties competing for Miss Florida

PLANT CITY - Two women who have won a trophy case full of crowns between them will be among the competitors Saturday for Miss Florida. Ashlyn Robinson, a 20-year-old Plant City resident, and Allison Martin, a 21-year-old Dover resident, will be among the 43 contestants for the state crown. They arrive in St. Petersburg to begin a week of competition on Sunday, leading up to the finals July 7 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Robinson, a 2010 Plant City High School graduate, is competing as Miss University of Florida. Martin, a 2008 Newsome High School graduate, is competing as Miss Winter Park.
The women are only casual acquaintances but share many similarities. Both women were cheerleaders in high school and both competed for Florida Strawberry Festival queen, where Robinson placed on the 2010 queen's court. Both are women of strong religious convictions and stay busy with church and charity work. Both have won other pageants and say they are looking forward to competing for the Miss Florida crown. Robinson, a telecommunications and history major and daughter of Roy and Mamie Robinson, has competed in pageants since childhood, winning such titles as Miss Teen Heart of Plant City and Little Miss Plant City. Robinson, featured speaker at a recent meeting of the Plant City Lions Club, said her Miss Florida pageant platform is based on the power of positive thinking. She told club members she believes that everyone should look for the best in every situation. She told how her grandmother was recently hospitalized with a stroke, but emerged from treatment alive and with the new-found knowledge that she had high blood pressure and needed a healthier lifestyle. "She is still in my life. She is still a driving force in my life," Robinson said. Martin, daughter of Jon and Sue Martin, didn't start competing in pageants until she was 18, but her titles include 2009 Miss Bay Area and 2010 Miss Tampa. She competed in Miss Florida pageant both years but didn't win the crown. She added the Miss Winter Park title to her resume in April. The recent University of South Florida elementary education graduate said she also likes community involvement and her platform has focused on encouraging youngsters to work hard in school. She has led drives to collect school supplies and gives inspirational talks in schools, teaching students that education is a key to success. Martin took a break from pageantry last year, when she was a member of the USF Sundolls dance team. The aspiring teacher said she's learned a lot and ready for another shot at Miss Florida. dnicholson@tampatrib.com

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