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Jadyn’s the seafood maiden

Against a backdrop of the setting sun dropping over the
still waters of the Apalachicola River, Jadyn Luberto on Monday evening was
named the 2021 Miss Florida Seafood at a brief ceremony at Riverfront Park.

Luberto was selected from amongst three young women who
competed, the others being Sydney Shuman, of Eastpoint, who finished as first
runner-up, and Marina O’Neal, of Carrabelle, as second runner-up.

“it’s something I’ve truly wanted for as long as I can remember
and I’m so excited to finally to be able to represent a place that’s so near
and dear to my heart, to be a representation of Franklin County, a place that I
truly love so much,” she said. “It’s just full of community service and
leadership and amazing people in general.”





The daughter of Misty Luberto, of Apalachicola, and Willie
Luberto, of Eastpoint, and a member of Franklin County High School’s Class of
2021, the new Miss Florida Seafood was joined by her mother and grandmother, Mary
Householder, of Carrabelle, at the announcement ceremony, conducted by 2012
Miss Florida Seafood Christina Collins, a member of the festival board, and
Olivia Dutrow, the 2019 Miss Florida Seafood.

Because the festival was cancelled in 2020 and no pageant
held, the festival altered the rules to allow any girl who might have competed last
year to compete in the 2021 pageant.

Luberto, the daughter of a Franklin County Schools first grade
teacher, is now enrolled at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, and is studying
elementary education. She said she is undecided where to complete her four
years of study for a bachelor’s degree.

Earlier this summer, Luberto and her mom traveled to Kingsport,
Tennessee, where she completed her year-long reign as Miss Teen International at
the annual pageant.

Collins said that because there were not the required five
girls competing, the festival opted for an alternative format, similar to the
one it last used in 2016, when Corie Cates was named the festival queen. She
said that initially, eight young women had shown interest but by last week, the
numbers had dropped to just the three.

The first of the three portions of the pageant were having each
of the girls produce their own introduction video, no longer than 90 seconds,
in which they told of their hobbies, volunteer efforts and other aspects of
their lives.

The second portion was to produce a “sales pitch” video for
seafood, also no longer than 90 seconds, advocating on behalf of the seafood
industry.  The third portion, worth 40
percent of the total points, was the interview which was conducted on Zoom last
Saturday.

Shawn Yao, forensic unit supervisor with the Tallahassee Police
Department, Christy Rojas, emergency management director at Volunteer Florida,
and Jessica Foster Bonner, the morning anchor at WJHG television served as the
three-judge panel.

Luberto finished first with the introductory video, followed
by O’Neal as runner-up. In the “sales pitch” competition, Shuman finished as
runner-up to Luberto. and in the interview portion, Luberto was runner-up to
Shuman.

“It was an extremely close competition,” said Collins. “Only
four points separated the contestants. All these ladies did a great job.”



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