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FGCU student wins Shrimp Queen award

Kelsey Collins, a Fort Myers native and FGCU freshman, has been watching the Shrimp Parade on Fort Myers every year since she was four years old.

Shrimp Queen
(Photo courtesy of Fort Myers Shrimp Festival Website)

This past weekend, she was awarded 2017’s Shrimp Queen by the Fort Myers Lions Club, the organization who puts on a pageant every year, which gave her a $1,000 scholarship and many new friends.

“Being a local and knowing so many other beach kids, it feels awesome,” Collins said. “All my friends on the island celebrated with me after, and it really made me feel so special because it’s the biggest parade of the year. Even (just) walking down the island back to my house with the tiara on my head, I had so many people stop me to tell me congratulations or to take a picture with me. It was absolutely wonderful to be recognized.”

Upon entering the pageant, Collins submitted a biography about herself, met with the other “Shrimp Princesses” to create their signs and then spoke in front of two sets of judges.

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The day of the parade, Collins answered a question in front of a judge about how being in her sorority at FGCU, Zeta Tau Alpha, has had a positive influence on her life.

“The title ‘Shrimp Queen’ entails that I receive the $1,000 scholarship; I get to represent Fort Myers Beach and the Lions Club, and I also get to ride in the Fourth of July parade and next year’s shrimp parade as the queen,” Collins said. “I must also mentor those who might become queen next year once they apply.”

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