As Miss Teen Florida International, Orlando’s Elizabeth Tran promotes a platform of helping Teens Go Green. Her efforts include an ongoing relationship with Clean the World as a volunteer, ambassador and soap-drive coordinator.
Unfortunately, those good intentions were soiled last month by a dirty scoundrel who stole about 900 new bars of soap collected for CTW.
Elizabeth conducted a soap drive during the Florida Perfect Model Search at The Florida Hotel and Conference Center. During the crowning at the event on June 10, she looked under a table where the donations had been stashed – and discovered that all the live-saving soap was missing.
After an exhaustive search of the ballroom area, it was clear the soap had not been moved or misplaced. It had been stolen.
Local media outlets including WOFL Fox 35 and WESH Channel 2 ran stories about the heist over the next week. That led to national coverage, and an outpouring of support from people who were shocked and outraged about the crime.
A follow-up drive to replace the stolen bars yielded about 2,000 pounds of soap – EIGHT TIMES the amount that was originally collected.
Elizabeth said Jaison Radcliff of Legacy Style was a huge help with the second soap drive. Fellow contestants Zoe May and Jennifer Reed also contributed.
It was heartening to see the community rally around Elizabeth, and turn a negative experience into something so positive.