With strong ties to her community, Sara Battaglia’s evening gown for the Miss Florida pageant is sponsored by Satin & Lace Bridal Boutique and Flower Me Tampa Décor and Rentals.

By Madeline Gardner

On a mission to pair her investment in the arts with her love for her community, Sara Battaglia, founder and owner of Dancing for a Difference, is no stranger to the idea of making a difference and helping fulfill the dreams of others. Achieving one of her own goals on October 18, Battaglia was awarded the title of Miss Riverview, an honor she earned without prior pageant experience.

“I saw it as a fun opportunity and a good way to give back to my community more than I already do,” said Battaglia. “I will be available to the community to volunteer and help wherever needed.”

With a history of helping her students prepare for their own pageants, Battaglia began her journey by filling out an online form with information about her education as well as accomplishments to the Girlbossing Inc. Florida USA Organization. Battaglia received her sash shortly after her acceptance of the Miss Riverview USA title.

The core responsibility of holding this position is to maintain an active presence in the area, a duty that allows Battaglia to become involved in opportunities such as helping #HashtagLunchbag feed the homeless in downtown Tampa. Battaglia has since also volunteered with Small but Mighty Heroes, an organization that works with children and families dealing with childhood cancer, and the Great American Teach-In at DeSoto Elementary School, a program Dancing for a Difference has participated in for the past four years.

While devoting her time to these projects, Battaglia has also worked towards finalizing preparations for the weekend of May 12 through May 14, 2023, when the Miss Florida pageant officially begins. To acquire more practice in public speaking, she will be present at the Valrico FishHawk Chamber’s Midday Power Hour sessions on Wednesday, December 14 and 21 from 11 a.m.-12 Noon. Receiving further support from the surrounding community, she has also secured sponsorship from local businesses Satin & Lace Bridal Boutique and Flower Me Tampa Décor and Rentals for her evening gown.

Continuing her work locally and setting her sights on all that is to come, Battaglia remains optimistic that her efforts encourage others to follow their dreams and explore new interests.

“Hopefully, it will inspire young girls and boys that they will be able to do whatever they set their minds to,” said Battaglia. “And even though you don’t necessarily have experience in something, there’s always a first time for everything, and you should try it if that’s what you want to do.”

To learn more about Battaglia’s mission at Dancing for a Difference, please visit https://dancing4adifference.com/, call 813-601-3009 or email dance4donations@gmail.com. Dancing for a Difference is located at 1076 E. Brandon Blvd., Ste. 109 in Brandon.

More information about her participation in the Miss Riverview and Miss Florida pageants can be found by visiting her Instagram page at www.instagram.com/mypointeofview.

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