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Born in Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Melissa came to Florida through the military when her father was transferred to Patrick Airforce Base in 1987. She is a Registered Nurse and worked in the acute care setting specializing in trauma orthopedics and post-op neurology for ten years. Melissa keeps her license active and currently uses her nursing skills to advocate for autism and bullying prevention. She is President of Precision Screening, Inc., a background screening and verification service provider which she founded in 2008.
Melissa met her husband, Ted in high school; they didn’t see each other for 13 years and met again by chance at a local gym in Orlando, Florida where Ted was on the treadmill beside her! At that moment Melissa felt like she was “home” and instantly knew he was the one for her. They now have 2 children -Son, Brendan and Daughter, Carson and live on the beautiful Indian River where they enjoy water sports, tennis, fishing and entertaining friends and family.
After their son’s autism diagnosis, Melissa and Ted founded their non-profit, The Parker Foundation for Autism and Child Development in January of 2015 to to cultivate a community of understanding and support for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. As Lead Volunteer, Melissa develops and facilitates all three fully funded programs and events, but her favorite part is interacting face to face with the children and families she serves - witnessing the miracles that blossom from perseverance, kindness and inclusion. Making a positive impact in the world is her number one goal in life…and as Mrs. Florida America, Melissa is thankful for the opportunity to reach the greatest audience possible, leading by example and sharing her story in hopes of inspiring others to follow suit.
The Mrs. America Pageant, the fastest growing pageant system of its kind in the world, has emerged as one of the most important events of its kind. It annually attracts thousands of women representing every segment of our society.
The Mrs. Florida-America Pageant, Florida’s state preliminary to the Mrs. America Pageant, is the Sunshine State’s premiere Mrs. pageant. Mrs. Florida-America annually represents the Sunshine State in the Mrs. America Pageant.
For over 30 years, the Mrs. America Pageant was created to recognize the one person most ignored in all beauty competitions, America’s married woman. Most significantly, it is the only internationally televised pageant exclusively dedicated to our nation’s sixty million wives. Mrs. America annually represents the United States in the Mrs. World Pageant that is televised world-wide.
April Lufriu is a Tampa Bay native, wife, mother, business owner, model and volunteer. For years, she has worked with the Foundation Fighting Blindness, in international charity organization aimed at funding research for the prevention, treatment and cures of retinal degenerative diseases. In 2007, she and her sister Melissa established the Tampa chapter and have worked tirelessly advocating and fundraising for the foundation.
In 2010, a family diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a type of degenerative disease that eventually leads to blindness, made April determinded to do more. With the motivation of raising awareness for the disease and the foundation, April competed for and won the 2011 titles of Mrs. Ybor City, Mrs. Florida America, Mrs. America, and finally Mrs. World.
The titles have provided April a platform to further her mission as a mother to find a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. As Mrs. World, she has spoken in several countries and had her story published in multiple media outlets. April was also named the national spokesperson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and is currently a member of the board of trustees.