Date: April 6, 2008
About: Casey Little - Class of 2007
Casey Little, 19, Wins Miss Quincy Crown
Nineteen-year-old Casey Little wore a broad grin and a new crown as she was surrounded by well-wishers after being chosen as the 2008 Miss Quincy.
"Oh my goodness ... I was literally in shock," she said, describing her reaction when her name was called.
The 2008 Miss Quincy Scholarship Program took place Saturday at the Quincy Community Theater.
A sophomore at John Wood Community College, Little is the daughter of Bryan and Penny Little of Quincy. Her platform was "Mentoring Youth to Raise Self-Esteem." Little earned a $1,000 scholarship and a trip to the Miss Illinois pageant in June.
Little said the contest was "worth every moment" of the hard work it took to prepare for it.
"This was an experience of a lifetime. I won't forget a minute of it," she said. Little said what she gained from the experience was the "confidence to know if you set your mind to something you can do anything you want."
First-runner up in the Miss Quincy contest was Kelsey Liesen, 18, of Quincy. Also crowned Miss Gem City was Amanda Delaney, 20, of Shaumburg. She will also compete at the Miss Illinois contest.
Also crowned as Little Miss Quincy was Kristin Martin, 7, who said she enjoys the singing and the interview questions. "The most important thing is having fun," she said. Kristin is the daughter of Mike Martin and Karen Wolf of Quincy.
Early Saturday evening the 11 young women competing for Miss Quincy and Miss Gem City were preparing the night's events.
This was 18-year-old Quincyan Heather Juette's first try at a scholarship program. "All the girls are great. They've all helped me a lot," she said.
Liesen, this year's first runner-up, said if there's one thing she's learned is the contestants have to be smart.
"You have to present yourself well, and especially in the interviews ... some of it's pretty heavy stuff," she said. Topics range from politics to current events to major social issues like abortion and capital punishment.
"This is a job," said Donna Haire, this year's event producer and director.
Contestants must field a 21-page entrant application, develop a platform, present a talent and answer questions in front of hundreds of people, all in the hope of doing the same thing at the state level in June.
"It's not fluff. It's a lot of hard work," Haire said.
Competition continues today with the selection of Miss Quincy Outstanding Teen and Miss Quincy Pre-Teen.
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