Date: April 5, 2009
About: Kellea Dietrich - Class of 2005
Scholarship program crowns new Miss Quincy
The new Miss Quincy says winning the title gives her a chance to implement what she believes in the community.
Volunteering in the community is the platform for Kellea Dietrich who already works with Big Brother Big Sister, St. Jude's Quincy to Peoria Run and the Matchmakers of Hope program.
"I'm ready to serve my community and be the best Miss Quincy I can be," said Dietrich, a Quincy native.
Dietrich achieved a childhood dream with the Miss Quincy crown and said the accomplishment "shows hard work and dedication can get you anywhere."
Dietrich, 22, will graduate in May from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and will come back home as a student at Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing.
The Miss Quincy Scholarship Program crowned five new title holders Saturday at the Quincy Community Theatre in the Oakley-Lindsey Center. First runner-up for Miss Quincy was Courtney Seals.
Other winners were Kaylee Marie Wolf, Miss Quincy Outstanding Pre-teen; Brittany Marie Speckhart, Miss Quincy Outstanding Teen; Kaylyn Orpet Hulett, Little Miss Quincy; and Ruthi Brooks of Jacksonville, Miss Gem City.
A highlight for all the competitors was meeting Miss Illinois Katie Lorenz.
"I absolutely love being here with the girls and just being able to share with them my Miss America experience to help them prepare to be the best they can be," Lorenz said. "The number one piece of advice I give to girls is take all the advice you can get. Filter out what doesn't suit you , and go out there 100 percent you."
The visit was Lorenz' first to Quincy, and her first glimpse of the Mississippi River, and she was honored to be part of the community's long-standing pageant tradition.
Meeting the youngest competitors was special for Lorenz because "that's when it started for me. I have wanted to be Miss Illinois, Miss America since I was seven years old," she said. "This has been the experience of a lifetime. I know my life will be forever changed by being Miss Illinois."
Lorenz, a 24-year-old Chicago resident, will crown her successor in June.
The winners of the Miss Quincy Outstanding Pre-Teen and Outstanding Teen will compete for the title of Miss Illinois Outstanding Pre-Teen and Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen at the state pageant in Springfield in May. The winners of Miss Quincy and Miss Gem City will compete for the title of miss Illinois in St. Charles in June.
The Miss Quincy Scholarship Program and Miss Illinois Scholarship Association are preliminary pageants to Miss America.
Miss Gem City is an open pageant. Miss Quincy is a closed event, available only to residents and those attending school in Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike and Schuyler counties.