MARION -- A 24-year-old East Moline woman -- Ariel Beverly -- was crowned Miss Illinois Saturday evening at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center, beating out four other finalists.
This marked the 10th year Marion has hosted the scholarship pageant. Beverly, the East Central Illinois representative, walked away with a $10,000 scholarship for her efforts. First Runner-Up ($3,000) was Miss Chicago Megan Magee. Second Runner-Up ($2,000) was Miss Windy City, Isha Jog. Third Runner-Up ($1,500) was Miss Heartland, Annika Strolle, and Fourth Runner-Up ($1,200) was Miss Kankakee, Breana Bagley.
Beverly is pursuing a master's degree in art. She said she aspires to become a college art instructor. Her platform focuses on the advocation for arts education.
Selected Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen was Miss Chicago Teen, Imani P. Muse, a graduate of Kenwood Academy High School. Muse was presented with a $2,000 scholarship.
Earning First Runner-Up ($725) was Marion's own Victoria Shore, who is also Miss Land of Lincoln. Second Runner-Up ($500) went to Miss Capital City, Laila Haley of Viola.
Third Runner-Up ($400) was Miss Heartland, Aubrey Lemmon, of Tamaroa. Fourth Runner-Up ($250) was Miss Lake County Mia Fritsch-Anderson of Chicago and Fifth Runner-Up ($175) was Miss Springfield, Bella Rose, of Gibson City.
Both Beverly and Muse will represent Illinois at the national level later this year in Orlando, Fla.