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      Miss Illinois places Top 10 in Miss America pageant

      Miss Illinois Megan Ervin had hoped to place in the Top 15 during Saturday's Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas. She not only accomplished that goal, but made it into the Top 10.

      The crown of this year's Miss America pageant went to Miss New York, Mallory Hytes Hagan.

      The event aired lived from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on ABC Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

      All eyes were on Miss Illinois, Iowa and Missouri here in the Tri-States. About a dozen of Quincy's past and present pageant queens gathered to watch the event.

      This was the second year the crowd has met at Trudy Widmer's home to watch the contestants compete for the crown. It was especially important to this group of girls this year with Miss Illinois Megan Ervin representing both Quincy and Rushville.

      "I first watched Megan when she competed at Miss Macomb two years ago and we've been friends ever since and she's been guiding me through pageants," Kaylyn Hulett, LittleMiss Quincy 2009, said.

      "We've all been on Facebook and Twitter since she was crowned, pretty much, as Miss Illinois. And it's just really exciting to watch someone who's from Quincy," Adelinn Ippensen, Miss Quincy's Outstanding Teen said.

      Win or lose, Ervin had a message for all of her supporters this last year.

      "Hey Quincy and Rushville! Thank you so much for all of your support, the texts, the phone calls, emails, Facebook and Twitter. They've been blowing up like nothing else. This is the experience of a lifetime and I have the best support system of any girl here!" Ervin said.

      Ervin previously won the Lifestyle and Fitness preliminary, otherwise known as the swimsuit competition on Wednesday. She'll take home a $1,000 Amway scholarship.

      Meanwhile, Miss Iowa Mariah Cary, of Burlington, placed in the Top 5. Miss Missouri Tippe Emmott did not place in the final 16.