Nicole Taylor crowned Miss Quincy; Alexis Lucie is Miss Quincy’s Teen

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Nicole Taylor is crowned as Miss Quincy by predecessor Shelby Rose on Saturday night. Megan Duncan

QUINCY—Saturday night was one that Nicole Taylor and Alexis Lucie will never forget. Taylor, 19, was crowned Miss Quincy, and Lucie, 17, was crowned Miss Quincy’s teen.

Taylor is the daughter of Jon Taylor and Stacey Liggett, and is a marketing major at John Wood Community College. Lucie is the daughter of Chuck and Tammy Lucie, and is a student at Warsaw High School.

For Taylor, who was also named as People’s Choice, her first steps as Miss Quincy was a walk she never expected to take. 

Although she looked the part perfectly under the lights of the stage at the Quincy Community Theatre where excited crowds gathered around her only minutes after the crown was placed on her head, Taylor said she feels far from a typical pageant queen.

“I am overwhelmed with joy. I never thought I would do a pageant, but I’m known for breaking stereotypes and I think I’m here to break pageant stereotypes,” she said. “You know, I love hunting and I love being outdoors. I’ve never really seen a pageant queen do that before. So I’m really excited to break that stereotype.”

Taylor’s platform is “Pretty Precision” in which she will educate and empower females in the outdoors. Her biggest goal is to host women’s events in the area. 

For Lucie, who also received the Woman of Impact Award, it was not her first walk on that stage. It was exactly 10 years before that when she was crowned Little Miss Quincy. 

“So I am extremely excited a decade later to be Miss Quincy’s Teen. I am ready to serve Quincy and surrounding areas,” Lucie said. 

Lucie is also excited to get started on her platform, which is 4H For Life. She hopes to bring awareness to the 4H program and to let people know that it is for everyone.  

“I expect to be extremely involved with 4H-ers this year, however my main goal is to get non 4H-ers involved so that 4H has a greater population in Illinois,” she said. 

First runner-up for Miss Quincy and the Woman of Impact award went to Lilly Twaddle, 18, and second-runner-up was Darlene Steinkamp, 27.  First runner-up for Miss Quincy’s Teen was Alyvia Groom, 17, and the second-runner-up, and winner of the People’s Choice Award for Miss Quincy’s Teen, was Kennedy Artman, 15.  

Their predecessors, Miss Quincy 2023 Shelby Rose and Miss Quincy’s Teen 2023 Molly Gerard had a year to remember before handing over their titles Saturday night. 

A highlight of Rose’s year was a visit to the Illinois State Capitol building where she was introduced to state legislators for her work for local foster families through her platform “Fostering Hope.” She was also awarded KHQA’s “Hometown Hero” award for the same work.

Rose also described placing the crown on Taylor’s head as “the best thing ever.” It was Rose who recruited Taylor for the pageant, and they have been friends since. 

“I met her and we just became super close through this experience,” she said. “I’m sure everybody saw tonight but I was just so excited. I couldn’t stop crying. I’m so proud of her.”

Gerard visited classrooms throughout Adams and Pike counties to promote her community service initiative “Plant a Seed: Educating the Youth on the Importance of Agriculture.”

A highlight for Gerard was competing for Miss Illinois’ Teen in Marion, Il. 

“It was honestly an opportunity of a lifetime and being around all those girls who were so devoted to lifting each other up. I learned so much about myself and I grew so much,” she said. “It was the most amazing experience.”

At Miss Illinois’ Teen, Gerard took home the photogenic award. 

Both Rose and Gerard named each other as one of their favorite things about their reign as Miss Quincy and Miss Quincy’s Teen. Over the course of the year, they have become like sisters.

“Having her by my side as my big sister was just the most awesome thing,” Gerard said. 

Gerard also said that isn’t the last Quincy will see of her.

“Oh, yes, I think the (Miss Quincy pageant) is definitely in my future. This is not the last of me being on this Miss Quincy stage,” she said. “I am excited to see what the future holds.”

The theme of the night was “Long Live Cowgirls.”

Taylor and Lucie will represent Quincy at Miss Illinois and Miss Illinois Teen, a preliminary competition to Miss America, in June in Marion.

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