McKenna VereekeEDWARDSVILLE - McKenna Vereeke, the Miss Illinois Runner-Up from Edwardsville, and a University of Illinois-Springfield student, released photos and information about her competition in earlier July this week. McKenna is an Edwardsville High School graduate.

“After winning the title of Miss River Valley in 2021, I have been anxiously awaiting Miss Illinois Week,” she said. “I competed in Private Interview, Red Carpet, On Stage Interview, and Talent phases of competition. These past few months I’ve put in blood, sweat, and tears into preparing for this week. I am so proud to say that my hard work paid off. Not only did I receive the Preliminary On Stage Interview Award, but at 20 years old, my first time at state as a Miss candidate, I made first runner-up to Miss Illinois 2022, and received $3,500 in scholarships.

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“I am so proud of myself for this achievement! I am so thankful for those who helped me on my journey there, and for the friends, I made along the way.

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“Like the Miss America motto says, “Preparing great women for the world. Preparing the world for great women.” I can confidently say that I have become a great woman, and now I can prepare the world for me.”

McKenna is exceptionally talented on the violin as shown by her 90-second-cut from “Praeludium and Allegro” by Fritz Kreisler below:

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