Miss America returns home to Opelika - WRBL

Miss America returns home to Opelika

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OPELIKA, Ala. -

Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan returned home to Opelika for a brief visit with family and friends.

Thursday was a full schedule for Hagan meeting, greeting and eating with fans. 

She joined some of her supporters at a luncheon at Niffer's on the Tracks in historic downtown Opelika before heading to the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatic Center for photos with the public.

She saw lots of familiar faces, which is something she says doesn't happen very often living in the big apple. "I definitely miss the fact that I can go anywhere here and see someone I know, see a friendly face," she says. "In New York it can get a little lonely, to be quite honest. I mean, it's such a big place. There's 2.5 million people in Brooklyn alone."

Many of the girls said Hagan has inspired them to follow their dreams. Miss Lee County Fair Outstanding Teen Abby Watson says, "She actually started competing in the Lee County Fair pageant, which is where I started competing too, and I just think she's a great role model for girls of all ages."

Miss Alabama Teen Taylor Jones adds, "She grew up in Opelika, and I'm from Auburn, and when I saw how big she made it, I was like, 'I'm going to start doing pageants,' so I started last summer."

Her Miss America platform focuses on child sex abuse and she says she wants to help kids back home who may be suffering.

Hagan's last stop of the evening was at the Marriott at Grand National, where she had a Welcome Home reception.

Miss America travels around 20,000 miles each month.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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