WILLMAR -- Minnesota Junior Miss Allie Ellingson of Willmar, did not place as one of the 10 finalists at America's Junior Miss National Finals in Mobile, Ala. But she didn't return home empty-handed.

Ellingson won a $1,500 scholarship from Calagaz Photo Supply for putting together the winning scrapbook. All 50 girls were asked to submit entries.

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Miss Kentucky, Taylor Phillips, was awarded the title of 2006 America's Junior Miss on Friday night at the Civic Center Theater. She received a $50,000 cash scholarship, according to an AJM news release.

The contestants arrived in Mobile on June 19 for rehearsal and social and charity activities. Ten girls were selected to compete Friday night following two rounds of preliminaries on Wednesday and Thursday that featured all 50 Junior Misses.

"They pick a representative from the winners," mom Amy Ellingson told the Tribune before the preliminaries begin last week.

Ellingson performed her talent, "Flight of the Bumblebee" on piano, Thursday night. Her mom said they expected around 25 friends and family to arrive in Mobile to cheer for Allie.

AJM is the largest and oldest scholarship program for college-bound seniors in the nation, according to the organization's website. Contestants are judged on five criteria: scholastics, talent, interview, poise and fitness.

The local program in Willmar has had strong representation at the state and national levels. Ellingson is the 9th from Willmar to represent Minnesota at the national finals.

She will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the fall.