Top of the Morning, Sept. 6, 2018

Top of the Morning, Sept. 6, 2018

Meadowbrook Community Church in Champaign is opening its doors for a Miss America watch party on Sunday night.

Church members DAVID and KAY LEMONS are helping organize the gala for all comers to cheer on Miss Illinois, Champaign's GRACE KHACHATURIAN. The Centennial High grad and University of Illinois student is in Atlantic City, N.J., where preliminary competition started Wednesday.

"We want to show that folks back home are behind her all the way," said David Lemons, who counts the Khachaturians as longtime family friends.

Refreshments and tiaras are part of the open-to-the-public party, which starts at 7:45 p.m. at the church, 1902 Duncan Road, C. The finals air live on ABC from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday.

David Lemons, who recently retired after 51 years of teaching, donned a tiara at church Sunday when he announced the shindig. He's that into it.

Most years, watching the pageant on TV "is an in-and-out-of-the-room thing. We don't stop and watch it until the very end," he said. "This will be different."

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