Giving their phones and thumbs a break from social media, the teens who are candidates for the Miss Cinderella title found themselves in a role more familiar to earlier generations as they stood in a formal receiving line greeting 300 guests at the recent Cinderella Tea held at the Arlington Woman’s Club.
The staid traditions normally associated with afternoon tea functions were faithfully followed at this long-standing event hosted by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Boys & Girls Clubs, but not surprisingly the vivacious high schoolers and their friends infused the occasion with lively chatter and teenage exuberance.
The Cinderella Charity Ball, set for April 19 at the Arlington Convention Center, is Arlington’s oldest continuing social and charitable event. The candidate raising the most money in a seven-week campaign is crowned Miss Cinderella after a formal presentation ceremony attended by more than 1,000 guests. All funds raised benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington.
“The Ladies’ Auxiliary looks forward to hosting the Cinderella Tea every year to introduce the candidates to the community and provide an opportunity for them to celebrate their efforts with friends and family,” said auxiliary member Suzanne McCabe, who was in charge of the tea, along with co-chairwoman Susan Godfrey.
Parents, grandparents and other relatives, classmates, auxiliary members and staffers from the Boys & Girls Clubs comprised the crowd in attendance. Reigning Miss Cinderella Baylee Mozjesik was a special guest.
Besides learning how to make a pitch to family members, friends, businesses and civic groups during the past several weeks, the candidates are increasingly using social media to engage potential supporters while staying connected with one another.
And in a creative new twist, several individual candidates were the beneficiary of some sort of fundraising event held on her behalf.
These separate, ticketed functions ranged from private parties to fashion shows to restaurant events and were aimed at inspiring support that ultimately benefits the thousands of disadvantaged youths served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington.
In the same vein, ball chairwomen Andrea Proctor and Julie Cerza have announced that Blue Mesa Grill in Lincoln Square will donate 20 percent of the evening’s proceeds from diners in the restaurant between 5 and 10 p.m. Thursday to the Boys & Girls Clubs. The funds from the event will be evenly distributed among all candidates.
Candidates at the tea included Arlington High School students Molly Elizabeth Gilliland and Meghan Lenai Woodard; Lamar High School students Katherine Kelly Austin, Nicole Elizabeth Crawford, Haley Renee Dibrell, Hailey Christian Gross, Samantha Nicole Pfaff, Molly Bendel Pritchard and Haley Nicole Wolf; Martin High School students Cydnie Anne Jordan, Alexandria Leigh Kingen, Victoria Margaret Malone, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Marak and Brooke Lee Tedder; Nolan Catholic High School student Courtni Rhea Fields; and The Oakridge School students Olivia Margaret Duke, Drue McKenzie Henegar, Caroline Claire Quinn and Elizabeth Ashleigh Thompson.