The 20 young ladies graciously greeting the nearly 400 guests at last week’s Cinderella Tea looked like the Fairy Godmother had already waved her magic wand for them. Wearing a colorful assortment of lovely spring frocks, each of the smiling high school teens at the stylish event cordially greeted arriving guest as though they were royalty.
The venerable occasion has long been an anchoring precursor for the annual Cinderella Ball and a chance for the community at large to personally meet the young girls who are vying for the title of Miss Cinderella. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington hosts the tea, one of many events leading up to the Cinderella Ball.
Suzanne McCabe, who co-chaired the tea with Susan Godfrey, said the auxiliary is grateful to the Arlington Woman’s Club for opening its beautiful facility, “the perfect venue for the tea.” Auxiliary members make the bountiful platters of dainty finger foods and sweet delicacies for the event and also volunteer in shifts to keep the buffet and tea service running flawlessly throughout the afternoon.
The Cinderella Charity Ball, set for March 26 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. The ball is produced by the Ladies Auxiliary, and all funds raised benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington.
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Taking her turn as the honoree first in the receiving line was third-generation Cinderella candidate Anna Kate Broadus, a junior at The Oakridge School. “My mom, Ashley, and both of her sisters were candidates, and so was my second cousin and my great-aunt,” Broadus explained, adding that she had always figured she might follow the family tradition. Broadus said she had honed her time-management skills since the campaign began and had “found friends in places you don’t expect” throughout the process.
Dawn Serman is co-chairing the Cinderella Ball with Trisha Barling. “All 20 of our beautiful and delightful candidates were at the tea, and they were overjoyed to see their family and friends. Our reigning Cinderella, Riley Mohorc, was also there and as charming and helpful as she has been all year,” Serman said.
Mansfield High School junior Lindsey Wurm enthusiastically welcomed guests alongside the other candidates. The daughter of the Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Steve Wurm said: “The Boys & Girls Clubs have been a part of my life for the past 11 years. I started basketball there — and basketball is a huge part of my life — so I have the Boys & Girls Club to thank for that,” adding that the Cinderella campaign had been “an amazing experience.”
Now in its 56th year, the Cinderella Ball will feature a cocktail hour and seated dinner before master of ceremonies Jimmy Bennett introduces each candidate as she takes her bow before the crowd of cheering supporters. Auxiliary President LouAnn O’Donnell said the youth agency has increasingly relied on funds raised through the Cinderella program as the number of kids served has correspondingly grown. Tickets are $95. Learn how to donate at www.CinderellaCharityBall.com.
To cap off their magical afternoon, each of the Cinderella candidates received a beautiful scrapbook from the Ladies Auxiliary. “One page adorned in sea foam green, this year’s color theme, had a personal monogram letter and the portrait photo taken by Munson-Cox as the beginning point of their scrapbook,” said Serman.
Candidates at the Cinderella Tea included The Oakridge School students Kyndall Bertrand and Grace Burnett. Pantego Christian Academy: Kate Darden and Starr Harrison.
Lamar High School: Kenedi Bick, Grace Donaldson, Emily Dondero, Claire McKibben, Skylar Ollivierre and Kyndal Wade; Martin High School: Whitney Gerro, Katherine Griffith, Kamila Pompa and Cameron Watson.
Nolan Catholic High School: Addie Fields; Arlington High School: Madison Moore, Lyndsey Walker and Madison Zick.