Arizona Cinderella History
The Cinderella Scholarship Pageant, founded in 1976 by Carl David Dunn and Craig Toler, has grown into the largest and most prestigious pageant system of it's kind in the world. It was the following year in 1977 when Cinderella came to Arizona, under the direction of John and Nora Jane Dubeck. In 1984, Denise and Bob Swartzman became the Arizona State Directors and since that time, they have developed Arizona Cinderella into the largest state program in the nation. In 2011, the Swartzman's partnered with the Nurss family, Mike, Terry, Erin and Adrienne. The 2013 State Finals was the first for the Nurss Family, as they carry on the magic of Arizona Cinderella.
In 1986 in addition to $500 Cash Scholarship awards for the Overall Winners in the four age divisions, Arizona Cinderella starting awarding a Caribbean Cruise, following the International Finals in Miami, Florida. In 1989 with the growing success of Arizona Cinderella, the Cash Scholarship Award was increased to $1,000 for the Overall Winners. When the International Finals moved to Oklahoma City in 1992, Arizona Cinderella moved the cruise to Mexico and Catalina and increased the Educational Tour to include a Disneyland weekend and hotel accommodations. In 1996, Educational College Scholarships were added for the Top Five Finalists in the Tot, Mini Miss, Miss and Teen divisions, alone totaling $6,000. This brought the total of Scholarship, Cruises, Awards and Prizes in excess of $30,000 on the state level annually.
In 1990, Arizona Cinderella moved the state finals from our home base of seven years along the Colorado River in Bullhead City / Laughlin, to the Phoenix area. The Sheraton Mesa Hotel and Mesa Convention Center became Arizona Cinderella's home for the next 8 years. In 2000, we moved the state finals back home to the Colorado River at the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino. Along with our themed parties, we continue to offer a family fun, vacation atmosphere for all.
1991 was the first year the Woman Division (ages 18-26) was held. The prize segment continues to grow and is based on the number of participants at the Arizona State Finals.
Arizona Cinderella also produces the CINDERELLA CHARM PAGEANT the day prior to the start of the State Finals. This competition is open to and girls, ages 3 and up. There are eight age divisions. Winners receive: Cash awards, crowns, trophies, and flowers. There is also a Top Five awarded in each division. There are no boundary limits or pre-qualifying to enter.
The success of Arizona Cinderella can be attributed to the outstanding directors that produce local Cinderella pageants around the state throughout the staging year. It takes a special kind of person to become a Cinderella Local Director. They are individuals with high moral values and a sincere love for people and children. When stepping into the Cinderella Slipper of directorship, one does so because they want to share the magic, spirit and dreams of the Cinderella program and foster building self esteem, confidence, poise and a sense of self worth in our girls.
When girls and their chaperones participate in the Cinderella program, they become a part of our Arizona Cinderella Family and a part of the most prestigious youth development pageant of it's kind. All girls who enter our pageants are truly winners. Cinderella is the Cadillac of the children's pageant industry. There is nothing like Cinderella, for in Cinderella . . . "Dreams Really Do Come True!"