Hello! I am Kim Roe and if you have participated in PA Cinderella, you probably know me. I am not the state director (that is Judy Kyees), but I run many of the prelims here and help Judy out in any way I can. I want to formally welcome you all to experience (or continue to experience) our PA Cinderella system. In this post, I will explain my journey with Cinderella and what I hope for PA Cinderella. PA Cinderella began in 2010 with the first State Pageant. That makes our system 12 years old right now and we'll be hosting our 13th State pageant in May! My personal journey with PA Cinderella began in December 2011. Many of you may know my family's story,
but for those of you that do not, here you go. My youngest child, Phoebe, was born with Down syndrome in March 2011. I used to have a slight obsession with Toddlers and Tiaras, and I was watching an episode where a mom said that she had always wanted a daughter so she could enter her in pageants, but when her daughter was born, she was ugly and looked like she had Down syndrome. Of course, my very mature response to that was that I was going to enter my baby in a pageant, and she was going to win! I ran across Cinderella and entered her into the Harrisburg pageant. She did win, FYI. I also had entered my older daughter, Maggie, who was 4 at the time. She loved the royalty, and said, "I'm going to win one of those crowns!" She was completely hooked. She fell in love with the system and so did we.
What I loved about Cinderella was the family atmosphere of it all. Everyone accepted Phoebe immediately and Maggie just loved making friends. I also loved the fact that Cinderella was not just judged on stage, the girls had to present themselves in an appropriate manner everywhere they went. As a mom of a 4-year-old and a newborn that was not always easy, but I appreciated it and I truly felt my girls really getting something out of that. I loved the emphasis on improving yourself and competing against yourself.
The following year we attended prelims and states and decided to go to Internationals. Maggie was in awe of everything. She had the time of her life that year. She made new friends, loved the big stage, and have a blast at the parties. That was when I decided to first try my hand at directing a preliminary pageant.
Because this was our experience at Cinderella, to me, Cinderella will always be a youth development program. Beyond being a pageant, I want to actively work with the participants in order to develop all skills that help them in the pageant. I want to continue to promote this pageant as a family system, one where we help each other, cheer each other on, and are happy for our friends when they win. I want royalty who are here for the program and their year of reign and not just here for a crown and then on to the next adventure. These things are important to me because I think they make the program what it is. You are never really competing against anyone else, but always reaching to improve yourself. That is my philosophy on Cinderella and what I want to promote.