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Our Pageant History

Carefree Public Relations, owned by Hedi Headley and Helen McKnight, came up with the idea of a senior pageant to recognize and honor women who have reached the "Age of Elegance".

The Pageant started off with 30 contestants, ages 60 and up, in a ballroom at Sun Village. Five brave corporate sponsors backed the event; Del Web Corp, Daily News-Sun, Arizona Senior World Newspapers ( now Lovin' Life) KOY Radio, and Moore Graphics.
The inaugural Pageant, held in February of 1990 was an instant success. A sold out crowd of over 450 people watched Sue Singleton Love crowned the very first Ms. Senior Arizona. More than 300 people were turned away that night.

The next year, Hedley and McKnight aligned their pageant with the National Ms. Senior America Pageant. Arizona has been well represented over the years. Most of our reining Ms. Senior Arizona's have reached Top 10, and 5 contestants have gone on to be 1st runner up in the National Pageant.

That same year the Pageant moved to a new location at the Sundome Center of the Performing Arts. This has allowed the pageant to grow and to accommodate the ever increasing audience. The location of the Sundome also ensures that the Pageant continues to be produced at professional level.

Change is inevitable with a production the size of Ms. Senior Arizona. In 2002, Founders Headley and McKnight were drawn in other directions as their "Your Second 50 Years" Radio show, heard locally on 960 KKNT, became nationally syndicated. They began working in partnership with Marilyn Joyce and Robin Colagrande, who took over their roles as Pageant Director and Coordinator. Joyce and Colagrande share the passion for this pageant with its founders. Along with the Cameo Club ( past contestants) and other very dedicated volunteers, they are determined to continue to provide a motivational, entertaining, and inspirational program to honor senior women in our state.