It may seem an odd contrast, but in addition to serving as managing partner for VanDerGinst Law, Dennis VanDerGinst is the National Director for American Spirit Pageants. The pageant system was his brainchild, borne out of an effort to raise money for a regional charity, the HAVlife Foundation. HAVlife helps “at risk” children gain opportunities to participate in arts and athletic programs.
American Spirit Pageants is the only pageant system that incorporates fundraising into the competition. This philanthropic twist caught the attention of the pageant world and a number of celebrities. As a result the pageant has continued to grow, hoping to have state preliminaries in every state, the winners from which will compete at the national competition at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in April, 2012.
Pageantry Magazine is the preeminent trade journal in the pageant industry. Publisher Carl Dunn recently interviewed VanDerGinst for an internet podcast. VanDerGinst becomes only the third male so honored. The other men are leading fashion designer, Tony Bowls and Steve Mayes, the national director of National American Miss, the largest pageant system in the world. Usually these interviews are reserved for winners of the the major pageant systems. Recent interviews include Miss USA 2010, Rima Fakih; Miss American 2011, Teresa Scanlan and Miss Universe Stefinia Frenandez. Click here to listen to the interview.