Thanksgiving debutante presentations BR tradition
One of the Thanksgiving holiday traditions around here is the presentation of several debutante coteries. One by the Baton Rouge Assembly took place on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Two more took place the following evening.
Sixteen young women were presented by the Assembly at its 52nd annual ball Nov. 23 at the Baton Rouge River Center. John Fahrmann served as this year’s ball chairman assisted by Scott Folse.
Assembly Chairman Brett Furr introduced the debs: Frances Biedenharn, daughter of Carol Biedenharn, of Jackson, Miss., and Richard Biedenharn, of Madison, Miss.; Jeanne Cody Butler , daughter of Elizabeth and Robert Butler Jr., of St. Francisville; Anna Katherine Culotta, daughter of Nanette and Frank Culotta III; Jessica Bankston Finley, daughter of Elizabeth and Robert Finley, of Belle Chasse; Laura Caroline Folse, daughter of Julie and Scott Folse, of Prairieville; Camille Culpepper Jenkins, daughter of Caroline Jenkins, and Edwin and Tara Jenkins; Clare Renée Murrell, daughter of Denise and Dr. Richard Ernest Robichaux Jr., and Mark Denis Murrell, of Bayou Goula; Kathleen Angele Peek, daughter of Angele and Robert Peek Jr.; Hanley Westh Poché, daughter of Shannon and James A. Poché III; Payton Elizabeth Rhodes, daughter of Pamela and Scot Rhodes, of Brusly; Katherine Knapheide Sartain, daughter of Erica and Charles Sartain, of Dallas; Catherine Grace Schlesinger, daughter of Mary Martha and Ronald White, and Christopher and Marjorie Schlesinger, of New Orleans; Eleanor Carter Stone, daughter of Carter and Joey Stone; Camille Marie Williams, daughter of Marie and George W. Williams III; Derbigny Elizabeth Willis, daughter of Peaches and Thomas Willis; and GraceAnn Elizabeth Woolf, daughter of Kerri and James B. Woolf II.
Biedenharn was presented by her cousin, Marion Bahlinger; Rhodes was presented by her uncle, Craig Rhodes; Schlesinger was presented by her grandfather, Dr. David Wall; and Woolf was presented by her uncle, Frank Woolf. The other debs were presented by their fathers.
Music for the presentation was by the Brad Walker Orchestra. Afterward, members and guests danced to the music of Sha’on & Success. After the ball, the parents of the debutantes hosted a midnight breakfast in the River Center.
The debutantes began their day with a rehearsal under the direction of debutante co-chairwomen Cindy Stewart and Heather Woolf and former debutante Sheryl Womack. They were assisted by debutante chaperones Ashley Lawson and Mary Beth Armstrong. Also assisting with ball arrangements were Blair Kelly, Melissa Fahrmann and Renée Furr.
Following the rehearsal, Brett Furr welcomed the debutantes and their presenters to a brunch at the City Club, where each deb received an engraved gold bracelet to commemorate the occasion.
Bal de la Symphonie
Thirty Frasier fir trees and 300 red poinsettias decorated the ballroom of the Crowne Plaza for the Baton Rouge Symphony League’s presentation of the 12 senior members of Les Jeunes Amies at its annual Bal de la Symphonie Nov. 24. Welcoming guests and sponsors were Symphony League President-elect Louann Bombet and ball chairwomen Wendy Johnson and Mary Jane Dillenberger.
As each deb was introduced by emcee Ronnie Johnson, Symphony Board President John D’Angelo presented her with a tussie mussie of red sweetheart roses. Taking their bows were Kathryn Holland Adler, daughter of Suzie and Andy Adler; Lucia Anne Bellanger, daughter of Tiffany and Dr. Drake Bellanger; Kacy Layne Bringaze, daughter of Lisa Perez and Walter Bringaze; Sarah Madaline Day, daughter of Hollea and Stephen Holliday; Daniela Victoria Hurtado, daughter of Kelly and Enrique Hurtado; Natalie Estrem Kramm, daughter of Nancy Kramm and Dr. Paul Kramm; Kathleen René Love, daughter of Susan and Lew Love; Summer Marie Rhynes, daughter of Drs. Susan and Keith Rhynes; Mikaele Judith Simon, daughter of Misty and Robert Rembert; Alana Kendall Voorhies, daughter of Roxane and Paul Voorhies; Peyton Marie Wells, daughter of Jan and Timoth Wells; and Katherine Grace Whittington, daughter of Shelley and Michael Whittington.
A 13-piece ensemble from the Baton Rouge Symphony performed during the presentation and played two traditional waltzes under the direction of Louisiana Youth Orchestra Director David Torns. The V-Tones provided the evening’s entertainment. Other members of the ball committee who assisted with arrangements were Tawayla McCoy, Heidi Fisher, Adrienne Gale and Michelle Fisher. Ann LeBlanc Guercio served as ball choreographer.
Following the ball, the 30 trees, which were donated by Mitch and Kristy Mayes of Louisiana Nursery Home & Garden Showplace, along with ornaments made by Les Jeunes Amies, were transported to area children’s organizations and local families in need with the assistance of Volunteers of America, Potters House and Connections for Life. The poinsettias and table centerpieces were delivered to area nursing homes as part of the LJA’s service project.
Krewe of Cypress
Across the river over in Plaquemine, the Krewe of Cypress presented three young women at its annual Debutante Ball at the Carl F. Grant Civic Center. Kitty Martin served as this year’s ball chairwoman.
Introduced to members and guests by master of ceremonies Bert Allain were:
Emelie Barker Gunn, daughter of Nancy and Jim Gunn, of Hayes, Va. She was presented by her grandparents, Melwyn and Will Barker, and escorted by her grandfather.
Alexis Marie Ledet, daughter of Ragan and Kynan White, and the late Brad Ledet. She was escorted by her stepfather.
Kathryn Grace Miller, daughter of Marcella and Stephen Miller, of Pensacola Beach, Fla. She was presented by her cousins, Jody and F. Anton Wilbert, who also served as her escort.
Leading the champagne toast to the debs was krewe President Matthew Mechana.
The debs will also serve as maids at the krewe’s Carnival Ball Jan. 26 in Plaquemine.
‘... Opal Beauties’
The Mu Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority introduced its 2013 debutante coterie at its 18th annual presentation tea Nov. 17 in the activity center of St. Mark United Methodist Church. Welcoming guests were Cotillion committee members Trudy Segars, Rochelle Howard and Co-chairwoman Deirdre Harris Stepter, who explained the relationship of opals to individualism and self-expression.
Introducing themselves to guests were debs Nyla Thomas Hall, daughter of Kim and Byron Hall; Da’Jiaron Rochelle Houston, daughter of Jacqueline and Roland Houston; TyNisha LaSha Lodge, daughter of Tonya Lands and Frank Lodge; Chelsea Maria Maple, daughter of Charlotte and Dwayne Maple; and DeLeon Domineek Williams, daughter of Jacqueline and the Rev. Anthony Burton. They will be formally presented at the chapter’s Cotillion Feb. 16.
Co-chairing the event with Stepter are Charis Carey and Aislinn Herrera. Other committee members include Twanda Lewis and Enjoli Reynolds.
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