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The Crowd:

Young ladies who know volunteerism

January 15, 2010|By B.W. Cook

Presenting the 2009 National Charity League debutants from the Newport Beach Chapter. Seventeen young ladies have been immersed in the spirit of volunteerism and service to community. They worked diligently over a six-year period, beginning in the seventh-grade, and completed their service in their senior year of high school. In all, these young ladies, who contributed more than 8,200 hours of volunteer efforts, were presented to society at the end of last year.

The honorable debutants are now college freshmen at universities across the United States, including Stanford University, Cornell University, Southern Methodist University, USC, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and many more. Resplendent in their white gowns, escorted by their fathers in formal attire, the National Charity League debutants took their place in society, and accepted the challenge to carry on the lessons of community service bestowed upon them by philanthropic mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts and close female friends.

The 2009 National Charity League debutants are: Valerie Avila, Kate Baldoni, Kate Berry, Kelly Bohart, Mia Butera, Caitlin Cobb, Kailey Grant, Caroline Kelter, Kelly Moorhead, Mary Lynn Pyle, Brianne Schelin, Corinne Schnieders, Shelby Searles, Natalie Small, Suzanne Strutner, Hannah Weiner, and Whitney Wiese.

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Following a tradition that has grown over nearly a half century in Newport Beach, the annual NCL debutant ball unfolded in glittering winter splendor in the International Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Irvine. Mary Fox, president of the Newport Chapter of National Charity League Inc., welcomed the gathering of some 400 guests. The party was produced by Elizabeth Lewis, director of debutant activities. Party design came courtesy of the very talented Andrew Gromek of Couture Flowers. Gromek chose a white on silver theme filling the ballroom with verdant hydrangeas and chandeliers with crystals sparkling and illuminating the room, sending light dancing off the glow of candelabra.

The Jay Sterling Orchestra played as each debutant perfectly executed the traditional St. James bow. The evening’s master of ceremonies, Michael Villani, presented the young ladies and their escorts.

The Hyatt Regency served a dinner of roasted filet and Hawaiian ono. For dessert, a specially prepared ginger moose bomb was encrusted with a chocolate medallion festooned with the National Charity League logo.

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