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The Crowd: Assistance League debutantes enter Orange County society

July 27, 2012|By B.W. Cook
  • Back row: Kellie Conant, Michaela Gentosi, Lauren Bartolic, Kaylin Fleming and Jessica Garrett. Front row: Katherine Hurlbut, Maddy Bloomberg, Anne Kinney, Delaney Owen and Madeleine Shepherd.
Back row: Kellie Conant, Michaela Gentosi, Lauren Bartolic,…

The 21st annual Medallion Debutante Ball sponsored by the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa introduced 10 young ladies to Orange County society.

The June 30 gala unfolded at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa and was chaired by Kathryn Schlesinger. Dale Johnston served as emcee for the presentation, which he has done for more than a decade. Joining Schlesinger producing the event were Assistance League Past Presidents Marie-France Lefebvre and Joanne Johnston.

Dressed in traditional wedding-white, the young women wore long gloves and carried a pomander of pink and red roses as they made their formal entrance under a floral gazebo. Taking the St. James bow, the debutantes left the arm of their fathers and other significant escorts, taking a moment to present a long-stemmed red rose to their mothers — a significant gesture indeed, given the sacrifices made by the mothers raising their children.

Following the rose ceremony was the first dance, a traditional waltz as the young women swept across the ballroom floor in the arms of proud fathers. Soon the dads were interrupted by the young ladies' escorts for the finale of the presentation dance.

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Dinner was served, and dancing continued until the stroke of midnight. The party was a graduation for 10 young women who collectively volunteered some 5,500 hours of community service through the Assistance League program known as Assisteens, which begins in the seventh grade and continues through high school.

Presenting the 2012 Debutante Class of the Assisteens: Lauren Bartolic, Maddy Bloomberg, Kellie Conant, Kaylin Fleming, Jessica Garrett, Michaela Gentosi, Katherine Hurlbut, Anne Kinney, Delaney Owen and Madeleine Shepherd.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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