Assistance League of Newport-Mesa Honors ‘Assisteens’

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Top row:  Brenna Currey, Kelly Owen, Bridget Sweeney, Samantha Jones, Corinne Taylor, Gabriella Glover, Taylor Pedicini, Amy Martino. Bottom row:  Mclain Campbell, Mason Bendetti, Paige FauntLeRoy, Molly Brown, Emily Meckler, Madison Goon, Brooke Taylor. — Photo by Gilmore Studios ©
Top row: Brenna Currey, Kelly Owen, Bridget Sweeney, Samantha Jones, Corinne Taylor, Gabriella Glover, Taylor Pedicini, Amy Martino.
Bottom row: Mclain Campbell, Mason Bendetti, Paige FauntLeRoy, Molly Brown, Emily Meckler, Madison Goon, Brooke Taylor.
— Photo by Gilmore Studios ©

Assistance League of Newport-Mesa honored 15 graduating seniors of its Assisteens Auxiliary at the 24th Annual Medallion Recognition Ball, held in the ballroom at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach on June 13.

All of the debutantes were marking the end of their years of community service as members of Assisteens, which is open to young people in grades 7 through 12 who want to support the philanthropic programs of Assistance League of Newport-Mesa and develop social responsibility within the community through volunteerism, personal responsibility, self-reliance, and leadership.

Through four years of service, this class of Assisteens has volunteered nearly 3,500 hours for Assistance League.

The evening’s festivities began with formal portraits and passed hors d’oeuvres. The ballroom was decorated with flower arrangements supplied by Elegant by Design and included peonies, button dahlias, roses and Queen Anne’s lace in a palette of coral, pink and blush.

Each debutante wore a traditional long, white gown and evening gloves and carried a 12 inch pomander, otherwise known as the kissing ball, made of coral and pink flowers and held with a gold ribbon.

Once she was announced, each debutante performed the classic St. James bow, a straight-back deep knee-bend.

She then crossed the ballroom on the arm of her father, to present her mother with a long-stemmed duet rose and then joined her sister debutantes on the opposite stage.  Once all 15 debutantes were presented, they once again executed the St. James Bow as a group to a captivated audience of 180 friends and family members.

After descending the stage, the young ladies performed a traditional waltz with their fathers and then with their escorts.

The Medallion presentation ceremony was concluded with a champagne and sparkling cider toast to the debutantes by family and friends. The rest of the evening included a three-course dinner and ended with dancing until late evening.

“Assistance League of Newport-Mesa’s Medallion Recognition Ball is truly a celebration for these 15 debutantes and their families,” said Wendy Braun, co-chair for the 2015 Medallion Recognition Ball. “These young ladies have managed to be good students, athletes and leaders while volunteering countless hours in their community for many local causes.”

The following morning, left-over flowers from the Medallion Ball were taken to Vintage Newport, a senior living community, where younger Assisteens assisted residents in making individual arrangements.

The 2015 Debutantes were: Mason Riley Bendetti, Margaret Kathryn Brown (Molly), Mclain Eliszabeth Campbell, Brenna Elizabeth Currey, Paige Renee FauntLeRoy, Gabriella Pesquera Glover, Madison Anne Goon, Samantha Elsa Jones, Amy Elizabeth Martino, Emily Elizabeth Meckler, Kelly Frances Owen, Taylor Christine Pedicini, Bridget Katherine Sweeney, Brooke Ashley Taylor, and Corinne Bennett Taylor.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in the community, Assistance League of Newport-Mesa began in Newport Beach with a small group of women wanting to make a difference in the lives of children. Today, the four philanthropic programs (Cheri Harris Dental Center, Community Outreach Program, Kids on the Block, and Operation School Bell) are completely self-funded through grants, endowments, fundraising events, private donations and proceeds from the on-site shops and are staffed by member volunteers.

For more information, call (949) 645-6929 or visit alnm.org.

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