Local Young Women Celebrate Community Service at Debutante Ball

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The 2019 Newport Chapter of National Charity League debutantes pose for a group photo at the 59th Debutante Ball on Dec. 30.
— Photo by Gilmore Studios ©

Honoring six years of dedication to more than 30 charities throughout Orange County, 29 debutantes from the Newport Chapter of National Charity League, Inc. were honored recently at the 59th Debutante Ball.

The event was held Nov. 30 at the Hotel Irvine, officials reported in a Dec. 30 press release.

More than 400 guests attended the formal affair complete with ball gowns, tuxedos, and a three-course meal, the message reads. Following 59 years of tradition, each debutante was presented, performed the St. James Bow, and then walked across the dance floor on the arm of her father or sponsor.

The evening culminated with the debutantes, escorts, fathers, mothers, and sponsors dancing the waltz.

Debutante Caitlin Purdy dancing with her great-uncle Barret Shepard at the event on Dec. 30.
— Photo by Gilmore Studios ©

President of the NCL Newport Chapter, Erin Barnes, welcomed the guests to the event.

“This evening is a celebration of commitment and achievement by the inspiring young women of the Newport Chapter Class of 2019,” Barnes said in a prepared statement. “We honor these young women as debutantes for their dedication and years of service to our chapter and community. We congratulate the debutantes and recognize their parents for their important contribution of encouragement and support.”

National Charity League is a philanthropic organization with a primary purpose of fostering mother-daughter relationships through community service, leadership development, and cultural experiences.

The young women have volunteered more than 11,140 hours of service to various organizations in the Newport-Mesa community, supported by the Newport Chapter of NCL. Many of this year’s debutantes received awards for volunteering more than 50, 75, and 100 hours each year of their NCL journey, officials reported.

With many having a 4.0 GPA from high school, the debutantes are now enrolled in colleges across the nation, according to the message. The class also boasts valedictorians, AP scholars, honor roll students, campus ministry leaders, class presidents, athletic team captains, as well as members of the California Scholarship Federation, National Honor Society, and Associated Student Body.

2019 Debutante Ball Chair Jennifer Norminton (left) and Newport Beach National Charity League President Erin Barnes pose for a photo together at the event on Dec. 30.
— Photo by Gilmore Studios ©

The majority of the debutantes were varsity high school athletes, participating in cheer, song, track & field, cross country, field hockey, soccer, crew, basketball, tennis, sailing, volleyball, water polo, and swim teams. Many of these athletes are now competing at the collegiate level.

The 2019 debutantes are: Sara Beasley, Mary Becker, Katharine Caston, Allison Cunningham, Blair Cunningham, Isabella Di Giorgio, Ella Donald, Sophia Fong, Elizabeth Gehl, Ivy Helman, Caroline Horton, Emily Johnson, Ashley Lang, Gianna Lee, Mia Matsunami, Tessa Montgomery, Skylar Neubauer, Leah Padden, Paisley Pittman, Caitlin Purdy, Anne Rankin, Sara Robinson, Clarissa Sargeant, Anna Steelberg, Sienna Stewart, Rebecca Welsh, Kate Wirta, Natalie Young, Annaliese Zeidan.

The 2019 Debutante Ball Committee includes Director Jennifer Norminton and Assistant Director Cindy Valdes, as well as Elizabeth Bennet, Jennifer Brown, Teryn Clarke, Jenny Cooper, Bita Dastghelb, Kathy Fitzpatrick, Jana Kalinowski, Sally Marquis, Donna McAllister, Marymichael Neushul, Monique Tipton, and Lori Williams.

Karla Flores at Elegant Design transformed the Hotel Irvine; the orchestra fronted by Jay Sterling Music serenaded the evening. The night was captured by photography by Gilmore Studios.

For more information, visit newport.nationalcharityleague.org

Corona del Mar resident Michele Gile Caston hugging her daughter, Katharine, as they pose for a photo together at the Debutante Ball on Dec. 30.
— Photo by Gilmore Studios ©
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