85th Cinderella Ball held at Omni William Penn
It was a vision of white in the Presidential Suite of the Omni William Penn on Saturday, where 22 debutantes were being sequestered prior to their debut at the 85th Cinderella Ball and nervously anticipating their time in the spotlight.
"I have the curtsey down, but I'm afraid of the steps I have to take after ... I'm afraid I'll fall down the stairs!" laughed Pegeen Stone.
Prior to their grand entrance, first-, second- and even third-generation debs were getting ready for their presentation in the ballroom, where each girl would be escorted on the arm of their father in front of more than 500 guests, although we found one dad who was ready to hang up his ceremonial cummerbund.
"I'm retiring this year," mused Marc Robertshaw, whose twin daughters, Charlotte and Katherine , were his third and fourth trip down the aisle.
Required to volunteer a minimum of thirty hours within six months at the Carnegie Library (this year's beneficiary organization), the debs collectively performed 725 hours of volunteer work, although it was Katharine Reineman who was awarded the Cinderella Women's Committee Scholarship for clocking in 75 herself alone.
While the debs remained upstairs, it was pandemonium downstairs in the elbow-to-elbow lobby for a leisurely cocktail hour(s) with co-chairs Laurel Breuner and Elizabeth Winson Sweeney , where we saw more than one head-turner including last year's Cinderella, Taylor Linaberg, in a gorgeous Oscar de la Renta gown worthy of royal entrance.
Bells chiming, it was back to the ballroom for the presentation of the debs, who also included Christina Bartlett, Holly Bensur, Emily Bongiovanni, Ellen Boyle, Margaret Crimmins, Caroline Fiedler, Alexandra Fownes, Rachel Johnston, Courtney Lang, Katherine Mathieson, Haley Mears, Emily Short, Stella Sotereanos, Ann Tumolo, Caroline Verstraeten, Julia Warshafsky and Tierney Weitz, who were eagerly awaiting the coup de grace of the evening; awaiting the announcement of the 2011 Prince Charming, Chase Fisher, who fulfilled the first of his royal duties as he reached into a glittering pumpkin to randomly pick the name of Stella Sotereanos, this year's Cinderella.
After that, it was time to waltz away until the stroke of midnight.
"I feel like it's been a whirlwind," commented Meredith Millar.
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