Cinderella Ball introduces 21 debs to society

| Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

There's something to be said for a tradition that has stood the test of time for nearly nine decades, one that has remained steadfast in its acknowledgement of time-honored rites of passage for generations of young ladies.

On Saturday, more than 600 guests descended upon the Omni William Penn to celebrate Pittsburgh's oldest fundraiser and second longest-running debutante ball in the country, the Cinderella Ball, where 21 debs officially were introduced to society, each on the arm of her proud papa or presenter.

“I'm a little nervous,” confessed Athena Petredis, who was awarded the Cinderella Women's Committee scholarship for accumulating more than 90 hours of volunteer service to this year's beneficiary, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Glowing and gorgeous in snowy gowns of silk, satin and lace, each high school senior made her entrance into a ballroom that wowed under the spell of Bill Chisnell; more than 10,000 flowers (5,000 roses alone) graced 65 lush centerpieces of white hydrangeas, pink and coral roses and pink snapdragons, some accompanied by elegant silver candelabra dripping with crystals. Inside the Urban Room, two towering, 6-foot show-stoppers adorned with an abundance of the florals elevated the scene, while pink accent lighting, most notably on the ballroom's three signature chandeliers, added a dose of youthful spunk.

But back to the main event: the tuxed and tailed floor committee of young gents flanked either side of the ballroom floor on bended knee as the debs were announced by Lenny Marsico, marked by their official curtsy. With much fanfare, University of Notre Dame senior Sean Hannon (son of Michael Hannon andJudy Puckett Hannon) made his entrance as the swoon-worthy Prince Charming, choosing at random from a gilded pumpkin the name card of this year's Cinderella. In an awesome coincidence, it was Rose Egan (daughter of Jamie andConnie Egan), a fourth-generation deb whose aunt, Lucille Egan, had been chosen as Cindrella in 1973.

After a sumptuous dinner perfectly executed by the attentive wait staff, tables cleared out in a flash as Gary Racan and the studio-e band kept the dance floor at capacity until the stroke of midnight.

Co-chaired by CWC “fairy godmothers” Catherine Loevner and Diana Rath, the evening was proof of the unwavering dedication that those involved with the event have come to epitomize year after year.

“This night is the culmination of 35 years of nonprofit work, and is my shining star,” shared Loevner, who was toasted by family and friends for her tireless involvement that spanned more than a decade.

Bowing alphabetically were Isabel Aiken, Anna Arnn, Samantha Ballengee, Stephanie Betts, Lyndsay Bozzone, Maclean Calihan, Hanna Chait, Katherine Girdhar, Samantha Goodman, Olivia Loevner, Sydney Mordoh, Caroline Muse (a third-generation deb), Campbell North, Madison Pollock, Brooke Roberts, Caroline Stamy, Maegan Stump, Julia Teti, and Meryl Warshafsky.

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