Fanfare: Pittsburgh Cinderella Ball's debs embrace their big night
Tradition and anticipation fused together Jan. 30 to create an unforgettable evening for 20 debutantes during the Cinderella Women's Committee's 90th annual Cinderella Ball.
“I've known about it for so long that I just knew I wanted to do it,” said third-generation deb Olivia Muse.
Co-chairwomen Heather Chronis and Charlene Campbell were at the helm this year, welcoming 550 guests to the ballroom of the Omni William Penn, Downtown, for the country's second-oldest debutante ball.
“Ninety is a big year. It's just been wonderful. We had a real vision for this, and that vision was unveiled tonight. But more importantly, it's about family tradition,” Chronis said.
Master of ceremonies Lenny Marsicoe_SNbS and the Rick Purcell Orchestra struck the right chord as each girl took her curtsy on the arm of her father before engaging in a waltz, two events that have been known to inspire a tradition of their own.
“I'm nervous about tripping,” LaurenWholey said.
From there, the “best-kept secret in Pittsburgh” was finally unveiled when David Whitehead “Whit” Hobbs Jr. was announced as this year's Prince Charming. Among his official duties? Randomly picking the name of this year's Cinderella — Phoebe Thompson — from an illuminated pumpkin.
Also presented were third-generation deb Madeline Lang, second-generation debsCaroline Colville, Holly Hoover, Sydney Jones, Julia Shelby andCorinne Tumpson, as well asMargaret Aiken, Madeleine Braksick, Emily and Caroline Certo, Kara Flaherty, Maria Jovin, Lauren Kossman, Maeghan Parda, Gabrielle Pollock andErin Sebastian.
Embracing the ball's focus on social and charitable responsibility, the girls collectively spent 700 hours volunteering at this year's beneficiary, the Senator John Heinz History Center.
“I think I'm going to keep on volunteering there. I love the archives,” said scholarship winner Julie Muhl.
Kate Benz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Send Fanfare notices to Fanfare@tribweb.com.