PHOTOS: Charity Ball 2012

Philadelphia's debutante debut marks its 133rd event.

The Bellevue at the Hyatt in Philadelphia was the setting Saturday, November 24th, for the prestigious and steeped-in-tradition 133rd Philadelphia Charity Ball. Three young ladies with the white bouquets (Lacey Deaver Swift-Farley, seated on left, Courtney Jennifer McCauley, seated on right, and Laura Katerina McCauley, standing behind them, were presented to society, making their debut into the “the philanthropy world.” Here, they are surrounded by the Young Ladies’ and Men’s committees. Most of these young ladies and men already have an impressive resume of public service. Proceeds from the ball benefited Gesu School in Philadelphia.

The evening began for the debutantes, their parents and guests with a cocktail reception in the Red & Clover Room, followed by dinner. Below: Margaret Tierney, 133rd Philadelphia Charity Ball board of directors’ president Michael Tierney, Elisabeth Cooke, and executive vice president Peter Cooke.

Below: Ben Sheppard, Laura McCauley, Michael Maggio, Courtney McCauley, Mario Maggio, and Dave Richards. Both girls are involved in many charitable organizations, including the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution. Laura graduated from Conestoga High School and now attends Ithaca College of Music where she is majoring in vocal performance. Courtney is finishing at Conestoga High School and plans to attend college and hopes to apply her skill and knowledge in finance to solve the world’s economic problems.

Below: Rose Ehrlich, Jill Barton, Katie Howlin and Rebecca McCool were all on hand to support Jordan Marinchak, who was on the young ladies’ committee. Ehrlich and Barton both went to high school with Marinchak, and Howlin and McCool both went to Drexel with her. The Charity Ball is held on Thanksgiving Day weekend so it’s also a reunion of sorts. One parent told me, “The kids are all home from school that weekend. It’s a nice time for a reunion with their friends from home.”

Below: The Claytor family—Emily Claytor (member of the Young Ladies’ Committee), dad R. Brannon Claytor, mom Sarah and brother Benjamin.

Below: Part of the Haverford School’s 2012 Lifers graduating class—which is students who attended the school from kindergarten through high school—George Lemmon III, Fitz Daniel Tabas Tepper, Samuel Henderson and Scott Warren were glad to reunite for the traditional Philadelphia Charity Ball, which their families have participated in for years.

Below: Sean McCauley, whose two daughters, Courtney and Laura, made their debut, with Shana Heidorn, owner of Society Hill Dance Academy, U.S. Army 1st. Lieutenant and Ranger Samuel Heidorn, Donna de Varona Pinto, and John Pinto. The Pintos’ daughter, Katherine Elizabeth, made her debut at the 52nd International Debutante Ball and dinner dance held at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.

Below: Alexandra Leto, who tells me she is a seventh-generation young lady participating in the Philadelphia Charity Ball, with Chandler Burke, who tells me she had a chance to stop by the Gesu School and was really touched by all the hard-working students at the inner-city parochial school.

Below: A member of the Young Ladies’ Committee, Marian S. Prim was escorted by her boyfriend and fellow graduate of Episcopal Academy, William J Kacergis, who is now a freshman at the Naval Academy. Also: Jeanne C. Prim and Joseph A. Prim, Jr., partner at Duca and Prim.

Below: Leila Gresh (right), and Alexandra Weinerman share a laugh as Eric Hill looks on. Also spotted in the crowd: John Devine, Michael Tierney, Maisie Allen, Eliza Moran, board member Georgina Noll (after 131 years, the Philadelphia Charity Ball allowed women to serve on the board), Sarah and Annie Neilson, Hannah Newhall, James Carino, Courtney McGill, and Brianna Taylor, who really helped make this event the success it was.

Below: Dawn Warden Reeder and Tim Reeder. Dawn tells me she and Kim Ettinger have renamed their company, The Whole Enchilada PR, to the Warden Ettinger Group. Daughter Nicole is a Young Ladies’ Committee member.

Below: Founding members of the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Charity Ball, former deb Alexandra Meigs Noll and Erin Gray flank Adam Hymans, donor engagement officer at the Philadelphia Foundation.

After dinner, the Ball officially begins around 10 p.m. Michael J. Tierney, president of the board of directors greeted the guests, stressing the importance of the Philadelphia Charity Ball and praising the young ladies and men for their demonstrated appreciation of philanthropy and volunteerism. The 2012 Bryn Mawr Trust & Philadelphia Charity Ball Scholar award was given to a deserving student, Kharon Randolph, a seventh-grader at Gesu. Below: Young Ladies’ Committee members Chandler Burke, Catherine Miller and Nicole Warden capture the moment.