Debutantes Celebrate at Dana Point, Irvine Bashes

Pamela Marin is a regular contributor to Orange County Life

Coming out, Newport style:

It was a big weekend for coastal debs, beginning with a Friday night bash at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point for 23 Newport Harbor area debutantes.

Donning white gowns and opera-length gloves, the young ladies were feted at the Children’s Home Society’s 36th annual Debutante Ball, a $100-per-person benefit that raised an estimated $75,000, according to Newport Harbor Auxiliary president Marilyn Read.

The bash began before sundown with the girls posing for pictures in the ballroom. After the portrait session and a pre-party party, the debs joined their parents, escorts and friends--a total of 485 guests--for cocktails under the stars in the Ritz courtyard.


Shortly before dinner, guests were seated in the ballroom to await the entrance of each snowy-clad deb as she glided in on the arm of her father, promenaded the dance floor and stepped on stage. Master of ceremonies Per Tembler handled the introductions.

Ball host James Spradley Jr., president of the Children’s Home Society of California, described the 98-year-old society’s programs, which include adoption services, counseling, day care, foster family care and child advocacy.

After a dinner of fettucine with prawns and filet mignon with three peppercorn sauce, the debs danced with their dads and gentleman callers to the sounds of Barry Cole’s orchestra.

Debutantes du jour: Elizabeth Anne Bastiaanse, Hilary Weathers Benedict, Lisa Jennifer Bhathal, Jennifer Jean Brunson, Dorothy Bristol Dunlap, Suzanne Lyn Emerson, Michelle Marshall Fay, Melinda Ann Hovee, Michele Christina Hughes, Melissa Suzanne Ingold, Michelle Anne Johnson, Diane Elizabeth Mallos, Kathleen Margaret Nutt, Molly Marie O’Neil, Dona Kristina Ring, Rachel Beth Robboy, Jennifer Bridget Smith, Traci Lynn Warmington, Lydia McKenzie Welton, Wendy Ann Werner, Allison Christine Root, Celeste Tuttle, Rika Michelle Yano.


On Saturday, 22 more teens debuted at the 29th annual Debutante Ball hosted by the Newport chapter of the National Charity League.

The setting was all romance and elegance in the ballroom of the Irvine Hilton, dressed up for the night with lilies, roses and magnolia blossoms, Greek columns and Doric pedestals, pepper trees and eucalyptus branches.

Five hundred guests paid $75 each to attend the party, which was not a fund-raiser but “a reward to the girls for their years of service,” said committee member Sharon Henwood.

The 22 young women presented in a pre-dinner ceremony have given a total of 3,700 hours of community service, Henwood said. National Charity League is a nonprofit organization of mothers and daughters who donate time and raise money for groups such as Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, senior citizen centers and other philanthropic and cultural programs.

Making their formal society debut at the dinner-dance were: Nicole Renee Balding, Marla Suanne Coon, Sienna Curci, Kelli Ann Dobbs, Amy Therese Dreyfus, Katherine Ann Gfeller, Sara Elizabeth Guggenheim, Heather Kristine Hanes, Amy Elizabeth Irvine, Julie Johnson, Angela Karen Kendall, Suzanne Lorraine Kengla, Elizabeth Ann Lockie, Sara Ann Lucas, Molly Elizabeth McCray, Amy Bryant Nott, Amy Lynn Rich, Karen Ann Robison, Cynthia Lynn Rohan, Shannon Terese Roys, Cameron Gail Tingler, Jill Heather Wood.