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Forty-Seven Women at the 58th International Debutante Ball - Wednesday, 1/9/2013 6:04 PM

Presenting the Debutantes

2012 ended with a affair to remember at New York City's famed Waldorf=Astoria. The 58th International Debutante Ball took place on the evening of Saturday, December 29th. The 2012 Honorary Chairmen were Mrs. David Hamilton and Mrs. Julia I. Kauffman. The Ball Chairmen included Anne Eisenhower, Susan Eisenhower, Mrs. D. David Eisenhower and Princess Chantal of France.

The International Debutante Ball, founded in 1954 as a charity event, presented a full evening of the finest pomp and circumstance. Upon arrival, attendees were ushered to the receiving line where 47 eagerly awaiting debutantes warmly greeted each guest. The young ladies were from the countries of China, Australia, England, France, the Netherlands and the various parts of the USA (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas).

Jessica Jones and Suzy Kjorlien

During the cocktail hour we spoke with Kansas City Philanthropist Julia Irene Kauffman, a member of the International Debutante Ball Foundation  Board of Directors.  Standing near the beginning of the receiving line, the Oscar de la Renta clad former debutante shared, "We support (The International Debutante Ball) because my mother supported it when she was still alive and we follow with her tradition. We also give to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in support of the ball."

We also spoke briefly with New York Debutante Whitney Schott, daughter of Christine K. Schott, a public relations consultant in New York, and Mr. Steven G. Schott. Whitney is a USTA Eastern ranked tennis player and recipient of the 2012 Kae Jones Sportsmanship Award, a special honor given by the Eastern Tennis Umpires Association. "This is a great event,” said Ms. Schott. “My mother came out at the International Ball, so it's a family tradition. It's such a great way to meet girls from all over the world and I'm just having fun." Ms. Schott's lovely white gown was designed by Designer Misha Nonoo, who has also designed dresses for the Duchess of Cambridge and Pipa Middelton.

Gene Jones, Natalie Counts, Jerry Jones, Jennifer Counts, Kathy Counts and Trisha Dixon

An unexpected highlight was speaking to Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, who attended the ball in support of his two granddaughters, Jessica Jones and Hayley Anderson. The boisterous Jones pointed out that Jessica is the daughter of his son Stephen Jones and Ms. Anderson is the daughter of Charlotte Anderson (nee Jones). Each girl looked radiant in their white strapless gowns.

Dusty Shimkus, Dan Vasquez and Sam Lieber

Immediately following a generous cocktail hour, guests made their way into the Waldorf=Astoria's Grand Ballroom for an elegant dinner. The four-course meal was comprised of the following: Lobster-Basil Roll with Tangerine Wasabi Aioli paired with David Stone of California, Chardonnay; Grilled Tournedo of Beef with red wine sauce, a spinach and gruyere cheese potato souflee with carmelized brussel sprouts paired with Syrah: a Baby Arugula salad, petite heirloom tomatoes, shaved endive parmesean tuile topped with Bosc Pear, and aged balsamic vinaigerette: completed by a Coffee Cream Profiterole Trio dessert of Tres Leches cream tart with salted milk chocolate caramel glaze and chocolate sauce.

The presentation of the debutantes, the long awaited grand traditional ceremony, began just after dessert with each girl being escorted by either a young man from society or a young man from a military academy alongside a flag bearer. Each debutante took a long walk through the ballroom to the tune of her country's national anthem, state song, or similar piece. At the end of her walk, she bowed to society most genteelly in her gown and was then escorted off of the stage.

The evening concluded with the 2012 debutantes and other attendees waltzing to the sounds of Lester Lanin Orchestra.

Atmosphere at the Waldorf Astoria

Noteworthy attendees included: Olia Chi Au Lau (China), The Honorable Iona Murray (Scotland); Mackenzie Peyton Nix (England), Natasha Emily Booth, Georgina Lara Booth (The Netherlands), Whitney Schott, Sarah Rodeo (New York); Nicole Suzanne Frances Fischer, Courtney Margaret Marina Fischer, Miss Chase Dearing Hughes (Connecticut); Jessica Catherine Jones, Haley Alexis Anderson (Texas) Taylor Leigh Ann Rees (Louisiana) and Mackenzie Gilchrist Kern (Louisiana).