In gowns as white as the snow outside or white tie and tails, the eight debutantes and beaux who debuted Saturday at the 2012 Presentation Ball made an impressive entrance into the Omni William Penn ballroom. They were introduced individually before being presented with their parents and performing the presentation dances. The ball is sponsored biennially by Jack and Jill of America Inc., a national organization of African-American mothers dedicated to nurturing the leaders of the future. The young people are required to participate in a service project, which this year included volunteering at the Mel Blount Youth Home Celebrity Roast and wrapping gifts at Barnes & Noble to raise funds for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, a beneficiary of the ball along with the Jack and Jill Foundation.
Welcoming the 350 guests were Pittsburgh Chapter president Carlotta Burgess (with Ricky), national vice president Tammy King and eastern regional director Joi Grady. Velvet Mickens chaired the ball on behalf of her twins, Teran and Tevin Mickens, both students at Shady Side Academy. Also presented were twins Forrest and Olivia Barnes -- Forrest attends Seneca Valley High and Olivia is a senior at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Their parents are Rufus Barnes and Stephanie Barnes-Jones. Rikki Murphy from the Linsly School in Wheeling, W.Va., was accompanied by her parents, Ricky and Linda Murphy. Charena and Lynn Swann introduced their son, Shafer, who attends Central Catholic. Dr. Morris and Varena Turner presented their daughter, Kielah, a senior at Oakland Catholic. Corri Waters, a junior at Elizabeth Forward, was introduced by her parents, Robert and Robin Waters. WPXI-TV's Vince Sims and KDKA-TV's Lynne Hayes-Freeland served as grand marshals for the evening,
Enjoying the dinner of mixed greens, beef tenderloin with Madeira sauce and orange blossom shortcake were TiAnda Blount, Ron and Lynn Davenport, Curtis and Adrianne Aiken, George and Janet Miles, Evan and Holly Frazier, Eustace and Shelley Uku, Roland and Bethany Criswell, William and Gretchen Generett, Carl Jones and many more.