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Silver Rose debutantes honor mothers

The 23rd annual Mother Daughter Tea brings families together before Grand Ball March 28

Posted: March 18, 2009 6:24 p.m.
Updated: March 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The 2009 Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Guild Silver Rose debutantes and their mothers, bottom to top, left to right, Jennifer and Kelly Rios, Sarah and Karen Turchan, Laura and Toni Wehn, Alexandra and Kristine Crowder, Noelle and Angela Chadbourne, Heather and Robin Duncan, and Kebra and Malanie Sedam. The annual Debutante Ball will be h...

Dressed in their Sunday best, with tissues at the ready, seven mothers were honored by their Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Guild Silver Rose Debutante daughters during the 23rd Annual Mother Daughter Tea. Presentations ranged from original songs and poems to scrapbooks and gifts, all selected by the debutantes in appreciation of their mother's influence in their lives.

Sarah Turchan, a Flintridge Preparatory School senior, gave a straightforward speech.

"I'm thankful every day to have such an amazing mom," said Turchan, as her mother Karen Turchan, a breast cancer survivor, wiped away tears. "You're always the rock in my life. I hope in the future to be as good a mom as you are."

Heather Duncan, an Opportunities For Learning charter school senior, chose to express her sentiments in an original song.

Strumming her guitar, Duncan smiled through chord transitions, as her mother Karen Duncan watched with pride.

"You've shown me how to grow, you've shown me everything I should know, God has been so good, to bless me with a family that did all they could," Duncan sang sweetly. "Mom, you always are the perfect friend."

Held at the elegant Valencia home of Carol and Jim Neyer, guests, including members of the Guild and former debutantes, mingled over a traditional English tea prior to the presentations. Teas by Jennifer catered the buffet, which included finger sandwiches, scones and jam tarts, as well as a selection of hot and iced teas served by Silver Rose junior debutantes outfitted in black and white aprons.

"This is a truly touching experience. I had to stay involved for the next generation," said Neyer, the Guild's president-elect. Her daughter Valerie was a debutante in 2007 and is now a second year business major at California State University, Northridge.

Kelly Rios enrolled her daughter Jennifer, a Saugus High School senior, as a debutante after seeing articles in The Signal.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for her to not only participate in finishing aspects, such as etiquette, but to give back to the community and make new friends," Rios said. "She's accumulated all of that and more."

Jennifer Rios gave her mother a scrapbook with an original prayer she wrote, but Kebra Sedam waivered on what to do for her mother Melanie.

"I could've written a song, but my mom already hears me banging on the piano all night," she said.

Instead, Sedam recounted memories she held dear, such as riding ATVs together in Hawaii and the smile it brought to Melanie Sedam's face, as well as a time the duo were lost in London at midnight when her mother's laughter lightened up the mood.

"You're the only person who was as dedicated to ‘The OC' as me, who puts up with my chronic OCD," Kebra Sedam said, struggling with emotion to finish her speech. "You are so beyond what you think. You are a rock of faith that helps me no matter how hard life gets. You are truly my best friend."

The Silver Rose Debutante program, which was founded in 1985 to benefit laboratory services at Newhall Memorial, requires 50 hours of community service, including planning and attending hospital fundraisers, as well as a season of events culminating with a Grand Ball. The annual Silver Rose Debutante Ball will be held March 28 at the Universal Sheraton in Universal City.

At the Grand Ball the debutantes will be presented to society and participate in a "Grand Waltz" with their fathers or escorts.

The 2009 Silver Rose debutantes are: Kebra Elizabeth Sedam, Alexandra Nicole Crowder, Katie Megan Baker, and Noelle Chadbourne of Hart High School, Sarah Nicole Turchan of Flintridge High School, Jennifer Rios of Saugus High School, Laura Rose Wehn of Academy of the Canyons, and Heather Kate Duncan of Opportunities For Learning charter school.

For more information on the Henry Mayo Guild Silver Rose Debutante Program, call the Foundation office at (661) 253-8051 or visit


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