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Silver Rose debs honor mothers

Event: Tears and laughter mark annual debutante tea

Posted: March 20, 2010 9:50 p.m.
Updated: March 21, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Guild president Shelley Hann holds up an Academy Award replica for "Best Friend," given to her during the mother/daughter tea by daughter Ashley Hann, a Silver Rose Debutante.

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It was an afternoon of tears and laughter as the 2009-2010 Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Guild Silver Rose Debutantes honored their mothers, each in their own unique way, during a recent tea at the Westridge home of Guild president Shelley Hann.
"First, I'm excited because I'm a debutante mom, second I'm excited because I'm the Guild president," Hann said. "It's so nice to hear our girls speak from the heart. It's a very loving moment between mother and daughter."

The all-female audience, including Guild members, enjoyed an elegant luncheon of finger sandwiches, salads, and desserts before the presentation, which began with Shelby Grajeda of Valencia High School.

Grajeda presented her mother Jessica Miller with a framed photo of the two of them, wrapped in white tissue with a pink, hand-embellished "I Love You."

"I love you, too," Miller told her daughter before Grajeda began reading an essay outlining the many reasons her mother was special.

"I love the fact that we can hang out together the whole day and not run out of things to talk about," she said. "You are the most important person in my life."

Both wiped tears from their faces as Grajeda struggled to finish her presentation, embracing at the end.

The touching, emotional event is part of the six-month Silver Rose Guild Debutante program, which begins in September and culminates with a Grand Ball at the Sheraton Universal, complete with a diaphanous white dress, a debut to society, and a waltz with their fathers.

Jaqulyne Gibson's presentation began playfully, with her mom tossing out white tissue paper from her gift into the audience. Anne Gibson was teary-eyed from the photo album her daughter had compiled until a spontaneous portion of the narrative from the Valencia High School senior got the audience laughing.

"This is a photo of my mom really dressed up. We didn't recognize her, because she looked so nice," Gibson said.

Anne Gibson feigned frustration for a moment before taking the microphone. "It was for a fashion show. Geez," she said, rolling her eyes before draping an affectionate arm around her daughter.

While most mothers received photos, scrapbooks, essays, and poems, Ashley Hann of West Ranch High School presented an Academy Award statuette, or Oscar, emblazoned with the title "Best Friend" in light of her mother's dramatic nature.
"It's my first one," Shelley Hann said with a big smile, clutching the statuette close.

"I don't think I ever told you how much I appreciate you. So many parents aren't really there for their kids and you always are. I'm very lucky. You encourage me to chase my dreams," Hann told her mother.

Guests were called into the living room for Megan Waller's presentation to her mother Dee Rickett. Titled "Mommy, Me, and Moving On," the photo montage CD left nary a dry eye in the house.

"I appreciate your pushy yet wise advice," Waller, a senior at Saugus High School, said to laughter. "Mothering is a tough job and you always do it proudly and with a smile."

For Matty Ng, whose daughter Michelle, a senior at Valencia High School, had read a poem earlier, the day was especially insightful.
"To have your daughter explain the feelings about everything you've gone through together over 18 years of life is very touching. It touched the bottom of my heart. I'm very proud of all these girls," Ng said.

Norma Rader, who sported matching black boots with her daughter Chelsey, a senior at Hart High School, noted her daughter's participation as a debutante allowed them much more quality time at a pivotal point in their lives.

"With all the events and everything, the deb program is a good way to bring parents together with their daughters. Without it, I don't think I would've seen much of her during senior year," Rader said.

Beyond the closeness they felt with their daughters, one mother cited the program as a conduit for making new connections, as well.

"It's been a real pleasure to get to know Sarah's fellow debutantes and their families. Otherwise, I never would have gotten to know Norma (Rader) because her daughter's in a different high school," Mary Wilbert said.

For more information on the Henry Mayo Silver Rose Guild Debutante program, visit or call (661) 253-8051.


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