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Silver Rose Debutantes take their first bow

Henry Mayo Guild hosts its first social event of the year

Posted: October 18, 2008 9:02 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The 2008-09 Henry Mayo Silver Rose Guild Debutantes made their debut at a presentation tea held at a private home in Newhall. The 2008-09 debutantes are: Front row, Heather Kate Duncan, Alexandra Nicole Crowder, Laura Rose When and Kebra Elizabeth Sedam, back row, Noelle Chadbourne, Sarah Nicole Turchan, Kaila Marie Caroline Pascua, Jennifer Rio...


A gurgling fountain and spectacular garden blooms exquisitely accented the aura of anticipation and excitement at the Debutante Presentation Tea on Sept. 27. The Henry Mayo Hospital Guild officially launched the 2008-09 Silver Rose Debutante Program with its "first social event of the year" at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Linn in Newhall.

Junior debutantes served beverages, tea sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres to guests. The Guild presented the nine debutantes to an audience of proud friends and family members.

After being escorted by a Guild member designated as her "big sister" and joined by her parents in an elegant outdoor gazebo, each debutante then received recognition of her current community involvement along with a sliver rose medallion which signified her entrance into the program.

The Henry Mayo Guild has hosted the Silver Rose Debutante program for 23 years. Each year, the Guild invites high school senior girls into the program to expand their experiences before entering college. The program is also a fundraiser for the hospital's laboratory services.

"The debutante season offers young ladies the opportunity to acquire vital social, civic, and professional skills. They receive the opportunity to learn traditions such as etiquette, proper dress codes, and resume writing. They also receive support during their college application process and develop lif
elong friendships and memories," said Catherine Montoya, Guild president.
"It's a great finishing event because they are exposed to so much, they are able to partake in events, and learn how to dress and build relationships that will last years," said Kelly Rios, mother of debutante Jennifer Rios.

The program promotes community involvement by requiring the girls to fulfill 50 community service hours. Many of the girls are already active leaders and accomplished students.

Volunteering is high on the list for current debutante Laura When, 17. "I just enjoy helping others a lot and this is a really good opportunity to get involved in the Santa Clarita Valley."

Debutante Kebra Sedam is team captain of the varsity girls' basketball team at William S. Hart High School, as well as a member of the California Scholarship Federation and the National Honor Society.

Debutante Alexandra Crowder is a cheerleader at Hart High who helped her team become national champions. She also started a cheerleading program for underprivileged children at the SCV Boys and Girls Club. Debutante Heather Duncan is an active leader in her family's company, serving as the vice president of Duncan Industries.

The program also encourages relationship building and family involvement through its various tea parties fashion show, and the Debutante Ball held in the spring.

"The girls take waltz lessons with their dads for four to five weeks before the ball," Guild Member Terrie Cipriano said.

In addition to community involvement the program allows the debutantes to forge new friendships.

"The best thing is being with friends, meeting new friends, getting close to mom with the tea parties and dad with the waltzing," Debutante Kaila Pascua said.

Others see the program as an opportunity to grow socially.

"I've always wanted to do this since I was little. We get to dress up and go to fun events. It's really exciting," debutante Alexandra Crowder said.

Each debutante is paired with a Guild member who will guide her through the entire year. All of the etiquette lessons and social exposure prepare the debutantes for the program's crowning event, the Grand Ball. This year, the debutantes will be escorted by midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

"Noelle's really excited about doing this, and we think it‘s good for her," Angela Chadbourne, mother of debutante Noelle Chadbourne, said. "She's already learned about party etiquette, and the other skills she'll discover here are going to be very useful for her future."

The Guild wants more young women to become involved in future debutante programs.

"I'd really like to see the program expand and include more girls from different high schools," Montoya said. "It's a fantastic program for women, it really made my daughter a better woman."

The young women participating in the 2008-09 Silver Rose Debutante Program are: Laura Rose When, Academy of the Canyons; Kaila Marie Caroline Pascua, William S. Hart High School; Katie Megan Baker, William S. Hart High School; Sarah Nicole Turchan, Flintridge Preparatory School; Kebra Elizabeth Sedam, William S. Hart High School; Jennifer Rios, Saugus High School; Heather Kate Duncan, Hart District's independent learning program and COC; Alexandra Nicolle Crowder, William S. Hart High School; and Nicole Marie Elizabeth Chadbourne, William S. Hart High School.

Shawnie Wise-Hawkins, a 2007-08 Silver Rose debutante, watched proudly as the new class of debutantes mingled after the introduction. Wise-Hawkins, who is currently enrolled at Glendale Community College and plans to transfer to USC or UCLA to major in political science, is now a Silver Rose Guild big sister.

"This program helped me become a better person. I really love going out to the community and doing service," Wise-Hawkins said.

Registration costs for the program are $1,500 for the year and debutante's families are also required to sell a table of 10 seats at the Grand Ball. The program benefits laboratory services at Henry Mayo. For more information on the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Guild Silver Rose Debutante program contact Terrie Cipriano at (661) 253-8082 or

Michelle Sathe contributed to this story.


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