On the Town
In St. Petersburg, the tradition dates back to the 1930s: the formal pageantry of presenting young women in festivities before family and friends, during the week between Christmas and New Year's.
As in years past, the 16 selected by the St. Petersburg Debutante Club for the Presentation Ball and reception wore formal white gowns and carried bouquets of red roses. They descended the stairs, made the promenade around the dance floor, and curtsied before their mothers before the official dancing began.
Former Mayor Bob Ulrich was master of ceremonies for the black-tie event, which drew more than 1,000 guests to the Coliseum.
The 2009 debutantes, their parents and escorts:
Donna Cannova, daughter of Michael and Gail Cannova, escorted by Anthony Katchuk.
Taylor Chmielewski, daughter of Mark Chmielewski and Linda Jantschek, escorted by Michael Alberts.
Lisa DeGroot, daughter of Dave and Shirley DeGroot, escorted by Jeff DeGroot.
Kathleen Garnett, daughter of Blanton and Lela Garnett, escorted by Duncan Isiminger.
Corey Hall, daughter of Charles and Anne Hall, escorted by Cameron Hall.
Bonnie Hough, daughter of Robb and Susan Hough, escorted by Mitchell Todd.
Holly Janicki, daughter of Dr. Tony and Susan Janicki, escorted by Anthony Janicki.
Katie Link, daughter of Dave and Jane Ferguson, escorted by Matt Campbell.
Liz Macari, daughter of Claude and Mary Macari, escorted by Kevin Gates.
Michelle Menke, daughter of Bob and Jan Menke, escorted by Kyle Menke.
Jenny Putrino, daughter of Cary and Joan Putrino, escorted by Matt McCarthy.
Kelly Russo, daughter of Frank and Colleen Russo, escorted by Shane Armbrister.
Margaret Spears, daughter of Michael and Jackie Spears, escorted by Tim Murphy.
Liz Spitzer, daughter of Bob Spitzer and Nancy Rutland, escorted by Zach Bowers.
Johnna Webb, daughter of Rob and Tiffany Webb, escorted by Vance Braddock.
Whitney Wilkerson, daughter of Witt and Pat Wilkerson, escorted by Todd Wilkerson.
The day before Thanksgiving, debutantes and their fathers were guests of honor at a luncheon at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Hostesses were Hazel Hough, Mary Alice McClendon, Monika MacFawn, Ardith Rutland and Ramona Updegraff.
A flurry of parties took place during the winter holiday break. Dottie Templet and Ann McGrath entertained at a golf party on Dec. 19 at St. Petersburg Country Club.
Karen Hancock gave a Breakfast at Tiffany's party at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club at Pass-a-Grille on Dec. 20. That evening, hosts for a dance party were Breck and Terri Amick, Jorge and Charo Echarte, Jeff and Lane Ritch, Peter and Helen Wallace, Rick and Julie Bannon, Harvey and Kathleen Ford, Dr. Ed and Carol Swanick and Dave and Lesli Williams.
On Dec. 21, hostesses for a day at the spa at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort were Barbara Collins, Ashley Gairing, Kristie Helinger, Valery Hendry, Judy Holland, Marian McGuire, Connie Smith and Judy Stanton,
Jill, Katy and Ryan Orobello gave a scrapbooking party for the debs at Whim So Doodle on Dec. 21. And on Dec. 22, the young women were honored at a tea hosted by Anje Bogott, Dr. Jody Cressman, Denise Degnan, Helen Feinberg, Terri Reid, Susan Wallace and Margaret Wood.
Debutantes, their fathers and grandfathers were guests of honor at a Dec. 27 Christmas brunch at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club hosted by Diane Hussemann, David and Lisa Meehan, Janet Raymond, Vince and Terri Shook, Dick and Shawn Ulrich, Bob and Barbara Ulrich, Betty Willis and Bob and Sally Willis.