This past Saturday the Harbert Center was home to an evening of elegance and grandeur which was the Starlight Debutante Cotillion celebration for female leaders of tomorrow.  

Debutantes were decked out in flowing white gowns as their escorts were neatly pressed in black tuxedos. Four states were represented that included Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland as debutantes and escorts are positive examples throughout the U.S.  

Mistress of Ceremony, Dee Griffin, was a welcoming fixture for the festivities as appetizing dishes were presented to guests by the fabulous catering of Chef Julia May and the J and J decorating team.  

Classy and beautiful, the debutantes were presented before the audience as great contributors within their communities who will do even more in the near future as college students and professionals. Most of the debutantes and escorts are alumnus of the famed Jack and Jill of America Organization which was founded during the Great Depression in 1938 by Marion Stubbs Thomas along with twenty-one mothers whose goal was to establish a social and cultural union for their children. 

Starlight Debutante Cotillion Chairperson of 2024 Mrs. Ty Davis told us, “I’m very honored and humbled by this moment and deeply grateful. Our Cotillion program serves to equip young ladies to pursue academic excellence, personal development and civic involvement.” 

We spoke with one of the founders of the Starlight Debutante Cotillion, Dr. Stacy Haynes-Nelson who told us in regards to such a pleasant event saying, “Back in 2013 myself and friends Kim Hitchens, Diann Jackson and Brenda Adams wanted to empower our young ladies with such a ceremony. Our purpose was to give them the grace to honor their heritage and they’ve learned many things from makeup appliance, culinary skills and monetary management amongst other qualities. We hope our following Mothers will follow our template to share with their daughters in the future as well.”

All four Starlight Debutante Cotillion founders said simply in cheerful unison regarding the event “We’re excited!” with cheerful laughs. 

This year The Altamont School Senior, Maya Davis served as Teen President for the Birmingham, Alabama chapter as she was escorted by Richard “R.J.” Washington. Fourteen other debutantes were also escorted by sons of the community who are also contributing positive examples throughout society. We spoke with the father of Maya’s, Mr. Rodney Davis, who told us, “This has been a labor of love and these young people have bright futures ahead of them. They’re dispelling a lot of the negative stereotypes of today and we as parents are here to support them fully.” 

We commend our bright young men and women who are looking to impact our society in various forms as philanthropists, community leaders, business owners, doctors and more. 

We look forward to supporting all of our youth from every walk of life seeing to it they know the future depends on them with our wholehearted efforts of teaching them in all positivity.