Old Dominion Cotillion Celebrates 21st Anniversary Ball
Chantilly, VA — On July 14, 2012, the Old Dominion Cotillion (“ODC”) held its 21st Anniversary Debutante Ball at Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia. Family and friends gathered for a sumptuous multi-course dinner and lively dancing to celebrate the social debut of ten local young women. Dressed in white Cinderella-like ball gowns, the Debutantes each appeared under an arch of sabers impeccably and precisely performed by cadets from the Virginia Military Institute. Each debutante was formally presented by her father, and then escorted for the evening by a designated VMI cadet.
The ODC proudly announces the debut of its 2012 debutantes: Miss Sydney Dominique Backman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Duane Backman of Manassas, Virginia, who is a recent graduate of Osbourn Park High School in Manassas; Miss Erica Lynn Bossert, daughter of Captain and Mrs. David Larry Bossert of Fairfax, Virginia, who is a rising senior at Oakton High School; Miss Ciara Noelle Cooney, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eamonn Anthony Cooney of Oak Hill, Virginia, who is a rising senior at Oakton High School; Miss Jillian Frances Goulding, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Joseph Goulding, Jr., of Fairfax, Virginia, who is a rising senior at Flint Hill School; Miss Theresa Christine Hermle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Matthew Hermle of Oakton, Virginia, who is a rising senior at James Madison High School; Miss Olivia Rose Joseph, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel S Joseph, III, of Centreville, Virginia, who is a rising senior at Westfield High School; Miss Claire Ellen Mahoney, daughter of Dr. David Lucas Mahoney and Dr. Karen Murry Mahoney of Oakton, Virginia , who is a rising senior at Oakton High School; Miss Hannah Marie Nothwehr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Andrew Nothwehr of Chantilly, Virginia, who is a rising senior at Freedom High School; Miss Gianna Marie Sheffield, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John Steven Sheffield of Oakton, Virginia, who is a rising senior at Oakton High School; Miss Paolah Urista, daughter of Mr. Alfredo Gutierrez and Ms. Andrea Urista of Centreville, Virginia, who is a rising senior at Westfield High School.
The program also included the introduction of four Pages (seventh and eighth graders), nine Future Debutantes (ninth and tenth graders), and six Post Debutantes (seniors and college freshmen). Returning alumnae of all classes of the Cotillion were also recognized.
Established in 1991, the Old Dominion Cotillion is a women’s organization that encourages young women to grow in confidence and poise while educating them in the social graces through cultural enrichment, social events, and philanthropic activities. Each year, the ODC’s social season begins with the Fall Invitational Tea, an informative overview for interested young ladies and their mothers that highlights the year’s upcoming events. As one might expect, throughout the year many opportunities are provided for social development, including an introduction to social graces, tea pouring etiquette, stationery etiquette, party planning, and—of course—dance lessons for the Debutantes.
The 2011-2012 season was packed with exceptional cultural growth opportunities, including events at national historic landmarks. Early in the season, the ODC was 'treated' to a spooky Halloween event at Oatlands Historic House and Garden—the stately pre-Civil War mansion, gardens, and former plantation—located near Leesburg. In April, the ODC toured and enjoyed afternoon tea at Georgetown's Tudor Place, Historic House and Garden. Hidden in the heart of Georgetown, this verdant oasis features a grand mansion overlooking the Potomac that was built in 1805 by Thomas Peter and his wife, Martha Parke Custis Peter. She was the granddaughter of George and Martha Custis Washington and great aunt of Mary Anna Custis Lee, wife of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Another unforgettable destination was the National Cathedral, which hosted a Tour and Tea. From top to bottom, we were given a fascinating tour, from the upper levels of the stone towers—and their encompassing view of Washington, D.C. and its surroundings—to the magnificent and breathtaking main cathedral and chapels, as well as the vaulted crypts below.
In addition to numerous enrichment activities, the young women and their families enjoy social affairs throughout the entire social season. Highlights of annual events include the Holiday Tea as well as the Holiday Gala and a father-daughter Valentine’s Day brunch; rotating events include a trunk show, father-daughter bowling, a car care seminar, and Internet etiquette, to name a few, all of which culminate in the Debutante Ball. Each year, “Ball Week” is filled with activities for the young women and their families as they eagerly anticipate the annual Debutante Ball, including Family Day, a Debutante luncheon, the “Ring Dance” (where the Debutantes are presented with the ODC’s signature ring), and the Rehearsal Party. While the annual Debutante Ball marks the end of the social season, it also promises the beginning of a new journey for the young women who are making their debuts.
One of the primary objectives of the ODC is to teach its young women social responsibility and encourage them to engage in the community. In the spring of 2008, the ODC began a philanthropic partnership with the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, Virginia. The shelter is run by Shelter House, Inc., a community-based, non-profit organization serving homeless families in Fairfax County, Virginia. This season ODC members provided more than 200 hours of service, hosting kids-night activities such as games, snacks, and crafts. In addition, the members also volunteered over 700 hours to other charitable organizations in the community. In 2009, ODC was awarded the Volunteer Service Award in the category of “Youth Volunteer Group” by Volunteer Fairfax. In 2011, the Old Dominion Cotillion received the Shelter House 30th Anniversary Champion Award. “This award is in appreciation of your high level of service and commitment to preventing and ending homelessness and to those fleeing domestic violence.”
The 22nd Social Season will commence with the Invitational Tea, Sunday, September 30, at 3pm. For more information about the Old Dominion Cotillion and questions regarding membership, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mrs. Charles Gallagher, Director, at 703-476-9576.