Front Sitting (L to R): 1. Madisen Christine Clarke, 2. Jessica Sarah Hanna, 3. Kamryn Renae Foster, 4. Zoe Rene Covington-Towner, 5. Spencer Noelle Abbott, 6. Remington Camille Abbott, 7. Tayloré Alexandria Kerrick, 8. Shelby Jennifer Johnson Back Row Standing (L to R): 1. Marel Jewel Pryor, 2. Leah Nicole Majors, 3. Chanya Pearl Jeffries, 4. Gabriella Mays Kimbrough, 5. Drew Alexandra Aldridge, 6. Kindyl Cherise Henley, 7. Blair Casey Scott, 8. Chelise Anik Scott, 9. Selena Marie McLurkin.
Front Sitting (L to R): 1. Jeremiah Omar, 2. Dean Osborne. 3. Kenny Lewis Haywood, 4. Sean Matthew Guyton, 5. Evan Charles McLurkin, 6. Dakotah Hamilton, 7. Garnett Livingston March, II, 8. Jeremiah Fountain. Back Row Standing (L to R): 9. Ryan Willoughby, 10. Malgy Ashton Blue, 11. Montgomery Greene, 12. Cameron Victor Garrison, 13. Cole Bryant Holden, 14. Reese Frederick Jones, 15. Gavin Hoyt Beavers,16. Baraka Beckett, 17. Djuka L. Lylecyrus
1. Carla Pittman, Los Angeles Chapter President
2. Nedra Austin, Chair of the Los Angeles Chapter Charitable Trust (LACCT)
3. Janice Murray, Cotillion Chairperson
On the evening of Friday, November 24, 2017, The Los Angeles (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and its philanthropic arm, The Los Angeles Chapter Charitable Trust held the 65th Anniversary Cotillion at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Since the first Cotillion in 1951, Debutantes, also known as Cotillionettes, participate in a series of workshops, seminars, and community service activities that enable these young women to grow in grace and to be enriched with pragmatic and social skills for transition to higher education and to adult life. The 2017 Cotillion season began with a Mother/Daughter Tea chaired by Links Carolyn and Ramona Wilder, in a high tea setting at President, Link Carla Pittman’s lovely home, where debutantes, mothers and guests were introduced to the intricacies of the Cotillion program. The Los Angeles Links’ Leadership Institute, the cornerstone of the Cotillion program, established by the chapter as an enrichment program, launched with its annual retreat sleepover which began with a community service project, and continued with professionally moderated workshops on navigating social media, lifestyle choices, and focused heavily on awareness of the dangers of human trafficking. A calming yoga activity was later enjoyed by all. Other workshops included the financial literacy program held at Finance Park, a legislative presentation at City Hall, essay writing, etiquette, skincare, cultural awareness and various friendship activities. Additionally, each debutante was required to perform 75 hours of community service. During the summer of 2017, the debutantes collectively dedicated over 2000 volunteer service hours to various organizations and agencies throughout the greater Los Angeles Area. Providing continued service to the community is part of the long-standing legacy of the Los Angeles Chapter of The Links. Historically, local, non-profit agencies and programs that provide health, arts, education, and youth and elder services are selected by the Los Angeles Chapter Charitable Trust to receive financial support awards from the Cotillion revenue. As Los Angeles Chapter of The Links, Incorporated celebrates 67 years of steadfast service to address critical needs and concerns of our local, national and global communities, Carla Pittman, Chapter President, expressed her appreciation to the village of families and friends, the heart and soul of Chapter fundraising efforts, for their continuing support of the young ladies, as well.The final activity of the Cotillion season, the Awards Luncheon, was held at the Wilshire Country Club. Each Cotillionette was acknowledged with a Certificate of Participation, a 14k gold Links pendant and necklace, and monetary merit awards in the following categories: Best Essay, Highest number of Volunteer Hours, Highest Grade Point Average, and Highest Revenue Producer. Additional awards included the 2017 Cotillion Chairs Award, Past Presidents’ Leadership Award, the Pittman Family Award, the John M. Langston Bar Association Award, and the Lauren N. Kenneybrew Leadership Award. Further, several Los Angles Links members presented awards in memory of beloved family members: Isabel Anderson, Jessie Mae Beavers, Dr. Jacqueline Broussard, Dorothy Crippens, The Honorable Rodney Forneret and Raymond D. Wilder. The Cotillion is the culmination of a comprehensive program that embodies Los Angeles Chapter’s commitment to service. Cotillion General Chairperson, Janice Jamison Murray welcomed guests as they entered the ballroom beneath the crystal chandeliers that highlighted the room like stars in the night. The ballroom was exquisitely designed and splendidly decorated by the decorations Committee, chaired by Phyllis Forneret and Arnecia Williams to accentuate the 2017 65th Cotillion theme, “Girl on Fire.” Musical Director, Ms. Susan Chatman, arranged the score to accompany soloist, Ms. Charlean Carmon as she delivered the Cotillion theme song, This Girl is on Fire. Mr. Chris Schauble, guest presenter of the Cotillion’s 2017 debutantes, co-anchors weekdays on the top-rated KTLA Channel 5 morning news. He has won a variety of awards, including the coveted Emmy Award for journalistic excellence. Mr. Schauble, is the husband of Katrina J. Schauble, a Los Angeles chapter member. The 65th Cotillion Ball presentation, a premier occasion, is inextricably connected to a legacy of service for mentoring the following 2017 debutantes, each a charming, poised and accomplished young lady: Remington Camille Abbott, the daughter of Mrs. Gwendolyn Krystal Abbott and Mr. Antoine Domini Abbott, was presented by her grandfather, Mr. Antoine Domini Abbott. She was escorted by Reese Frederick Jones, a junior at Campbell Hall and the son of Mrs. Suzanne Patterson Jones and the late Alexander S. Jones. Remington, a junior at Walnut High School, is an honor student. She is involved in her school’s theater arts program, and she has earned a Certificate of Induction into the International Thespian Society. Remington is Vice President of the Black Student Union and a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Jack & Jill of America Incorporated. Spencer Noelle Abbott, the daughter of Mrs. Gwendolyn Krystal Abbott and Mr. Antoine Domini Abbott was presented by her father. She was escorted by Malgy Ashton Blue, a junior at Redondo Union High School and the son of Mrs. April Blue and Mr. Malgy James Blue. Spencer is a junior at Walnut High School, is fluent in German, and is co-captain of her school’s Color Guard Team. She plays the saxophone and baritone. Spencer is also president of the Black Student Union and a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated. Drew Alexandra Aldridge, the daughter of Mrs. Tiffany Alexander Aldridge and Mr. Erikk Aldridge, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Sean Guyton, a sophomore at Notre Dame High School and the son of Mrs. Cheronda Guyton and Mr. Andrew Guyton. Drew, a senior at Pacifica Christian High School, is a student-athlete, a school ambassador, and co-founder of Pacifica’s Black Student Union. She is on the President’s Honor Roll and a member of the National Honor Society. Drew, a competitive gymnast, recently signed her National Letter of Intent for a full Division 1 Gymnastic athletic scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina the fall of 2018. Madisen Christine Clarke, the daughter of Mrs. Rhonda Clarke and Mr. Gary Clarke, was presented by her father. Her escort was Gavin Hoyt Beavers, a senior at Saint Monica’s Catholic High School and the son of Mrs. Gayle Harvey Beavers and Mr. Le Roi A. Beavers. Madisen is a senior at Palisades Charter High School where she is an member of the Palisades Toastmasters Club as well as a football manager of for Palisades football team. She is also active with volleyball and plans to attend one of the UC schools to become a lawyer. Zoe Rene Covington-Towner, the daughter of Mrs. Kriss Turner Towner and Mr. Arrisen Towner, and Mrs. Stephanie Covington Armstrong, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Garnett Livingston March, II, a junior at Harvard-Westlake and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Garnett Livingston March, Sr. Zoe is a senior at the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, where she is the Design Editor-in-Chief for her school’s magazine. She is on the varsity golf team, is passionate about serving her community, and loves volunteering as camp counselor for underserved youth. Kamryn Renae Foster, the daughter of Mrs. Darcel Foster and Mr. Sean Foster, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Jeremiah D. Fountain, a senior at the Buckley School and the son of Ms. Tonia D. Mendinghall. Kamryn is a senior at Palisades Charter High School, where she is active in the Fashion Club, Political Debate, and the Black Student Union. She is the founder of the Palisades Student Task Force on Diversity and is passionate about community service. She regularly volunteers at homeless shelters, food banks, and convalescent homes. Jessica Sarah Hanna, the daughter of Dr. Jacqueline Hanna and Mr. Remon Hanna, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Baraka Beckett, a senior at Pacific Palisades High School and the son of Mrs. Dorika Beckett and Mr. Justin Beckett. Jessica is a senior at Pacifica Christian High School in Santa Monica, where she is a STEM student, serves as secretary of the Executive Student Board, and volunteers at the Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital Outpatient Center. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, and a member of the Varsity softball and soccer teams. She also plays classical piano. Kindyl Cherise Henley, the daughter of Mrs. Carrie Griffith Henley and Mr. Roderick Henley,was presented by her father. She was escorted by Ryan Willoughby, a senior at Culver City High School and the son of Mrs. Denita Willoughby and Mr. Anthony Willoughby. Kindyl is a junior at Santa Monica High School and is a legacy debutante following in the footsteps of her grandmother and mother. She is an active member of the Associated Student Body Council, the Black Student Union, Junior State of America Club, Vice-President of the Make-A¬ Wish Foundation Club, and editor of her school’s yearbook. Kindyl is a member of Los Angeles Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated, and won their Outstanding Leadership Award and is an elected Far West Regional Officer. Chanya Pearl Jeffries, the daughter of Mrs. Dessie Senegal Jeffries and Mr. Rodney Jeffries, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Dean William Osborne, a junior at Notre Dame High School and the son of Mrs. Kerrie Osborne and Dr. Ryan Osborne. Chanya is a junior at Windward School, where she enjoys playing tennis and managing the girls volleyball and softball teams. She has been accepted into the Windward‘s Honor Society for her outstanding community service activities which are numerous. She also started her own childcare service. Shelby Jennifer Johnson, the daughter of Ms. Barbra Edwards Johnson, was presented by her cousin, Mr. Nicholas Edwards. She was escorted by Jeremiah Ahad Omar, a senior at Bellflower High School and the son of Mrs. Tonya Omar and Mr. Kenyetta Omar. Shelby is a senior at the California Academy of Mathematics and Sciences at Dominguez Hills, where she is a member of the volleyball team, dance team, and co-captain of the mock trial team. She has also been a student government representative. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer at an animal adoption shop in preparation for becoming a veterinarian. Tayloré Alexandria Kerrick, the daughter of Mrs. Sharon Kerrick and Mr. Carlos Alexander Kerrick, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Cameron Victor Garrison, a junior at Saint John Bosco and the son of Ms. Sherry Garrison. Taylore is a senior at Notre Dame Academy for Girls in Los Angeles, where she is a member of College Bound Stem Enrichment Academy, a leader in Queens Council, Vice-President of the Art Club, a member of the swim team, and editor of her school newspaper. She speaks fluent Spanish and holds a green belt in Karate. She has many hobbies that include drawing, creative writing, and swimming. Gabriella Mays Kimbrough, the daughter of Mrs. Angela Lisa Kimbrough and Mr. David Keith, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Evan Charles McLurkin, a sophomore at Notre Dame High School, and the son of Mrs. Monique M. McLurkin and Mr. Charles McLurkin. Gabriella is a senior at Marymount High School, where she enjoys theater and theatrical performances, especially musicals. She also loves creative writing and singing. Gabriella is a member of her school’s Conservatory Arts Program and the Acapella group. She also is President of Marymount’s chapter of the National Thespian Society. Leah Nicole Majors, the daughter of Mrs. Jaquelne Beubian Majors and Mr. Derek Majors, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Djuka Lylecyrus, a senior at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies and the son of Mr. Djuka Lylecyrus and Mrs. Antoinette Cass. Leah is a senior at Pacifica Christian High School, where she maintains a full load of AP courses, is a member of the National Honor Society and Global Scholars Program. She is a student-athlete who plays varsity softball, volleyball and water polo. She is the president and co-founder of the first Black Student Union at her school. Selena Marie McLurkin, the daughter of Mrs. Gigi Miller McLurkin and Mr. Oren McLurkin, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Montgomery Greene, a senior at Providence High School and the son of Mrs. Angela Greene and Mr. Bailey Greene. Selena is a senior at Windward School and a third generation Los Angeles Links debutante. She is an accomplished student-athlete, has been on the Dean’s List, and is part of her school’s Global Scholars Program, and a member of the girls’ basketball team. She is a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated. Marel Jewel Pryor, daughter of Mrs. Elann Pryor and Mr. Marc Pryor, Sr., was presented by her father. She was escorted by Dakotah Hamilton, a senior at Palisades Charter High School and the son of Mrs. Deanna Hamilton and Mr. Derek Hamilton. Marel is a senior at Palisades Charter High School, where she is Vice-President of the Black Student Union, a Pali Ambassador, Peer Mediator, and member of the Mock Trial Club. She has had the awesome experience of arguing a Mock trial case before San Francisco Superior Court and arguing a bill she co-sponsored at our State Capital in Sacramento. She also has performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Debbie Allen’s The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. Blair Casey Scott, the daughter of Ms. Shailendra Waters Scott and Mr. Timothy Van Scott, II, and was presented by her father. She was escorted by Cole Bryant Holden, a senior at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies and the son of Mrs. Tracie Bryant and Mr. Ron Holden. Blair is a senior at St. Bernard’s High School, where she is on the honor roll and has received many academic awards of excellent. She is the captain of the varsity soccer team and vice president of the Black Student Union. She is a member of the Delta GEMS, a national program for high school girls, by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Chelise Anik Scott, the daughter of Ms. Shailendra Waters Scott and Mr. Timothy Van Scott, II, was presented by her father. She was escorted by Kennedy Lewis Haywood, a senior at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies and the son of Mrs. Terri Haywood and Mr. Kent Haywood. Chelise is a senior at St. Bernard High School, where she ha been on the honor roll. She is the captain of the varsity volleyball team, and also participates in track and field. She is also president of the Black Student Union. She is a member of the Delta GEMS, a national program for high school girls, by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. After the presentation of 17 exemplary Cotillionettes, “You and I, written and recorded by John Legend, permeated the Grand Ballroom during the Father/Daughter Waltz. Next, the Cotillionettes waltzed to the musical selection, “This Girl is on Fire,” a contemporary hit, selected for the audience-pleasing Debutantes’Waltz was written and recorded by Alicia Keys. The Escorts’ Waltz was “Just the Way You Are,” by Bruno Mars. “The Night is Young,” a Cotillion classic, written by Lanny Hartley and performed by Robert Taylor concluded the formal dance portion of the evening. The waltzes were expertly choreographed by Terrica Banks, Lead choreographer, and supported by choreographer, Chris Smith. Families and guests enjoyed a celebratory evening of dining, dancing and tributes earned by the extraordinary young ladies. Members of Los Angeles Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, plan and participate in Cotillion events that are designed to prepare Cotillionettes for responsible next steps in life, personally, academically and professionally. Cotillion preparation and activities that embrace all five National Program Facets of Los Angeles (CA) Chapter of The Links, Inc. and the Los Angeles Chapter Charitable Trust that build our service and philanthropic principles were led by Cotillion Chairperson, Janice Jamison Murray, Leadership Institute Chairpersons, Recruitment Chairpersons, Melinda Murray and Gail Jackson; Leadership Institute Chairpersons, Belinda Stith and Melissia Buckhalter-Honore; Mother-Daughter Tea Chairpersons, Carolyn and Ramona Wilder; Awards Luncheon Chairpersons, Deborah Beavers-Watford and Kimberly Noble; Souvenir Book Chairpersons, Suzette Banks and Arnecia Williams; Reservations/Invitations Chairpersons, Sheila Hill and Laurel Lightner; Menu/Venue Chairpersons, Patricia Miller and Kimberly Willis; Dinner Decor Chairpersons, Phyllis Forneret and Arnecia Williams; Music/Entertainment Chairpersons, Kim Stewart and Denise Orso; Photography Chairpersons, Angela Robinson and Michelle Robinson; Media/Publicity Chairpersons, Melissia Buckhalter-Honore and Shirley Flournoy; Contracts Chairperson, Nedra Austin; Dance Rehearsal Chairpersons, Jacqueline Ryan and Sandra Wellington; and Dress Inspection Chairpersons, Carolyn Wilder and Ramona Wilder; and Volunteer Service Awards Chairpersons, Denise Burnette and Lynne Hobbs. The Annual Cotillion and Leadership Institutue program of the Los Angeles Chapter Charitable Trust and Los Angeles (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has evolved over the years, to become a 21st Century comprehensive preparation program for young ladies. It is a ‘Rites of Passage’ opportunity to develop lifelong friendships and strategies for next steps. For additional information, contact us at: https://lalinksinc.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/losangeleslinks.