NANBPWC, Toledo Club Hosts Annual Debutante Ball

Wade Barnett, Jr, and Courtney Jones

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc. Toledo Club had halted its impressive Debutante Cotillion for the past four years having halted the annual event after the 2019 ball once the COVID 19 pandemic set in. This past weekend, the Club presented five debutantes to the community on Saturday, May 25, 2024.

According to the sponsoring organizer, the purpose of the Cotillion in 1965, when it began, was to present our outstanding young ladies to society clothed with the finer thoughts of living and endowed with a complete sense of responsibility. To accomplish these ends, the Toledo Club of NANBPWC has added life skills workshops, financial scholarships and etiquette training, whereby the debutante can step on the threshold of womanhood with success.

The program opened with a warm welcome delivered by Cotillion Co-Chair Karen Jarrett and club President Tyra Smith.

“Welcome to the 56th annual Debutante Cotillion. I’m serving as co-chair this year,” said Jarrett. “We have been missing in action for four years and we’re happy to be back. It’s been a long journey.

The Debs-in-Waiting promenade

The program proceeded with introductions of judges, the 2024 Debs-In-Waiting, and presentation of 2024 Debutantes. The mistress of ceremonies was current TV anchor TaTiana Cash, a Toledo native, Notre Dame Academy and Xavier University graduate who has worked for year in the industry before returning to Toledo in 2021. She is married, a mother, earned Miss Debutante in 2008 and a member of several community organizations including Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

2024 Debs in Waiting: Taelynn Clark, Kailey Lothery, and Cayla Murray of Notre Dame Academy; Jenevia Graves of Scott High School; Gabrielle Knighten, Lexsey-Smith and Paris Waites of Central Catholic High School; Kaiya Morgan-Thompson of Saint Ursula Academy; Madelyn Page of Rogers High School; Raniyah Rogers and Sydnee Savage-Utley of Start High School.

2024 Debutantes:

  • Courtney Jones of Start High School. Jones was presented by Clarence Jones, sponsored by Dawn Price, and escorted by Ward Barnett, Jr. Jones is a graduating honor student with a 3.5 GPA, currently duel enrollment at University of Toledo and Owens Community College, athlete and involved in student organizations. She plans to continue her education at Kent State University.
  • Taliyah Neely of Rogers High School. Neeley was presented by Christopher Byrd, sponsored by Keary Sarabia, and escorted by Rashad Johnson. Neely is a graduating senior, consistent honor roll and 25th in her senior class, athlete and member of the marching band. She has been accepted to four local colleges including University of Toledo.
  • Rakaiya Phillips of Central Catholic High School. Phillips was presented by Kashif Phillips, sponsored by Groomed For Greatness and escorted by Dharon Flowers. Phillips has maintained a 3.5 GPA, ambassador, athlete- and involved in student organizations. She plans to continue her education at University of Cincinnati.
  • Reagan Quinn of Notre Dame Academy, Quinn was presented by Montriese Quinn, sponsored by Kitchen For The Poor and Robert Royser, and escorted by Jaden Bridgett. Quinn has maintained a 3.4 GPA, athlete and member of several student organizations. Quinn plans to attend Kent State University.
  • Taylor Scribner of Central Catholic High School. Scribner was presented by Jermaine Scribner, sponsored by Harold Stevens and escorted by Jaylen Watson. She has maintained a 4.2 GPA, student leader and your guide, active in student organizations and athlete. She plans to attend University of Findlay.
Escorts – Jaylen Watson, Jaden Bridgett, Dharon Flowers, Rashod Johnson, Ward Barnett, Jr)

2024 Escorts: Jaden Bridgett of Rogers High School; Ward Barnett, Jr, of Jones Leadership Academy; Dharon Flowers, Rashod Johnson, and Jaylen Watson of Central Catholic High School.

The Debutantes and Escorts presented the Cotillion Promenade, Presentation of Pearls by Debs-in-waiting, Cotillion Waltz and Parents Waltz. The evening concluded with the presentation of awards. Terry Crosby presented one of the awards.

“Thank you for giving me this opportunity,” said Crosby, ambassador of Taylor Automotive, an event sponsor. “We need to give these young ladies and these escorts a round of applause.”

  • Miss Congeniality 2024: Courtney Jones
  • Escort 2024: Ward Barnett, Jr.
  • Talent Awards: Courtney Jones earned first place and Taliyah Jones earned second place.
  • Miss Debutante 2024: Courtney Jones

2024 Committee: Wilma Brown, Cotillion Chair; Karen Jarrett and Denise Cardwell, Co-Chairs; Beverly Tucker and Deborah Carlisle, Talent Co-Chairs.

Corporate Sponsors: Taylor Automotive Family, SSOE Group, The Andersons, S & G Management, Key Bank, House of Day Funeral Services, Henry’s Jewelry, TTT Sophia LLC, Bartz Viviano Flowers & Gifts, Attorney James Carlisle, and Studio 32Nine Salon Suites & Spa.

Judges: Marie Latham Bush, Sheree Holden, Kaye Cooke and Anthony Pattin