Grace Joan Cline and Michael John Keeven
Mary Ruth Wagner has quite the resume: The Ursuline Academy grad served as student ambassador, a youth retreat leader and a varsity athlete, in addition to being a frequent volunteer. Her community work includes volunteering with Saint Louis Crisis Nursery for her junior service project at Ursuline—a school which features the motto, Serviam, as she notes—in addition to work with the Pujols Family Foundation.
“It’s a night of faith, family and friends, and that’s what makes it so special,” says Peggy Barnhart about the Fleur de Lis ball, at which one of her daughters was an honoree this year.
Mimi Fonseca was presented at the Fleur de Lis Ball in 1980, and what she remembers more than anything is the family atmosphere. “My whole family was there: my grandparents, aunts and uncles, sister and brother.”
Through a flourishing 52-year history, some 1,300 young women have been honored by the Fleur de Lis organization at its signature Charity Ball.
Finding that perfect dress for their daughter or son’s wedding can be a time-consuming task for many mothers. But Distinctions in Fashion can make the search a little easier. “It’s a place where women can come and feel comfortable, no matter what size they are, and how much money they want to spend, whether it’s $200, or $2,000,” says co-owner Nancy Lehtman.
Thirty-nine young women were presented to their families, guests and the Most Rev. Robert Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, at the 53rd annual Fleur de Lis Charity Ball at The Hyatt Regency Saint Louis at The Arch. Dressed in white gowns, donning white gloves and carrying bouquets designed by Ken Miesner Flowers, the ladies were escorted down the runway by their fathers, before the evening concluded with dancing and dinner. Proceeds benefit SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center. To date, the Fleur de Lis organization has donated $2.642 million to Glennon, which cares for children of all ages from St. Louis and around the world.
Just as much a part of the Fleur de Lis tradition is the connection between the Fleur de Lis organization and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, which has been a beneficiary of the Catholic ball since its beginning in 1958, contributing $2.642 million to date. “It’s been a significant contributor to our foundation, and we value that longstanding relationship with Fleur de Lis,” says foundation executive director Dan Buck. “And what’s also special about it: So many of the young ladies, who go through the process of the etiquette and the formal preparation for the event, or their siblings have actually been Cardinal Glennon patients at one time or another. It’s funny, but each class always has some significant, wonderful Glennon story that families share with us. It’s a program that gives back—sometimes through its own organization.”
The Fleur de Lis Organization is known for its annual Charity Ball, where young ladies dressed in white gowns are presented to the archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. But for those involved, much of the event’s significance lies in the tradition behind it.
The young ladies who were presented at the 1983 Fleur de Lis ball sit flanked by their fathers.
While it’s highly unlikely, there were a few weeks this year when it seemed like our St. Louis winter would last until June. But spring is definitely on the way and that calls for a celebration. What better way to celebrate than a gala?
Making a bow…JULIE ELISE FRANK and KATHERINE ELIZABETH LINDBERG STONE were among 27 young women of distinction presented recently at the 56th International Debutante Ball at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. Julie graduated from Villa Duchesne and currently attends University of Mississippi. She is the daughter of TERRENCE FRANK and MARY FRANK. Katherine, a senior at MICDS, is the daughter of MR. AND MRS. ERIC STONE.
Is it just me, or have the men and women who comprise wedding parties today become very polite? They listen and take suggestions/instructions better than in the past. Maybe it’s because people are getting married a bit later than they used to. It used to be groomsmen and grooms would more often than not come to the ceremony half drunk and smelling like a tavern. Today’s men involved with weddings are just not doing this.
Guests and honorees more than tip-toed through the tulips at the 49th Fleur de Lis Charity Ball. It was late December, yet the St. Louis Ballroom at the Adam’s Mark Hotel was alive with fresh, springtime flowers in cheery colors to warm the chilly outdoor weather.