“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.
Through the Veiled Prophet Organization’s Maids of Honor Project, participating young women and their fathers have supported the community with painting houses, cooking meals and planting flowers. In recent years, the program has averaged 400 volunteers and about 2,300 hours of community service, including rehabbing 75 homes in North County, cooking and packing 65,000 meals for Food Outreach, and landscaping the grounds of Rainbow Village and City Hall for Brightside St. Louis. LN spoke with three exceptional young women, who walked at this year’s ball, about how they gave back.
The Veiled Prophet Organization is widely known for its annual events, but the volunteer-driven group also is involved in service throughout the community. Moving forward, it has plans to extend the charitable impact of its philanthropic arm.
When Katherine Desloge was crowned the Queen of Love and Beauty at the Veiled Prophet Ball, it was more than just a happy night for her. It also was the culmination of a family tradition of community involvement that goes back more than 100 years.
The next generation of debutantes was invited to join the fun. These junior maids will be presented at the 2022 Veiled Prophet Ball.
It’s right before the big event: the Veiled Prophet Ball. For those final crucial beauty steps, local experts share the best in hairstyling, facials, makeup, manicures and pedicures, to ensure you’ll look your most radiant.
Despite the immense variety of gowns being prepared for the Veiled Prophet Ball, each of the Maids of Honor will have exactly one thing in common this year, according to area dress shop owners: They will all look fabulous.
Thank you for the great spread in LN for our Change Begins with Me exhibition opening. You have been wonderfully supportive and we couldn’t be more pleased with the impact. You are the best. (2/8/13 issue, p. 7)
From weeding out flower beds to brightening rooms with a fresh coat of paint, the Veiled Prophet Organization is doing what it can to make a difference in the community. Its Maids of Honor Project is a community service initiative that encourages girls and their families to participate in volunteer projects with local nonprofits before they are presented at the annual ball. We asked four young women who walked this year to share how they gave back.
When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast this fall, the Veiled Prophet (VP) Organization was ready to step up in any way it could. Joining forces with another agency, the VP quickly gathered a group of members to assist in filling several trucks with much-needed cleaning supplies, food and clothing destined for the damaged areas. “One of the Veiled Prophet’s strengths always has been the ability to pull together and manage large groups of volunteers to help those who have a specific need,” explains VP spokesman Tom Cooke.
Even though it was more than 50 years ago, Janice Hawk remembers her first night as a 6-year-old page at the Veiled Prophet Ball like it was yesterday.
Some details have changed through the years, including the attire—yesteryear’s conservative gowns with lengthy trains to today’s strapless, dresses with shorter trains—but the Veiled Prophet Ball still is a longstanding tradition for prominent local families.
The next generation of debutantes were invited to join the fun. The 41 junior maids will be presented at the 2021 Veiled Prophet Ball.
Look for even more glitz and glamour at this weekend's Veiled Prophet Ball. On the eve of one of the year's most anticipated high-society events, representatives from local designer dress boutiques say shimmery gowns will be front and center. “Glitz is very big this year,” notes Distinctions in Fashion co-owner Nancy Lehtman.
Elle Reardon practices lifting a train for the Veiled Prophet Ball
During this time of year, it is an LN tradition to salute local charities and nonprofit organizations that have commemorated milestone anniversaries in 2012. In celebration, we've asked a sampling of them to share some favorite memories, as well as even bigger future plans.
Just hours after the last float ventures down Market Street and the last booth closes on the Arch grounds, preparations for the next year’s Veiled Prophet Parade and Fair Saint Louis begin anew. The timeline is no exaggeration says Fair spokesperson Bob Schenk. “Planning starts all over again, from budgets to themes, etc. It really doesn’t stop.”
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.
Marylyn Simpson and Connie Simpson make last-minute alternations to a debutante�s dress before the Veiled Prophet ball.
The seventeen floats featured in the first Veiled Prophet parade were purchased for $8,000—a princely sum in 1878. And on the final float, thousands of spectators were introduced to the mysterious Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, as the torch-lit nighttime parade wound through the cobblestone streets of St. Louis.
For a Veiled Prophet debutante, the night of the ball is made that much more magical when she is wearing the perfect dress. From the color of the silk to the number of rhinestones sparkling on the fabric, every detail is important when a young woman debuts. “Our goal is to make each girl stand out and look as beautiful as possible,” says Marylyn Simpson, owner of R & M Designs, which made 15 custom dresses for this year’s ceremony.