The ball, headed up by Joyce Haynes (parent specialist with Anniston city schools) takes plenty of planning and preparation, and the debutantes and escorts participate in workshops in the months leading up to the event. Patsy Cotton of the Anniston Inn Kitchen hosted a workshop on fine dining and table etiquette; other workshops included ballroom dancing, financial planning and money management, “Surviving Your First Year of College,” public speaking and dressing for success.
Along with a delicious dinner, plus music provided by Sebastian Floyd, there were awards — plenty of them.
Miss Legacy Club Debutante Courtney Wysinger (of Anniston High School) was crowned by Quintera Floyd, 2009 Legacy Club President and student at Tuskegee University. Wysinger received a $500 scholarship. First runner-up was Takia Christian (of Saks High School), who received a $400 scholarship. Both girls will be attending Alabama State University in the fall.
Oxford Altrusa Club’s Eula Tatman presented two $500 book scholarships to Courtney Wysinger of Anniston and Patience Johnson of Oxford.
Joycelyn Palmore Haynes, president of the Legacy Club’s advisor group, presented the President’s Award to Weaver High’s Jamia Smith. The President’s Award is based on outstanding achievement in academics, leadership, community service and club participation.
This year’s Legacy Club debutantes (all knockouts in white dresses) were Kiara Holifield, of Jacksonville High School; Patience Johnson, of Oxford High School; Courtney Wysinger, of Anniston High School, and Takia Christian and Shay Coleman, both of Saks High School. Erica Palmore coordinated the leadout.
Their debonair escorts were R. J. Sturkie, of Saks High School; Deonte Elston and Jervon Cowden, both of Jacksonville High School; and Tony Averitte and Bear Williams, both of Anniston High School.
The younger Legacy Club members — a group of 40 — also participated in the ball. They wore identical fuchsia gowns that were complemented by the decor, which was fuchsia and orange with accents in yellow. The ball’s theme — “A Whole New World” — was brought to life during the cotillion dance to Peabo Bryson and Regine Belle’s arrangement of the song of the same name.
Fathers danced with their daughters to Gerald and Eddie Levert’s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and each girl presented her father with a medallion inscribed with the words, “To my hero.” A very touching moment, indeed.
Legacy Club members are from Calhoun and Talladega counties, and represent the following schools: Anniston Middle, Anniston High, Oxford Middle, Oxford High, Munford, Ohatchee, Jacksonville Christian, Jacksonville High School, Saks, Wellborn and Alexandria. The club’s mission is to motivate, educate, inspire and provide guidance to girls ages 12-18 through mentoring and life skills development.
All girls must maintain a “C” average or better; 75 percent of the members are consistently on their schools’ honor rolls, and of that number, the majority are straight A students. Many of the club’s advisors are educators, and they provide tutoring for members if needed.
Legacy Club members are leaders in their schools; four members were class presidents this past year. Many other members held offices in their respective schools. They are cheerleaders, drum majors, majorettes, band members and are involved in all sports. This is definitely an exceptional group of girls.
Recent Legacy Club outings included a ballet in Atlanta, two plays from Broadway Across America, the Ebony Fashion Show and college tours. Members must complete one community service project per month, and must attend at least one workshop. Legacy Club members have volunteered with numerous organizations in Calhoun County.
Vikki Floyd — who, with Wytausha Perry, cofounded the group in the fall of 2004, after talking about it for almost a year — says, “Our program instills confidence and provides exposure to a broader world of opportunity through mentoring relationships, field trips, health education, life skills, education and academic support.”
An exciting development for the club this year, which has everyone talking, is the Men of Legacy, who will meet for the first time on June 19. Men of Legacy will mirror the Legacy Club, sharing the same ideals and goals, and offering development opportunities to the young men of our local communities.
The Legacy Club has an exciting, busy year ahead, and its members are already looking forward to next year’s debutante ball.
To share your news with Small Talk, contact Annette Maddox at email@example.com.