NEW ORLEANS— The Original Illinois Club’s 112th Annual Ball and Debutante Cotillion was held Serving as the captain’s bodyguards were OIC members, Dr. Robert R. Newsome Sr. and Alfonso Gonzalez II.
Next was the entrance of the 2012 Queen, Miss Brandi Rickell Dabney, daughter of Ms. Erica Sholes Davis and Mr. Rickey J. Dabney Sr. She was escorted by King Illinois 1993 and the 2012 Ball Captain, Mr. Charles F. Webb, Sr., and Mr. Colbert A. Clark, 2009 Ball Captain. She was accompanied by the royal debutantes of her court and was presented a bouquet of roses by Mr. Webb and escorted to a seat of honor.
With the sounding of the trumpets, the Ball Captain announced the arrival of King Illinois 2013, Master Sergeant (Retired, U.S. Army) Lynn Joseph Dedeaux. He was escorted by Messrs. Thomas J. Hutcherson Sr., King Illinois 1984; Anthony F. Maheia, King Illinois 1990; E.J. Roberts, King Illinois 2000, and William J. Washington, OIC President and King Illinois 2001.
The Royal Court debutantes to the queen were: Miss Corben Darrielle Brady, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Darryl Brady Sr.; Miss Maicey Leigh Ann Darby, daughter of Ms. Michelle Elloie and Mr. Rene L. Darby, Jr.; Miss Cydney Nova Evans, daughter of Mrs. Kristi Boissiere August and Mr. A. Derek Evans; Miss Vasti Breeyon Hansley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Hansley; Miss Leda Marie Hardesty, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kirk Anthony Hardesty; Miss Erica Ashley Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Johnson; Miss Kennedi Jude Lavigne, daughter of Ms. Dina Dufrachard Lavigne; Miss Mariyanna La’Tyese Love, daughter of Mr. Carl carter and Mrs. Mary Love-Carter; Miss Samantha Elizabeth Ramey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Ramey; and Miss Tiffany Krishell Wilson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willie T. Wilson.
The Royal Maid to her majesty was Miss Denair Marie Clark, daughter of Ms. Dardnella Marie Clark.
Following the introduction of the debutantes with a trumpet fanfare, the queen of the 2013 ball entered the arena. She was Miss Jade Dominique Dedeaux, daughter of Master Sergeant (Retired) Lynn Joseph Dedeaux and Mrs. Tracy Dugue Dedeaux.
The queen’s pages were little Misses Madison Marie Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quintin Brown of Pass Christian, Miss., and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Burton, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brown; little Miss Charlie Brinae Crawford, daughter of Ms. Brandi Crawford and the late Charlie Johnson Jr., and granddaughter of Ms. Andrea Johnson and Mr. Kenneth Crawford; and Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Johnson, Sr.; and little Miss Paige Elizabeth Julian, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larron James Julian, and the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Josh Bernard Washington, and Mr. and Mrs. Larry James Julian.
Handmaidens to the Queen were former OIC debutantes Miss Amber Nicole Cannon (2010), and Miss Jamie Ann Johnston (2010). Carrying the Queen on a litter and serving as fan bearers were students from O. Perry Walker Athletic Department.
Representing the governors from the various regions, and serving as OIC presenters and dancers to the debutantes during the presentation and also for the traditional “Chicago Glide” waltz were Messrs. Melvin Benoit, Sr., Colbert A. Clark, Alfonso Gonzalez, II, Rev. Jimmie Gooden, Mack B. Harris, Thomas J. Hutcherson Sr., H. Kenneth Johnston, Mark V. Joseph, Sr., Anthony F. Maheia, Dr. Robert R. Newsome Sr., Gregory Perrault Jr., E.J. Roberts, and Charles F. Webb Sr.
The traditional toast to the royal couple was given by the OIC president, Mr. William J. Washington. Afterwards, led by King and Queen Illinois in the royal promenade, the debutantes, escorted by OIC members, danced the traditional club waltz Saturday at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The club has presented a Carnival Ball every year since 1895, except during national and local emergencies.
This year, the Original Illinois Club traveled back to the biblical days of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The appearance of the 2013 ball captain, Rick O. Amos, representing Benaiah, the chief commander of Solomon’s army, signaled the opening of the ball and was followed by the lighting of the OIC crest. — “The Chicago Glide”— to the music of “Dance, Dance Queen Illinois.” This dance was performed at the club’s first ball and debutante cotillion in 1895.
Music for the the ball and tableau was provided by the Leroy Pero Orchestra and the Xavier University Choir under the direction of Dr. John Ware.