Fourteen young women took their formal bows on Nov. 29 at the Baton Rouge Assembly’s 59th annual ball at the Raising Cane’s River Center.

Welcoming everyone was Assembly Chairman Drew Patty, who with wife Robin recognized ball Chairman Ryan Johnson and wife Amy. He also recognized next year’s ball Chairman Miles Higgins and wife Missy, and next year’s Assembly Chairman Trey McCowan and wife Autumn.

Making their debuts were Hannah Grace Babin, daughter of Susannah Marie and Carl Edward Babin, of Sunshine; Clare Marguerite Barfield, daughter of Nan and Thomas Atkinson Barfield Jr.; Cathryn Reiley Coulter, daughter of Ann Allen Coulter and John Stone Coulter II; Clayton Kaufman Daniel, daughter of Kellie Kaufman Belk and Edward Irwin Daniel IV, of St. Francisville; Anna Catherine and Elizabeth Beryl Field, daughters of Tonya and Col. Walker Magruder Field Sr., of New Orleans; Claire Augusta Harrington, daughter of Dr. Laurie and Scott Lowery Harrington; Meredith Margaret Landry, daughter of Deborah and Alton Joseph Landry Jr., of Plaquemine; Margaret Emelie McCowan, daughter of Autumn and Charles Simon “Trey” McCowan III; Isabel Rose Oatley, daughter of Aimée Stuckey Kilchrist and Donald Townsend Oatley II; Mary Scott Pourciau, daughter of Anne Scott and Jacques Thomas Pourciau; Jane Avery Price, daughter of Jennifer Boyce Couvillion and Gregory Brian Price; Anna Bechtold Shortess, daughter of Paula and John Bechtold Shortess; and Lindsey Kirk Weinstein, daughter of Tara and David Weinstein.

The debs were presented by their fathers, with Pourciau presented by her grandfather, Harold Ignatius Bahlinger Sr. 

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Music for the presentation was by the Chad Braud Quartet, while the Tip Tops of Mobile, Alabama, provided music for dancing. The night concluded at a midnight breakfast hosted by the debs’ parents.

The debs’ day began with a rehearsal under the direction of Assembly debutante coordinators Debbie Landry and Amy Johnson. Also assisting with the rehearsal were Assembly Ball coordinator Missy Higgins and Gabriella St. Amant. Johnson and St. Amant served as deb chaperones for the evening.

The rehearsal was followed by a brunch for the debs, their fathers, presenters and Assembly officers at the Capital Hilton’s Heidelberg Room. Each deb received a silver mint julep cup and an engraved bracelet from the Baton Rouge Assembly to commemorate the evening.

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SME honors

The Advocate food columnist and award-winning cookbook author Holly Clegg, who died Nov. 1, received the Nell Mitchell Doughty Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sales & Marketing Executives of Greater Baton Rouge Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards luncheon Nov. 22 at Boudreaux’s. 

Also honored for their “great vision and innovative concepts” for success in marketing and sales were Jill Rigby Garner, founding executive director of Manners of the Heart; Stuart Feigley, president of Feigley Communications; John Grubb, vice president of hotel and conference operations of The Cook Hotel at LSU/LSU Alumni Association; J.H. Martin Sr., retired sales executive with Franklin Direct Marketing and chairman of the Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation; Kenny Nguyen, CEO of ThreeSixtyEight; and Laura P. Thomas, senior vice president/chief client officer of Antares Technology Solutions.

WAFB-TV news anchor Elizabeth Vowell served as emcee for the event, which was presented by Hancock Whitney.

A few days after the event, I ran into Holly's husband, Mike Clegg. He told me that 40 gastric cancer patients are now participating in clinical trials at MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston thanks to funds from the Holly Clegg Gastric Cancer Research Fund established several months before her death. To learn more about the fund, visit

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