Dancing with the new debs
By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 6, 2002
GASPARILLA GRACIOUS: This is the time of year. A pirate's thoughts turn from pillaging to parenting.
With a curtsy to King Dick Beard and Queen Courtney Howell, 23 debutantes officially entered the city's social circles Nov. 27 at Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla's annual Debutante Ball.
Fred Dobbins, krewe captain and father of debutante Katherine, carried out the formalities at the Marriott Waterside. Pirates Douglas Tuttle and Preston Farrior delivered a long-stem rose to each debutante's mother as pirate J. Stephen Gardner read aloud each deb's resume and krewe lineage.
Most are 19-year-old college sophomores, aspiring to professional careers.
Debutante Ashley Plant called the ball a "mini-reunion," pointing out a dozen Plant High graduates including several girls she has known since elementary school. Stacey Carlton said trying on wedding gowns was a "weird experience" because the brides-to-be kept inquiring about her "big day."
"In 10 years," Carlton let them know, explaining that the train would be cut off to turn the wedding gown into a debutante dress.
"Ditto that," sighed dad, pirate Leffie Carlton III.
Meet the 2002 Gasparilla debutantes:
Elizabeth Kathleen Carey, daughter of pirate Larry and Christina Carey. A graduate of Plant High, Liz attends Denison University. Her escort was Christopher Barfield.
Stacey Marie Carlton, daughter of pirate Leffie and Alice Carlton. A graduate of Plant High, Stacey attends Florida State. Her escort was Ryan Derriman.
Lauren Isabella Companioni, daughter of pirate George and Lauren Companioni. A graduate of Plant High, Lauren attends Louisiana State. Her escort was Joseph Hierlmeier.
Kelsey Jon Cook, daughter of Pirate John and Patricia Cook. A graduate of Berkeley Prep, she attends the University of Central Florida. Her escort was Michael Schroeder.
Meghan Leigh Davis, daughter of Bert and Karen Davis. A graduate of Marianna High, she attends Tallahassee Community College. Her escort was William Van Dyke IV.
Avery Rose Dickey, daughter of Douglas and Leah King and David Dickey. A graduate of Plant High, she attends the University of Florida. Her escort was Manny Wilson.
Katherine O'Neill Dobbins, daughter of Capt. Fred and Lesley Dobbins. A graduate of the Academy of the Holy Names, she attends Hillsborough Community College. Her escort was John Thro.
Elizabeth Lane Driscoll, daughter of Mark and Virginia Callahan and William T. Driscoll III. A graduate of Lake Highland Prep, she attends Georgia Institute of Technology. Her escort wasSteven Keith.
Shannon Elizabeth Foster, daughter of Keren Poe Smith and Brigdon Kenton Foster. A graduate of Plant High, she attends Auburn University. Her escort was Cole Vickers.
Whitney P. Grim, daughter of Andrew and Patricia Grim. A graduate of Tampa Prep, she attends Sweet Briar College. Her escort was William Anderson.
Melanie Marie Hodge, daughter of James and Catherine Hodge. A graduate of Plant High, she attends St. Petersburg College. Her escort was Barrett Rodriguez.
Diana Maria Hudson, daughter of Robert and Ruth Hudson. A graduate of the Academy of the Holy Names, she attends Auburn University. Her escort was Hugh Lee Culbreath IV.
Rachel Irene Koch, daughter of pirate Gary and Donna Koch. A graduate of the Academy of the Holy Names, she attends Northwestern University. Her escort was James McNorrill.
Mary Elizabeth Lane, daughter of pirate Julian and Allyn Lane. A graduate of Plant High, she attends the University of Florida. Her escort was Austin Jay Azzarelli.
Marjory Anne Miller, daughter of pirate William and Deborah Miller. A graduate of Plant High, she attends the University of Georgia. Her escort was Adam Taylor.
Michele Kristin Murman, daughter of pirate James and Sandra Murman. A graduate of Canterbury School of Florida, she attends Florida State University. Her escort was Christopher Whitney.
Jordan Elizabeth Ownby, daughter of Thomas and Jenifer Ownby. A graduate of Plant High, she attends Georgia Technical Institute. Her escort was Thomas Fluharty.
Jacqueline Lee Pallardy, daughter of pirate Lee and Jean Pallardy. A graduate of Plant High, she attends at the University of Notre Dame. Her escort was Cris Casagrande.
Ashley Lynne Plant, daughter of Arthur and Wendy Plant. A graduate of Plant High, she attends Florida State University. Her escort was Johnathon Colman.
Stephanie Rosemurgy, daughter of pirate Alexander and Kathy Rosemurgy. A graduate of Berkeley Prep, she attends the University of Michigan. Her escort was Justin Sachs.
Caroline Joan Schabacker, daughter of pirate Mark and Gwyn Schabacker. A graduate of Berkeley Prep, she attends Wake Forest University. Her escort was Frank Fralick.
Jaclyn Nicole Suarez, daughter of pirate Jack and Nancy Suarez. A graduate of Plant High, she attends Hillsborough Community College. Her escort was William Malouf.
Elizabeth Louise Warfel, daughter of the Rev. James Warfel and Julia Wiemer. A graduate of Pasco High, she attends University of the South. Her escort was James Henry.
* * *
VENUS RISING: Led by father-daughter royalty, King Glenn and Queen Tara Freeman, the Krewe of Venus met six debutantes on Nov. 29 at the Hyatt Regency Westshore.
President Sharon Phillips welcomed guests before turning the evening over to emcee J. Edward Sitton, husband of debutante coordinator Linda Sitton.
While it was a special night for fathers and daughters, brothers played their parts, too. R.J. Campbell, 9, escorted his big sis, Andrea. Their father is Ron Campbell, president of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum. Another deb brother, Ben Chapman, 14, learned the minuet so he could present his sister, Lindsey.
Behind-the-scenes, choreographer Richard Rader and charter krewe member Joann Torretta Guagliardo, did their parts to make the pageantry perfect. Rader ran rehearsals and Guagliardo stayed back stage with style tips and last minute advice.
Meet the 2002 Krewe of Venus debutantes:
Desiree Ann Belissimo, daughter of Charles and Ann Belissimo of Oldsmar. A 1999 graduate of Clearwater Central Catholic High School, she attends the University of South Florida. Her escort was Robert Patterson.
Andrea Kristin Campbell, daughter of Mary Jane and Ronald Campbell. A 2000 graduate of Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., she attends the University of Michigan. Her brother R.J. Campbell was her escort.
Lindsey Marie Chapman, daughter of Dr. Glen S Chapman, and Laura Chapman of Palm Harbor. A 2002 graduate of Palm Harbor University High School, she attends the University of Central Florida. Her escort was Duane Schwetz.
Amber Kim Longfellow, daughter of Christine and Roland Longfellow of Odessa. A 2001 graduate of Pasco High School, she attends the University of South Florida. Her escort was Ron Clacher.
Mary Ruth Sladky, daughter of Denise and Joseph Sladky of Tampa. A 2002 graduate of Gaither High School, she attends the University of South Florida. Her escort was Michael Thomas.
Aubrey Michelle Williams, daughter of Jamie and Dr. Michael Williams of Tampa. A 2002 graduate of Gaither High School, Aubrey attends the University of South Florida. She was escorted by Thomas Baker.
-- To pass along tips to Amy Scherzer, reach her at 226-3332 or email@example.com.
TODAY: Hallelujah Holidays fashion show featuring Tampa Bay Buccaneer wives benefits the Crisis Center of Hillsborough County. Fashions from Georgette's of Old Hyde Park; boutique at 10 a.m.; luncheon at noon; $50; Avila Country Club; 254-1141.
SATURDAY: Create Your Own Gingerbread House Champagne Brunch benefits Red Cross Angel Wings; 10:30 a.m.; $50, adults; $45, ages 12-17; University of Tampa; 251-0921.
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