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Nine debutantes waltz in spotlight

The young women, now part of the Krewe of the Knights of Sant' Yago, receive roses and dance with their fathers.

By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 22, 2003

DOWNTOWN - The theme, "Belles on Broadway," fit like a glass slipper when the Krewe of the Knights of Sant' Yago presented nine debutantes at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday. Many of the young women dream of dancing or acting professionally on Broadway.

Amanda Soler began her dancing career at age 2 and was selected Miss Junior America in Tampa at 13. Ashley Massicotte, Angelina Vina and Lindsay Walden have performed with the Spanish Lyric Theater. Walden danced as prima ballerina in the Spanish Lyric operetta The Merry Widow and recently won a scholarship to the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Hollywood, Calif.

The evening was a special treat for Mario and Helen Cabrera, who have seen six granddaughters presented as debutantes. This year, two great-granddaughters participated - Tara Steele as a deb and Caitlin Doyle as her attendant.

"I never thought I'd have two great-granddaughters there," said Helen Cabrera, who turns 80 in two weeks. She and her husband, a 30-year krewe member, rarely miss a krewe event.

Next year, Cabrera expects another great-granddaughter to make her debut and there are two more "little tots to come," she said.

Simon Canasi, 30th baron of the men's club, was the top-ranked krewe member that night. Neither the king nor queen, El Rey XXXI George Lorton and La Reina XXXI Carissa Ciccarello, attended the ball.

The program began with El Baron XIV Ron Dyser and El Rey IX Jack Lamb reading each debutante's biography to the 625 guests. The attendants delivered roses to the debs, who turned them over to their mothers with deep curtsies.

Tampa Gymnastics & Dance Show Studio tap danced a Broadway medley, under the direction of Brenda Fernandez and Woodrow Walton. The evening concluded with a father-daughter waltz and a grand promenade and dinner. Victor Fernandez chaired the 31st annual ball.

Meet the 2003 debutantes:

- Brittany Lane Bailey, daughter of Squire Byron and Brenda Bailey, escorted by Beau Mears. A senior at George Jenkins High School in Lakeland, her attendant was Madison Marie Nelson, daughter of Knight Daniel and Lisa Nelson.

- Jennifer Jolly, daughter of Ronnie Jolly and Linda Kay Williams Zimmerer of New Tampa, escorted by Joshua Prillhart. Jolly attends Saint Leo University. Her attendant was Ansley Hall, daughter of Marlin and Linda Hall.

- Laura Ann Marchetta, daughter of Knight Mark and Roxanne Marchetta of Bayshore Beautiful, escorted by Phillip Joseph Grau. A freshman at the University of South Florida, her attendant was Madison Breanna Castellano, daughter of Alicia Castellano and granddaughter of El Baron XXVII Thomas and Carol Castellano.

- Ashley J. Massicotte, daughter of Joseph and Deborah Massicotte, escorted by Joseph Massicotte III. A senior at Sickles High School, her attendant was Jordan Pearson, daughter of Major Richard and Karen Pearson.

- Gisell Marie Pagan, daughter of Gricell Pagan of Carrollwood, presented by John Knapp and escorted by Carlos Pagan. She attends Hillsborough Community College. Her attendant was Quinn Erickson, daughter of Brian and Heather Erickson.

- Amanda Marie Soler, daughter of Squire James and Marilyn McPhail of Cory Lake Isles, escorted by Jaymie Guerra. She attends Tampa Catholic High School. Her attendant was stepsister Alexa McPhail.

- Tara Helise Steele, daughter of John and Tamara Steele of Carrollwood, escorted by Nicholas Alan Drangle. A sophomore at USF, her attendant was Caitlin Cawley Doyle, daughter of Dennis and Tianne Doyle.

- Angelina M. Vina, daughter of Squire John Vina of Harbour Island and Kimberly Vowinkel of Palma Ceia, escorted by Brian J. Williamson. She attends HCC. Her attendant was Julia Turenne Watson, daughter of Scott and Georgia Watson.

- Lindsay Suzanne Walden, daughter of Steven and Suzanne Walden of Lithia, escorted by Scott Fritch. A senior at Blake High School, her attendants were Madison and Gabrielle Dallas, twin daughters of John and Melanie Dallas and granddaughters of El Baron XIV Ron Dyser.

- Amy Scherzer can be reached at 226-3332 or

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