PEARL RIVER, N.Y. – On Saturday, January 30, here in the elegantly appointed main ballroom of the Hilton Pearl River Hotel, more than 400 guests gathered for the annual Chervona Kalyna Cotillion Ball. The atmosphere was happy and full of excitement for one of the most anticipated debutante balls of the season. The Chervona Kalyna Cotillion Ball or “Vechornytsi,” a tradition now in its 65th year, was established in New York City by members of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen and military veterans who, upon emigrating to the U.S., revived their society charity balls of 1920s and 1930s Lviv. Today, one of the main attractions of the Vechornytsi is the presentation of debutantes, a custom begun with an impromptu introduction of young ladies in 1959. And so it was this year, nearly six decades later, that the Ukrainian American community welcomed into its society 13 debutantes from Hempstead, Yonkers and Manhattan, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn.
PHILADELPHIA – The 62nd annual ball with presentation of debutantes sponsored by the Ukrainian Engineers’ Society of America, Philadelphia Chapter, took place on Saturday, February 13, in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Philadelphia Hotel at Penn’s Landing, on the banks of the Delaware River. The ball was initially scheduled for January 23, but had to be postponed due to the severe blizzard that shut down the northeastern U.S.
It was fortunate that all the details remained the same: the hotel and the orchestra were available for the postponed date. A dispensation was received from the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy, since the new date was after the beginning of Lent according to the Gregorian calendar. The ball was a great success despite the postponement. There were three debutantes: Deanna Collette Fedyk with escort Peter Kondrat, Nina Victoria Fedyk with escort Alexander Dale and Kaitlyn Marie Flynn with escort Orest Koznarskyy.
CHICAGO – The American Ukrainian Youth Association Mykola Pavlushkov Branch in Chicago hosted its annual New Year’s Ball, or “Malanka,” on January 16 at Drury Lane in Oak Brook, Ill. Guests arrived at 6 p.m. for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the foyer of the Chicago Ballroom. Friends and family gathered to celebrate the New Year and greeted each other throughout the hour. Vasyl Ilchyshyn, master of ceremonies, opened the evening by welcoming and greeting the 650 plus guests present. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of 17 lovely debutantes from both the Chicago and Palatine branches of the youth association.
CHICAGO – The Illinois Branch of the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA-Illinois) hosted its 55th traditional annual Banquet and Charity Ball with Presentation of Debutantes on January 23 at Chicago’s historic Palmer House in the heart of the downtown “Loop” area. While the East Coast was caught in the midst of a paralyzing snowstorm, the Midwest was spared nature’s wrath. Although several guests were unable to attend, luckily, out-of-town debutantes and their escorts had arrived days earlier. Planning and preparation for this annual event began months ago leading to a memorable and successful event for all. Back in November, the debutantes attended a mother-daughter luncheon, where they began planning the details of their debut.
PARSIPPANY, N.J. – On February 6, the Ukrainian American Youth Association (UAYA) hosted its 52nd annual Debutante Ball at the Sheraton Hotel in Parsippany, N.J.
This year, 15 young women, all dressed in white and accompanied by escorts, made their ceremonial debut before a full ballroom of family, friends and members of the UAYA community. The UAYA Debutante Ball, under the auspices of the national executive, is a longstanding tradition among UAYA members of the Northeast. The event has its roots in European court custom and was adopted in the mid-20th century by Ukrainian American diaspora organizations. This year’s crop of young women, who came from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for the black-tie affair, joined a group of almost 800 others who have previously participated in this particular rite of passage with the UAYA. Their formal presentation capped off a lively evening that included a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres hour, dinner and dancing.
WHIPPANY, N.J. – On January 16, the Parents’ Association of the Newark, N.J., branch of Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization sponsored its annual Plast Debutante Ball at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, N.J. The debutante ball is a traditional event at which each debutante is formally presented to the community as a young lady. Anya Tershakovec-Tomko and Borislaw Bilash, who served as this year’s masters of ceremonies, formally opened the event by welcoming the debutantes, their families and guests. After being formally introduced, each debutante was welcomed by guests as she was escorted through the center of the ballroom. This year’s debutantes included young ladies from the Newark branch (which is now based in Whippany), as well as New Haven, Conn., Passaic, N.J., and Philadelphia: Anastasia Bilyk (escort Michael Lenyk), Arianna Centore (escort Mykyta Duvalko), Khrystyna Druzhynska (escort Alexander Zharovsky), Lidia Drybushar (escort Roman Onyshkevych), Juliana Hirniak (escort Ivan Wolansky), Laryssa Horodysky (escort Stefan Krysa), Kalyna Leshchuk (escort Maksym Mahlay), Andreya Pencak (escort Pavlo Stasiouk), Nadiya Stakhyra (escort Alexander Mulyk), Laryssa Terleckyj (escort Danylo Duvalko), Lena Wanio (escort Mark Kucy), and Deanna Zawadiwsky (escort Stephan Stasiuk). The debutantes in their flowing white gowns danced gracefully with their escorts to a newly choreographed arrangement by Natalia and Andrij Cybyk.
TROY, Mich. – At the 49th Winter Ball and Presentation of Debutantes, organized by the Detroit chapter of the Ukrainian Engineers’ Society of America (UESA), the Detroit-area Ukrainian community welcomed its finest and most promising young members to the status of responsible, patriotic Ukrainian adulthood. The elegant event was held on Saturday, January 30, in the Grand Ballroom of the Troy Marriott Hotel. The ceremony presented nine beautiful young ladies and their escorts to the community, which warmly accepted them with open arms. Comprising the group were: Veronica Tchernychouk escorted by Maksym Panchyshyn, Victoria Blaga escorted by Oleh Krysynskyi, Marta Zalivsky escorted by Zenon Lewyckyj, Helena Tomkiw escorted by Zenon Chovich, Catherine Sawicky escorted by Andrew Dagenais, Larysa Nona escorted by Thomas Vaichekauskas, Lina Farion escorted by Danylo Sovgut, Roksolana Sudyk escorted by Pavlo Stasiouk, and Laryssa Kapitanec escorted by Yarko Petrusha. Natalia Lewyckyj, president of the Detroit chapter of the UESA, had the privilege of welcoming the guests and introducing the master of ceremonies for the evening, Marko Lawrin.
CHICAGO – The Illinois Branch of the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA-Illinois) hosted the 54th traditional annual Banquet and Charity Ball with Presentation of Debutantes on February 14 at Chicago’s historic Palmer House in the heart of the downtown “Loop” area. Although the weather was very cold, the snow held off falling until the following morning. Planning and preparation for this annual event began months ago, leading to a memorable and successful event for all. In November, the debutantes attended a mother-daughter luncheon, where they began planning the details of their debut. The 2015 Debutante Ball took place on Valentine’s Day, and fittingly the ballroom was decorated with alternating centerpieces filled with red roses.
PARSIPPANY, N.J. – On February 14, the Ukrainian American Youth Association (UAYA) hosted its 51st annual Debutante Ball. Five young women made their debut before a ballroom of friends, family and guests. This ball, held under the auspices of the UAYA National Executive, is a longstanding tradition among the UAYA community of the Northeast. The debutante ball has its roots in European court custom, as young women were introduced to adult society on their 16th birthday. This tradition came to the United States in the 19th century and in the 20th century, various Ukrainian American organizations began to organize their own balls.
WHIPPANY, N.J. – The Parents Committee of Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization’s Newark, N.J., branch on January sponsored its annual Debutante Ball here at the Hanover Marriot. The debutante ball is a traditional event at which each debutante is formally presented to the community as a young lady. Anya Tershakovec-Tomko and Borislaw Bilash, who served as this year’s masters of ceremonies, formally opened the event by welcoming the debutantes, their families and guests. After being formally introduced, each debutante was welcomed by guests as she was escorted through the center of the ballroom. This year’s debutantes included nine young ladies from Plast’s Newark branch (which is now based in Whippany), as well as branches in Passaic, N.J., New York, Philadelphia and Kerhonkson, N.Y.: Alexa Czartorysky (escort Alexander Tomko), Olenka Hladky (Roman Onyshkevych); Dara Klemik (Christopher Kuzemka), Alexandra Hamilton (Peter Kondrat), Natalia Tsuvanyk (Alexander Rakowsky), Ruta Odulak (Maxym Kolomayets), Olenka Tytla (Stephan Firko), Marta Penkalskyj (Stephen Waskiw) and Katia Woloszyn (Yuriy Stolyarchuk).