Two young Sampson County ladies are among those who will be presented at the 92nd annual North Carolina Debutante Ball being held in September.
Emma Claire Purdie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Purdie of Clinton, and Blake Daniel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Daniel of Clinton, are among the honorees.
Purdie, who is a graduate of St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, says being presented as a debutante is a young girl’s way of coming out to society.
“I grew up knowing that my grandmother was presented as a debutante and it was something I always wanted to be a part of when I came of age,” Purdie said.
In 1961, Purdie’s grandmother Claire Lynn Purdie was presented as a debutante. Having only sons, her granddaughters are now fulfilling the legacy of being honored with the invitation.
Purdie’s grandmother’s dress she wore for her presentation at the Debutante Ball more than five decades ago is being used to make the straps for her granddaughter’s dress. Two of her cousins have used a part of the dress for their ball gowns as well.
“Being able to share this with my grandmother and cousins is an honor,” Purdie shared. “This is something special that we all get to share with our grandmother. By wearing a part of her dress, we all get to be a part of her.”
Debutantes are invited to take part in the age-old tradition following their first year of college.
“It’s such an honor to be part of this timeless tradition,” Daniel, who is following in the footsteps of her mother, aunts and cousins, said.
Many young girls know they will follow in the legacy of other family members and become a debutante. Purdie said most of her graduating class from St. Mary’s is currently making their debut.
Daniel is a graduate of Clinton High School and is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Purdie attends the University of Alabama and is studying biology with plans to become a doctor. The girls have been best friends since kindergarten and are excited to share this opportunity with each other.
The Terpsichorean Club, comprised of young ladies from the Raleigh area, was formed in the 1920s to sponsor an annual statewide Debutante Ball to present many of North Carolina’s prominent young ladies and to honor their families. The Ball has been held every year since 1923 with the exception of the World War II years.
Young ladies are selected by more than 200 nominators located throughout the state. The final approval of the Debutantes is made by the Terpsichorean Club members. The invitations are extended to the young ladies in recognition of the contributions their families have made to the economic, cultural, social and civic life of North Carolina. The Leader of the Ball is chosen from Wake County’s Debutantes and young ladies from throughout the state are also honored by being named Assistant Leaders.
During the Ball weekend there will be eight functions held in honor of the debutantes, their families and their escorts. The girls received their invitations in May and have three parties to attend throughout July. The final ball will be held in September.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.