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Local Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Holds 80th Annual Debutante Ball

On Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, the 80th Annual Debutante Ball sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Alpha Theta Omega Chapter and ATO, Inc. was held at the Raleigh Convention Center on Salisbury Street. In commemoration of the 80th Annual Debutante Ball, members of the chapter placed a display of photos and souvenir booklets from previous Debutante Balls in the ballroom lobby. 

The Honorable James Roberson, Mayor of the Town of Knightdale, North Carolina, gave the official Welcome to Society to 19 bright, enthusiastic young ladies who made their formal debuts. 

Mr. Eric Curry, who has served as the Master of Ceremonies since 1996, introduced the parents of the 2017 debutantes. This introduction included a special presentation of the parents of the Queen, the Maid-of-Honor, the Queen’s Court, the Honor Court, and the parents who had presented two or more debutantes. 

After the introduction of Alpha Theta Omega Chapter and ATO, Inc. members and the singing of the sorority hymn, special recognition was given to the Debutantes of past Debutante Balls. This special recognition was made in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Alpha Theta Omega’s Annual Debutante Ball. 

Following this special recognition, Mr. Curry introduced the 19 beautiful debutantes, who were escorted to their Ivy Leaf Figure positions by their chief marshals and assistant marshals. At the start of these introductions, Miss Madison Eboni Lapsley of Fayetteville, North Carolina was crowned Queen of the 80th Debutante Ball by the 79th Debutante Ball Queen, Miss Diana Nicole Debnam. 

Upon receiving the challenging Welcome to Society by Mayor Roberson, the debutantes, assisted by their marshals, raised their bouquets of red roses and their ribbons to form the traditional Ivy Leaf symbol. The debutantes and their escorts then performed the Grand March, the waltz, the foxtrot, the cha-cha-cha and the line dance the “Electric Slide.’’ 

Also, the mothers of the debutantes and the chief marshals along with the debutantes and their assistant marshals enjoyed the waltz. The audience was invited to join the line dancing at the end of the Ball. The music for the Ball was provided by the Stanley Baird Group of Durham, North Carolina. Refreshments were served following the ball.

The current mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is Launching New Dimensions of Service. The experiences of the debutantes, their families and friends are organized around the target areas of this mission which are: educational enrichment, health promotion, family strengthening, environmental ownership, and global awareness. In addition, one of the platforms of ATO Inc. is to provide educational enrichment programs for families and youth. 

The experiences afforded the young ladies in the Debutante Program included the Debutante Program Mini-Workshop, Fun Day, the Total You Workshop, the Social Health Workshop, the Career and College Planning Workshop, the Talent, Awards and Reception Event, the Essay Contest, the Social Dance Workshop, the Ivy Leaf Formation, leadership development, achievement recognition, black family heritage history, community service activities, artistic involvement, and educational advancement. 

The Alpha Theta Omega Chapter President, Mrs. Katherine S. Everett, the Chairman of ATO, Inc., Mrs. Courtney M. Telfaire, Debutante Program Chairman, Mrs. Sarah C. Harris, and members of Alpha Theta Omega Chapter and ATO, Inc., are indeed grateful to our debutantes, families and friends, sponsors and patrons, the City of Raleigh, the Triangle, Wake County, the State of North Carolina, organizations, and the news media, including The Carolinian, for their continued support of the Debutante Program. 

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SouthEast Raleigh HS vs Heritage HS 

In John Wall Invitational

SE Raleigh girls win first John Wall Holiday Invitational title
December 30, 2017
by Junious Smith III

Southeast Raleigh came to the John Wall Holiday Invitational on a mission and succeeded Saturday as the Bulldogs defeated Wake Forest Heritage, 44-27, Saturday in the girlís championship game at Raleigh Broughtonís historic Holliday Gymnasium.

Two years after falling in the finals to Durham Hillside, Southeast Raleigh captured its first Invitational title while defeating a Huskies team looking to win their second straight and had never been beaten in the tournament prior to Saturday.

ìIt was not pretty, but I did appreciate the way (the girls) have fought all week,î Southeast Raleigh coach Nicole Meyers said. ìWe went up against two teams who had one loss and one who was undefeated, so itís been quite a week.î

Both teams struggled early, each going 1-7 from the field to start the game. Demi Washington put Heritage ahead 8-4 with a 3-pointer, but Southeast Raleigh countered with an 8-0 run, six points coming from Jada McMillian, to take control early in the second quarter.

ìBefore the game, I was telling myself, ëLetís get this win because I donít want to feel how I felt two years ago against Hillside,íî McMillian said. ìIt was a slow game, but we pulled it out (by staying) poised and disciplined.î

Heritage got within 14-12, but Jamia Hazell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to close out the half for Southeast Raleigh. The Bulldogs never let the Huskies get within six in the second half, stretching their advantage to as many as 17.

ìI wasnít here two years ago, but I was at the game and saw the disappointment on their faces,î sophomore forward Anya Poole said. ìWe went into practice and said, ëWeíre not going to lose in this tournamentí and we wanted to make a statement.î

Southeast Raleigh shot 36 percent in the first half, but 53 in the second while holding Heritage to 25 percent all game. Huskies coach Pat Kennedy said the team has to make adjustments heading toward regular season and postseason play.

ìWe have this on film and if we get a chance to play (Southeast Raleigh) again, itíll probably be at their place, which is a tougher place to play,î Kennedy said. ìWeíre going to have to get physically tougher. I think weíre pretty tough mentally; we wanted to compete and showed we can, but the physicality got to us a bit.î

Washington led all scorers with 11 points for Heritage with McMillian and Hazell each scoring 10 for Southeast Raleigh. McMillian was the tournament MVP with Poole getting a spot on the all-tournament team.

Heritageís Alissa Smalls and Washington also made the all-tournament team along with Raleigh Neuse Christianís Izabel Verajao, Fayetteville Northwood Templeís Kendal Moore, Caryís Tamari Key and Charlotte Mallard Creekís Ahlana Smith and Dazia Lawrence. High Point Wesleyanís Shaniya Jones was named the tournamentís most outstanding player.


Harold Webb

Former Wake County Commissioner
Harold Webb dies

Harold Webb, a former Wake County commissioner and an architect of the school system’s policy of busing students to balance achieve diversity, died late Thursday. He was 92.

Webb was a prominent member of the local African-American leadership for decades, serving on the Board of Commissioners from 2003 until 2010, after he had a stroke. He represented District 5, which includes predominantly black neighborhoods in Southeast Raleigh.

James West, who was appointed to fill Webb’s seat and still serves on the board, said Webb was one of his closest friends.

“I’m still at a loss,” West said. “He had a very charismatic leadership style. He would always say, with a big smile on his face, that he’s doing his best and trying to lead the rest. He inspired people, he had a big heart, and he blazed a lot of trails.”

Harold Webb returned to North Carolina after his service with the Tuskegee Airmen in his early years, and studied at North Carolina A&T University, beginning his career in Orange County as a teacher and administrator. Webb was then tapped to administer North Carolina’s Title I program, which aimed to close racial opportunity gaps in schools.

In 1977, under former Gov. Jim Hunt, he was appointed as North Carolina’s first African-American personnel director.

“He understood how government works,” said Danny Coleman, chairman of Raleigh’s South Central Citizens Advisory Council. “He understood how to get things done, and he was a genius at it. I don’t know if there are many people like him around. That generation that he hailed from, there’s not many left in there.”

Another friend and local politician, Eugene Weeks, said recalling Webb’s life: “I met Webb when he first ran for county commission, and I worked on his campaign. He was really my mentor. He taught me how to do things. That’s what got me into politics, by listening to him.”

Weeks said Webb had been in and out of the hospital in recent years dealing with illnesses related to complications from his stroke.

“You would never know what he was going through,” Weeks said. “He had a smile on his face during his illness. Even up until last year and the first part of this year, he would make the same community meetings I would make.”

Webb is survived by a daughter and his wife of more than 50 years, Lucille Webb. The couple were inducted into Raleigh’s Hall of Fame in 2011.