BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer

“I was thinking, ‘Ok, I didn’t place, but I’m really happy for the other girls.’ Then I was hoping they’d call Simone Lonas’ name. But when I heard my name called for Miss Debutante 2017, I was surprised. I didn’t think I would win,” Sara Taite Trail told the Toledo Journal what she was thinking during the brief moments leading up to her being announced at the Debutante Cotillion.

The 52nd Annual Debutante Cotillion was held on Saturday, May 27 in The Great Hall of the Stranahan Theater. The event was sponsored by The Toledo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club’s Inc.

Sara Taite Trail being crowned Miss Debutante 2017, by Daijah Blackburn, Miss Debutante 2016.
Sara Taite Trail being crowned Miss Debutante 2017, by Daijah Blackburn, Miss Debutante 2016.

It was described as a presentation of Toledo’s best, young minds; which lived up to its billing. Several of the girls received scholarship offers over $200,000.00. Two girls will be entering the University of Toledo as juniors, because, while in high school, they were also taking college courses.

Wilma Brown, chairperson, told The Toledo Journal that the Cotillion is the formal introduction of the girls to society. In the weeks leading up to the big event, the girls learn various etiquettes, and skills that will help prepare them for entering college, as well as, the workforce. In addition, the debutantes, and their escorts learned how to do the Waltz, which they performed twice during the evening.

A three judge panel scored the girls on poise, appearance, their ability to perform the Waltz, as well as talent. The Debutante with the most points would be the winner.

In the week leading up to the Debutante Cotillion, the girls participated in a talent show. The top three winners were announced at the Cotillion and awarded trophies.

Eight girls will receive $12,000 scholarships from the University of Toledo based upon the accumulative grade point averages throughout high school.

The escorts, who attended all the practices, as well as, exemplified leadership skills and the ability to excel in learning the Waltz received $200 cash.

The escorts celebrate during the event.
The escorts celebrate during the event.

The top three Debutantes received cash scholarships. Second place runner-up $1000. First place runner-up received $2000, and Miss Debutante $3000.

The Toledo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club’s Inc., sponsors the annual event.
The Toledo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club’s Inc., sponsors the annual event.

Ms. Brown said that for the organization to be able to help the girls was very fulfilling. “I wasn’t able to attend college, so for us to be able to help prepare the girls for college, and the workforce, as well as, help them get scholarships, is very fulfilling. I’m able to live out that part of my life when I didn’t attend college, through their lives, and successes this evening,” she said.

In addition to Sara Taite Trail being crowned Miss Debutante, she also won first place in the talent competition, in which she performed an original monologue dedicated to her grandmothers.

Sara Taite Trail will be attending Tiffin University, receiving $12,000 annually from the school.

She will be majoring in Forensic Psychology, with a minor in Homeland Security and Terrorism.

Other winners that evening were Brianna Smith, Miss Congeniality, Kellen Grant, Mr. Escort, Outstanding Talent winners were, Keiondra Williams, third place, Brianna Smith, second place, and Sara Taite Trail, first place. Miss Debutante 2017 runner-ups were Destiny Knight, second place runner-up, and Lyricka Robinson-Smith, first place runner-up.

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