The Akron Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. welcomed more than 500 guests to the 38th annual Les Belles Perles (“The Beautiful Pearls”) Cotillion on Saturday evening.

Eighteen debutantes representing seven area high schools were presented. The 2019 debutantes are high school juniors and seniors, selected based on their academic performance, school and community involvement, letters of recommendation and a personal interview with the applicants and their parents/guardians.

“This gives the girls a chance to be presented to the community,” said Rose Skinner.

Cynthia Bowers-Martin added, “I like the fathers and daughters dance.”

The event co-chairpersons are Shana M. Lee and Nicole Mack.

Mack said, “We used to have seniors only but we’ve transitioned to include the 11th grade.”

Pamela Valentine said, “The whole cotillion process is learning and it’s not just a one-night event.”

Debutante dad Karl Jackson said, “It’s just great to dance with my daughter and see her grow into a young woman.”

Supporting their family and friends were Chanda Clemons Santee, Christopher L. Martin, Marcella Chapman, Akiya Santee, Jacquan Clemons, Asante Santee, Jakaira Polk and Aushaia Polk.

Chapman said, “I’m excited for my niece Ja’Kai Polk.”

Lawrence B. Butler Jr. emceed the evening with the presentation of the debutantes.

Chapter President Lori Al Amin greeted attendees.

Sharing a table were friends Denise Brandon, Yalanda Cain, V. Rena Suber, Dana K. LaGarde and Carla L. Jackson.

The cotillion has presented over 663 debutantes and over $430,000 in awards.

Carolyn Brown attended with her daughter Shayla Brown-Dandridge. She said, “I was a debutante in 1966. I remember my escort told me that night that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I married him.”