The Cherry Blossom Ball

Honoring the service of women started over half a century ago, when ladies from the Junior Women's Hospital Auxiliary wanted to have an old-fashioned ball like the tradition started in the South, which would raise money for the hospital. They wanted it to be a fancy event in which attendees could dance the night away with family and friends, as well as see the young girls they loved transformed into young women. Many outsiders may see the ball simply as an opportunity to wear a fancy dresses and gloves, but in truth it represents something much more important. It is one of the few opportunities the women of the county have to recognize each other's dedication to making this community better. The girls involved in what is now called the Spring Leadership Ball are chosen on their fulfillment of certain criteria such as academics, extra-curricular involvement and most importantly, volunteerism. In a time when most of a girl's work was in volunteer form, they did not receive recognition in the form of a paycheck. The ball became that recognition. In an event of true splendor, the community now had a way of honoring the girls who had dedicated their time to making it better. The Debutante Ball is a tradition that gives Medina County a sense of formality and elegance, and boasts the very best group of girls it has to offer. In a suburbanized community, opportunities to take part in such a prestigious event is rare, and so it gives its young leaders a cultural experience that hopefully their daughters will be able to take part in as well. Medina's Victorian-style town square draws visitors to the many shops and restaurants that line its streets, while its excellent school systems bring in families from all over. One way Medina has continued this tradition of excellence is through the honoring of a select group of young ladies every spring.

Images

1959 Cherry Blossom Ball Debutantes and Escorts

1959 Cherry Blossom Ball Debutantes and Escorts

Members of the first annual Cherry Blossom Ball are posed and ready to begin the traditional elegant dance. From the beginning of the ball to it's later days, the formal dance routine learned by the girls, their fathers and their escorts is meant to symbolize their life and tell a story. The young lady being honored is presented to the audience by her father, then the story of her growth and coming out is followed by the courtship of her and her escort. The presentation to the young male escort by her father is meant to represent the newly grown up young woman and her next step in life, which is to be married. Image Courtesy of Medina Spring Leadership Ball Committee View File Details Page

First Debutante Ball Invitation 1959

First Debutante Ball Invitation 1959

Reaffirming the formality and prestige of every ball, the attendees of the ball are by invitiation only based on the Debutante's family and her escort. This, perhaps antique tradition of the ball, is one tradition that has transcended generations and is still remaining as a key factor in the ball today. The formal nature of the ball adds an old time charm and sense of elegancy in a time where tradition is rapidly fading. Image Courtesy of Medina Spring Leadership Ball Committee View File Details Page

Medina County Hospital 1948

Medina County Hospital 1948

The Junior Women's Hospital Auxiliary began the Debutante Ball as a fundraiser for the hospital. Just four short years after the Ball began, the Auxiliary was making substantial donations to the hospital that greatly increased the hospital's working ability. While the Ball is meant to honor the fine ladies of Medina County, it was created for a greater purpose to better the community. The Junior Women's Hospital Auxiliary was a group of women wishing to make a difference in Medina County while also honoring the young ladies that rarely recieve such honors. Medina Hospital Circa 1948. 1948. Medina Hospital Foundation. Web. 29 May 2012. http://www.medinahospitalfoundation.org/about/Medina_Hospital. View File Details Page

Marilynn Graebner Teaching Choreography

Marilynn Graebner Teaching Choreography

Mrs. Marilynn Graebner, pictured above, teaches the dance for the Leadership Ball. Starting in 1977, she choreographed the dance for 28 years, retiring in 2005. Full of entertaining anecdotes about fathers afraid to dance and girls breaking their heels, Mrs. Graebner is a wealth of knowledge about the balls. Image Courtesy of Medina Spring Leadership Ball Committee View File Details Page

2012 Debutantes Dancing

2012 Debutantes Dancing

Lovely ladies from the 2012 Ball dance around the ballroom at Weymouth, the fourth location of the now infamous Ball. When compared to pictures from the late 1950's, the stature and formality of the Ball is eerily similar. The elegance and splendor of the Ball has transcended generations and will continue to be a part of Medina County for years to come. While the support of the community may waver, those in charge of the Ball will continue to show their dedication and make sure the Ball remains to honor thirty young women who deserve their special night. Image Courtesy of Woodard Photographic View File Details Page

Helen Waters

Helen Waters

Helen Waters, a woman who has been around for a long time, talked about how it was normal to curtsy at her boarding school during her teen years. When speaking to her interviewer, she said "When you™re 18 years old, can you imagine curtsyingz" It was normal in the early 1920's to curtsy with your teachers. Image courtesy of Library of Congress View File Details Page

Audio

"How it all started"

Mrs. Marilynn Graebner talking about the origins of the first Cherry Blossom Ball View File Details Page

"I'm in charge I can do what I want!"

Marilynn Graebner tells of a father terrified to dance View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Brittany Johns, Jennifer Miller and Kelly Rea, “The Cherry Blossom Ball,” Discover Medina, accessed April 29, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/26.

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