WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Progressive Women’s Club of Wichita Falls is gearing up to host its annual Debutante Ball and it’s an event that Club President Audrey Maclin says has been a long tradition that simply has to keep going.

“The debutante goes back 70 plus years. I’m sure you’ll hear people go, ‘oh, I was a deb.’ It was very prestigious to be a debutante in those days,” Maclin said.

This ball has been a staple in the African-American community for hundreds of years, and this year, six young ladies and their escorts have been working hard to prepare for our local ceremony.

Maclin, a deb herself, adds that it’s a ceremony with plenty of purpose behind it.

“To teach them how to bow, to teach them how to be graceful, it’s a very tedious sort of thing but I wouldn’t give it up for the world and I don’t believe anybody else in our club would either,” Maclin said.

The Debutante Ball will honor these high school grads and formally present them to society and Dean of Debutantes, and also a former deb herself, LaKenya Breedlove, says being able to help prepare this next generation for their big night has been amazing.

“We were more shy and quiet but the ladies here you have some that don’t talk but you have a lot of them that are just like show me what I need to do and let’s do it. And they jump right into it so I love how evolved we’ve become and the girls they’re just awesome. I love doing it,” Breedlove said.

While both ladies have been working hard getting their debs into tip-top shape, they say it’s been a fun ride and they are oh so proud.

“We still believe this for our girls from the east side, from Hirschi from Rider from Old High, from City View from Burk from any schools around, we believe that you all can come in and we will teach you that presentation,” Maclin said.

“It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s not easy but I love doing it. I love to see the end results and just presenting those debs at the end of the day. It makes it all worth it,” Breedlove said.

A decades-long tradition that just keeps ongoing.

The 2022 Debutante Ball will take place Sunday, June 5 at 6 p.m. at the Park Place Event Center.

Markeshia Jackson will be this year’s host.

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