The Pals Social Club Spectacular 2018
(SAN ANTONIO)- The Pals Social Club Spectacular 2018 Season is coming to an end in early June with the Evening with the Pals Reception. For over eighty years the Pals have selected and honored African-American young ladies of high moral and ethical character, outstanding achievements and who have contributed to the community; at an Annual Debutante Cotillion.
The 2018 season opened on December 16, 2018 when the Pals hosted the Cotillion at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Riverwalk, where more than 400 invited guests were welcomed by an ambience of splendidly lit twinkling miniature lights that illuminated the stage and the entire ballroom with the elegance and grandeur of a fairytale ball.
The stage was draped in billowy white chiffon and adorned with the sparkling lights that featured delicate shades of pink and white roses. The ballroom floor had round tables covered with satin, patterned table cloths in soft dusty hues of silver, pink and white. Each table had an elegant chandelier center piece that draped with sparkling rhinestones and pearls. The spectacular setting was the perfect backdrop for the three beautiful, graceful, and highly accomplished young ladies that were introduced to society that evening.The program opened with Ms. Jelynne LeBlanc Burley, President of the Pals Social Club as she introduced the Pals Club Members: Vivian Crenshaw Jones; Priscilla Armstead; JoeZett Ruffin; Linda Freeman; Patricia Paige; Cecily Scott; Cynthia White, Debbie Hamilton, Felicia Thompson Madison; Lauren Middle-Pratt; Linda Harrison Lewis; Matari Jones Gunter; Montrae Strafford Williams; Nan Ritchie; Olga Young; Robin Dillard; Sharalyn Johnson; Shirley Carson Davis; Stephanie Scott Curtis; Terri Womack Williams; Valorie Thompson; Vanessa McKissie-Bowden and Yvonne Horne Clemons.
Ms. Burley then introduced members of this season’s coterie. Taking center stage with the lights down and the spotlight up each of the young ladies were presented one by one. Each debutante stopped mid-way on the stage as she awaited her Mother’s presentation to her of bouquet consisting of twelve long stem American Beauty Roses. After the floral presentation and the Mother exit, each of the debutante gave a graceful bow to the audience. The debutante then gracefully stood up and with statuesque posture walked to the end of the stage where she was greeted by her father. The two began to promenade around the dance floor in front of the stage, as Pal Jelynne Burley read an impressive introduction of each young lady telling of her achievements, academics and community service. Each introduction ended with recognition of the debutante’s escort and her Pal sponsor for the season.
Members of the Pals Social Club’s 2018 Coterie include the following young ladies:
Miss Tia Donshanique Thomas
In June 2018, Tia graduated from St. Philip’s College with an Associate degree in Liberal Arts, and she received here high school diploma from St. Philips College Early College High School, while she was in high school Tia was a cheerleader at St. Philips College in addition to playing basketball, and softball for Sam Houston High School. She was a member of the National Sorority of Delta Kappa Inc., the National Society of High School Scholars and the Society of Torch and Laurel. While taking dual credit classes at St. Philip’s College she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Tia attends New Mount Pleasant Baptist Church where she is a member of the youth usher board, the young adult choir, the youth ministry and the praise dance team.
Tia is a junior at Baylor University where she is majoring in biology and minoring in anthropology. She is a member of numerous organizations in which she impacts the community, including the Baylor Women’s Choir; The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and the Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend medical school. Tia’s experience with Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome, a cardiovascular disease, fuels her aspiration to become a non-invasive cardiologist. Aside from career goals, she would like to start a mentorship program for young African-American girls in her community.
Miss Tia Donshanique Thomas is the daughter of Don and Mary Thomas. She was presented one dozen long stem roses by her mother Mary Thomas. Tia was met by her father Don Thomas Sr. and waltzed with Reverend Joel Allen.
Tia’s escort for the evening was John Carlton Allen, III. He is the son of Rev. John Carlton Allen, II and Uvella Allen. Her sponsor was Pal Shirley Carson Davis.
Miss. Jamizia Michelle Manous
Jamizia attended Travis Early College High School where she received an associate degree and her high school diploma in 2017. During her high school years, she was a cheer coach for the San Antonio All-Stars Football and Cheer Organization. Jamizia was an avid volleyball player playing the position of setter for her varsity team, she also played basketball and she was on the Varsity Soccer Team until she was injured and then became a manager for the team.
Jamizia is a junior at Howard University in Washington, DC where she is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Human Development. Her goal is to open a private practice as a Youth and Family Counselor. Jamizia is active in the Howard University Community Choir, The Texas Club, the Howard University Beacon Liturgical Dance Ministry, and she is a site coordinator for the Alternative Spring Break Program. She is currently organizing the Black Girls are Magical Organization with her roommate Elysse at Howard University.
Jamizia’s strongest motivation was her Great-Grandmother Roby Sanders who was involved in the San Antonio community through her service to, Alpha Tau Omega-Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., as well as her church, Bethel A.M.E. Mrs. Sanders was a major influence in her life. Even at the young age of four, Jamizia remembers her gentleness and constructive teaching that began her journey in becoming the educated, poised, respectful, young lady she is today.
Miss Jamizia Michelle Manous is the daughter of Jimmy Morrow and Michelle Wilson. She was presented one dozen long stem roses by her mother Michelle Wilson. The Pals Social Club presented Michelle in 1996, Pal Katie McKinney Jones was her sponsor. Jamizia was met by her uncle Dr. Royce Sullivan and they performed the waltz.
Jamizia’s escort for the evening is Tamarkus Flannagan, the son of Tamakrus and Deanna Flannagan. Her sponsor was also Pal Katie McKinney Jones.
Miss Osho Rio Adair Ricks
Osho Rio is a 2017 graduate of Samuel Clemens High School. She graduated with a 3.4 grade point average and was a member of the National Honor Society. During her high school years Osho Rio was on the Belles Dance Team and played varsity basketball. Osho Rio describes herself as a “military brat” having spent her formative years in many cities prior to moving to San Antonio just in time for her senior year.
Osho Rio currently attends Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. She is a sophomore majoring in Theater. She is currently a member of the Texas Southern University Dance Company. Her style of dance varies from hip-hop, ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and praise dance. Her freshman year she was a member of Her TSU, an organization empowering young female students at Texas Southern University. She has taught dance to adults and children in the greater Houston area. Her goal is to dance on Broadway or perhaps successful background dancer, and ultimately pursue her dreams by teaching and owning her own studio.
She is a member of New Creations Christian Fellowship Church and is guided by the Psalms149: verse 3 “Let them praise his name with dancing, let them sing praises onto him with the timbrel and harp.”
Miss Osho Rio Adair Ricks is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Timothy and Dorethea Ricks. She was presented red roses by her mother, Dorethea Ricks. She was greeted by her father; Timothy Ricks and they performed the waltz. Pal JoeZett Ruffin is her sponsor. Her escort for the evening was Eric Witherspoon, the son of Eric and LaVerne Witherspoon.
Following the introductions, each young lady stood with her father within a circle of Pal members who are the sponsors of this season’s debutantes. There was an elegant father-daughter waltz, followed by a delightful dance presentation with the debutantes’ and their escorts.
A receiving line was formed, and each sponsor introduced guests to their debutante. Pal Jelynne Burley then gave an inspiring champagne toast to the evening honorees. The remainder of the evening was filled with pleasant conversation, laughter, picture-taking and non-stop dancing.
An upcoming social engagement in the Pal’s Season is the Debutantes Reception in which each of the Debutante’s will host family, friends and Pals Social Club Members to celebrate their introduction to society.
In early June the Pals Club members will host the Season Finale Reception, in which the debutantes will present their scrapbook that will showcase the activities that they each participated in during the season and tell their story of their experience. Each debutante will receive well wishes from the Pals Social Club Members.
Photos by: Melonie Morrow