Beaufort County teen attends debutante ball

Published 6:33 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

Marisa Gerard, 19, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bennett Gerard IV, was invited to attend the 90th annual North Carolina Debutante Ball, which was held in Raleigh on Sept. 8-10. Marisa Gerard is a student at N.C. State University and a Washington High School graduate and enjoys faith, fashion, football and friends. Chief marshal escorting Marisa, will be her father, Walter B. Gerard IV and assistant marshall will be William Patrick Mayo Jr. John Douglas Merritt Jr., president of the Terpsichorean Club of Raleigh, announced the invitations. The formal presentation of young ladies from across the state will highlight the weekend festivities. The Terpsichorean Club, comprised of young gentlemen from the Raleigh area, was formed in the 1920s to sponsor an annual statewide Debutante Ball to present many of North Carolina’s prominent young ladies and to honor their families. The ball has been held every year since 1923 with the exception of the World War II years. More than 200 nominators, located throughout the state, select the young ladies. Terpsichorean Club members make the final approval of the debutantes. The invitations are extended to the young ladies in recognition of the contributions their families have made to the economic, cultural, social and civic life of North Carolina. The Leader of the Ball is chosen from Wake County’s debutantes, and young ladies from throughout the state are also honored by being named assistant leaders. During the ball weekend, there were eight functions held in honor of the debutantes, their families and their escorts. The formal presentation at Meymandi Concert Hall on the evening of Sept. 9 was a focal point of the weekend.