Ashburn Village resident Kathryn "Katy" Faulk made her debut to society at the 16th Annual Old Dominion Cotillion Ball held at the Westfields Marriott Hotel in Chantilly, Saturday, July 14. Katy was just one of the six girls being presented to society. Sherry Pressley of Oakton founded the Old Dominion Cotillion in 1992, for her daughter so that it would be a memory she would truly remember.
"We try to give them fun different activities, we want them to be interactive activities with confidence" said Pressley, "to prepare them for college and job interviews. We try to be good role models and we want them to be successful."
ONE CHARACTERISTIC that sets the Old Dominion Cotillion apart from other cotillions is that there are events and activities from September through July.
Chairperson of etiquette Lynn Williams of Reston has been with the cotillion since the beginning.
"This is a fabulous experience for the girls, to give them something special during their years in high school" said Williams. "We teach them about poise and etiquette and take them on educational field trips, teach them life skills. We want to prepare them for their future."
Williams has a granddaughter who lives in Florida and is a page with the cotillion. The cotillion has made it possible for everyone to be a member Ñ even with two girls who live out of state, although when they are older they will travel more for the events.
Saturday night, the pages, girls who are in training to be future debutantes, were presented first along with the future debutantes. Then the post debutantes made their entrance with their own escort and then finally the stars of the night, the debutantes, made their debut. Virginia Military Institute (VMI) cadets were the escorts Ñ each debutante had two. Each debutante had a special song played while being presented by her fathers, Katy chose "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
KATY, 16, is the daughter of Jack and Lisa Faulk of Ashburn and has been with the cotillion for the past year.
"I was definitely nervous, I was freaking out in the back but now IÕm relieved," said Katy after her grand entrance. KatyÕs mother, Lisa, who is a member of the board of governors for the cotillion, was beaming with pride for her daughter.
"It was just a beautiful evening. It is something every girl should do" said Lisa Faulk. "It was a special evening for Katy and I hope she was happy."
Katy and her mother first got involved with the ODC when they were invited to an invitational tea.
"I grew up in Virginia and I didnÕt have the chance to do it," said Lisa Faulk, "ItÕs a real Southern thing to do and itÕs a unique group. Katy really wanted to do it. ItÕs a great thing to do with the family."
Not only has Katy become closer with her parents but she has gotten to become friends with the other debutantes as well. Fellow debutante Brooke Valliere of Clifton felt this year she really got to know Katy and the other debutantes, "we have all become really close friends and this experience has changed us for the better."
Lisa Faulk hopes that her daughter has gained the proper etiquette and poise of a young lady.
"A lot of the things the ODC did was about business women etiquette. I wish I had started her earlier, but IÕm glad that she had this opportunity," said Lisa Faulk. "The ODC has taught Katy and the other girls to be feminine and powerful at the same time. I hope sheÕs successful and happy."
Katy will be a senior at Bishop OÕConnell High School in Arlington.