By Dr. Miranda E. Page, Historian
The Criterion Club held the Debutante Cotillion for 2020 on Saturday, March 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Criterion Recreation Center in Dillon, South Carolina, with the beautiful, efficient Sister Brenda Arnette serving as Mistress of Ceremony.
The auditorium was skillfully decorated befitting a pageant of elegance with white draping and artistically placed arrangements of peace lilies.
Sister Alanda LeGrand gave a hearty welcome followed by the invocation by Sister Deborah Swinney. Announced by Sister Arnette, The Grand March of the Debutantes began.
The beautiful young ladies with their handsome male escorts, were regal in appearance. Senior Debutante was wearing formal white elegant gown and Junior Debutantes in pastel colors.
Debutante Yu’Nique Dawkins, daughter of Detrice (McCollum) and Ryan Dawkins, a senior at Dillon High School, was the Senior Debutante.
The Junior Debutantes were Jayla Goodwin, daughter of Danielle (Graves) and Dedrick Goodwin, a junior at Dillon High School, and Kayisia Bethea, daughter of Lakayla (Bethea) and Tommy McRae and Richard Singletary, a junior at Lake View High School.
The Debutantes swayed and sang in melodious voices their special “Debutante Selection”. Sister Audrey Hart introduced the Judges: Mrs. Latoya McRae from Dillon, SC, and Mr. Jamal Campbell of Dillon, SC.
Sister Arnette introduced the guest talent. Miss Makela Pompey sang a soul stirring acapella rendition of “Let Go and Let God” by DeWayne Woods. Makela Pompey, daughter of Lakisha and Sedrick Wilson and the late Markus Foster, is a sophomore Nursing major at Francis Marion University.
The Criterion Members and the numerous former Debutantes present were presented by Sister Betty Gunter followed by Debutante Reflections by Miss Makela Pompey, Debutante 2018.
The first segment of Debutante was an Interview session. The Special Highlights of Debutante Talent were presented by Sister Arnette.
The Awards and Presentations were announced by Sister Arnette, and President Jackie Thomas assisted with trophy presentation.
Each Debutante received trophies in the following categories: The Panel Interview Winner was Jayla Goodwin. The Presentation Award Winner was Kayisia Bethea.
The Academic Winner was Jayla Goodwin, and Miss Congeniality was Jayala Goodwin. Talent Winner was Kayisia Bethea. The President’s Award was given to Yu’Nique Dawkins. Sister Arnette introduced Debutante 2018, Makela Pompey. Debutante Pompey took a final stroll. Jr. Debutante for 2020 was Kayisia Bethea. She was presented a trophy, sash, a bouquet of flowers and took the Winners Runway Walk.
First Runner-Up was Jayala Goodwin. She received a trophy, sash and a bouquet of flowers.
Miss Debutante 2020 was Yu’Nique Dawkins. She was crowned, presented a trophy, sash, a bouquet of flowers and took the Winner’s Runway Walk. Debutante and Junior Debutantes of 2020 will be awarded a scholarship.
A sincere thank you to Sister Kadra Wright, The Debutante Committee Chairperson, and The Debutante Committee, you are to be commended for your guidance, talent and diligence in the preparation and successful completion of this Cotillion. A job well done!
Mrs. Pam Davis, Ms. Azalee McCormick, Mrs. Lillie Page, Ms. Tina Hanford, Mrs. Annie Smith, and Mr. Kenneth Smith were also thanked for their assistance for making the Cotillion a success.
A Heartfelt thank you to our Debutantes, Parents, Escorts, Sponsors, and Friends for your contributions to our “Evening of Elegance.”
The Criterion Club Debutante Cotillion 2020! Benediction was by Rev. Allen D. Robinson and everyone enjoyed a reception following Debutante. The Criterion Club’s inception: 1945; The Motto: Let Every Woman Do Her Duty; Colors: Green and White; The Flower: White Gladiolus.