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97th Cinderella Ball at the Carnegie Museums


Photo Credit F. David Astudillo

Debutantes of the 97th Cinderella Ball – Miss Audrey Pearl Badeer Miss Catherine Grace Barrett Brentzel Miss Elizabeth Corinne Brewer Miss McKenna Michelle Bush Miss Beatty Mellon Cathey Miss Sterling Mellon Cathey Miss Wesley Lyons Dillon Miss Lilley Elizabeth Fiedler Miss Katherine Ford Jenkins Miss Maeve Elizabeth Kelley Miss Meredith Elise Kelly Miss Natalia Claire McMahon Miss Bree Kavanaugh Murphy Miss Caroline Rose Penrod Miss Enysah Ann Roberts Miss Chloe Carolyn Wells


Youthful energy and excitement filled the Carnegie Museums on the evening of June 18th, 2023 where 16 young women were presented as debutantes at the 97th Cinderella Ball.  Coinciding with Father’s Day, this year’s celebration chaired by Mary Dauer Colville, Margaret Dauer Marquette, and Sarah Deutsch Scaife was a special gathering for the families of the debutantes who filled the venue with close to 400 guests.  Many of the debutante had personal ties to this long-standing event including second-generation debutantes Elizabeth Corinne Brewer, Beatty Mellon Cathey, Sterling Mellon Cathey, Lilley Elizabeth Fiedler, and Natalia Claire McMahon who are all daughters Cinderella Ball debutantes.

This fairy tale evening was a year in the making for the young ladies who completed the Leadership Forum for Young Women program which entailed volunteer service of at least 30 hours per individual to the primary beneficiary, The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, as well as service to additional non-profits, and attendance at networking and professional development events.  Combined over 465 hours were logged at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium where the girls assisted the education department with animal presentations, helped with seasonal special events like the Asian Lantern Festival and ZooBoo, and assisted with marketing efforts for the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium’s 125th Anniversary.  Debutante Enysah Ann Roberts, a recent graduate of The Ellis School, was awarded a scholarship by the Cinderella Women’s Committee for her dedicated to voluntarism after completing the most hours in the group.

Guests were seated lining the palatial Hall of Sculpture for the formal presentation of the debutantes.  Young gentlemen serving as the Floor Committee lined the room on bent knee for the formal presentation of the debutantes.  Each debutante, escorted by her father or presenter, was individually announced to a roomful of applause by enthusiastic guests.  Always a special moment, Prince Charming 2023 was revealed to be Bobby O’Brien, a Shady Side Academy graduate and rising sophomore at Southern Methodist University.  From a silver bowl, he blindly chose the name card of his Cinderella, Miss Audrey Pearl Badeer, who was thrilled by the news.  The couple joined for a waltz at the center of the room followed by the Father Daughter Waltz by the entire group.  After a promenade up and down the length of the room for all to see, the debutantes and their presenters led guests to cocktail hour in the Scaife Foyer at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Guests were awestruck by the beautiful site of the Carnegie Music Hall Foyer where tables were set for dinner adorned by towering white hydrangea and rose arrangements by Jeff Donati of Pete Donati & Sons.  The Rick Purcell Big Band filled the room with upbeat classical selections during the meal.  Dinner included an heirloom tomato salad and roasted chicken breast with prosciutto, fontina and sage, asparagus, and an herbed risotto followed by a jeweled desert display with assorted fruit tarts, macarons, double fudge brownies, and other treats prepared by Mark Balach of Culinaire.  The John Parker Band kept the black-tie clad crowd on the dance floor until the very last song of the evening.

One of the oldest continuously-running debutante balls in America, the Leadership Forum for Young Women and Cinderella Ball welcome Pittsburgh area high school seniors yearly to participate.  Today’s modern debutantes are active, accomplished young women who are passionate about giving back to their communities and building leadership skills that will position them for future success.  Each year, the event benefits a local non-profit through hands-on volunteer work and a monetary donation from the proceeds of Cinderella Ball. For more information or to register interest in future participation please visit


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