2013 Les Fleurettes

Some of the 2013 Les Fleurettes preparing for the Bal Blanc de Noel Saturday night are (front row, left to right) Shannon Ritter, Adelle Higley, Grace Vallen, Alessandra Koeppen, and Madelyn Merchant. (back row, left to right) Tracey Andrews, Charlotte Leddie, Galey Caverly and Haley Johnson. (Courtesy of Bronson Photography / December 26, 2013)

Seventeen young women will be presented to society on Saturday when the La Cañada Thursday Club holds its annual Bal Blanc de Noel at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. The honorees are Tracey Hill Andrews, Galey Kathryn Caverly, Jessica Anne Davidson, Laura Jane Emmons, Brenna Katherine Gay, Adelle Anne Higley, Haley Nicole Johnson, Madison Rose Johnson, Alessandra Theresa Koeppen, Charlotte Ann Robertson Leddie, Madelyn Louise Merchant, Margaret Ann Morton, Annette Marie Persson, Shannon Cleo Ritter, Lauren Drew Skarupa, and Grace Marie Vallen.

The debutantes have completed an 18-month program of social and community service and have been provided with cultural education, personal development training and etiquette instruction in a program that has a rich, 62-year-old tradition with the local women’s club.

Presenting the young women at the ball will be Anthony Portantino, a former La Cañada Flintridge mayor and state assemblyman. The president of the Thursday Club, Gale Caswell, will give a camellia charm to each debutante as a gift from the club and then the young women will dance the traditional first waltz of the evening with their fathers.

The 2013 Bal Blanc de Noel has been dedicated to the late Denise Greenawalt, who previously served as its chairman. This year’s Les Fleurettes have been led by Thursday Club member Jeanie Kay, with Jody Platisa serving as co-chair. Patti Wickersham was program chair and Gail Merchant is the group’s provisional chair.

More details about this year’s 17 Les Fleurettes follows.

Tracey Andrews

Tracey Hill Andrews is the daughter of Alison McQuay and Todd Andrews, and the granddaughter of Audrey and Clark McQuay.

Tracey is a senior at La Cañada High School where she is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, the National Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta, a national mathematics honor society.

Tracey is president of the La Cañada High Marching Band. She plays trumpet in the Jazz Band and in the orchestra for the Spring Musicals. She has established a mentoring program where high school band members play alongside aspiring young musicians at local elementary and junior high schools.

Tracey earned her Girl Scout Gold Award last year. She has been chosen to be part of the Girl Scout Tournament of Roses Troop in the 2014 Rose Parade.

Tracey is a member of the city’s Youth Council and is proud that she helped pass a regulation placing tighter restrictions on smoking near restaurants in La Cañada. In her free time, Tracey loves to go to theme parks and enjoys spending time with her good friends.

Tracey plans to go to a large university and play in the marching band. She will likely major in business with a minor in music, and hopes to find a career in arts management.

Tracey will be presented by her father. Her escort is Alexander James Castro. Her presentation song is “Tracy.”

Galey Caverly

Galey Kathryn Caverly is the daughter of Mary and Brady Caverly. She is a senior at Flintridge Preparatory School.

Galey is an avid drama student and has enjoyed being in several school productions. Galey currently co-captains her school’s Comedy Sportz improvisation team, and has been a member of the team for three years. She has run on the cross country team for four years, and has gone to CIF state competition with her team for two seasons. She is a peer counselor at Flintridge, where she assists younger students to navigate the stresses at a new environment. Galey was recently chosen as Prep’s 2014 Homecoming Queen.

Galey loves playing guitar and writing music. She was selected to attend the Interlochen Song Writing Camp last summer in Traverse City, Mich.

Galey works part-time as a barista at her family’s restaurant in La Cañada. Galey enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and younger brother. She and her family have traveled extensively through Europe, and Galey’s favorite adventure was traveling to Milan with her grandmother.

Galey plans to attend college on the east coast studying theater, music or psychology. She hopes for a career in musical theatre on Broadway.

Galey is being presented by her father. Her escort is Martin Werner Wolff. Her presentation song is “Vienna.”

Jessica Davidson

Jessica Anne Davidson is the daughter of Lisa Brownfield and Mark Davidson, and the granddaughter of Annette and William Brownfield.

A La Cañada High School senior, Jessica received the Student of the Quarter in Spanish Award and has been recognized for many other academic achievements. She has been an alto in the La Cañada High School Concert Choir for three years. Jessica participated on the high school girls swim team, and was a captain for two years of the junior varsity water polo team. However, her favorite sport has always been soccer.

Jessica enjoys being a youth minister at her church, where she is a teen leader. She plans to become a counselor at the YMCA Camp Surf in San Diego.

Jessica earned the Girl Scout Gold Award last May. Her Gold Award project, “Cello Racks for HOLA” consisted of collecting funds, designing and constructing cello racks, and conducting a wood working class for young musicians. HOLA, the Heart of Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization located in the Rampart District.

She enjoys reading classic novels, going to the beach, hiking, volunteering, and expanding her knowledge of history.

Jessica plans to attend a university on the West Coast and major in social work. She is very compassionate while having a great sense of humor.

Jessica is being presented by her father. Her escort is Samuel Everett Geller. Her presentation song is “Everything.”

Laura Emmons

Laura Jane Emmons is the daughter of Barbara Emmons Perrier and Scott Emmons and the granddaughter of Gloria Vessadini Schubert and the late Philip Vessadini.

Laura is a senior at Mayfield Senior School. She is currently enrolled in three AP courses and is a National Advanced Placement Scholar. She was awarded the Advanced Placement U.S. History Award at Mayfield in her junior year. She is a member of the varsity tennis team and enjoys playing tennis year- round.

She has participated in Model United Nations and has enjoyed being part of school theatre productions.

Laura loves to travel and has seen the world, enjoying a variety of service and cultural trips. She has been to Costa Rica, Amsterdam, London, Tanzania, France, Morocco, India, Cambodia and Thailand. She truly loves Southeast Asia and India and hopes to return there soon.

In addition to travel, Laura enjoys scuba diving and received her certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors this summer. She enjoys photography, watching movies and baking. She also loves spending time with her brothers and sisters and her dog, Simon.

Laura hopes to attend a Southern university to enjoy a new cultural experience. She plans on majoring in communications or liberal arts. She is also interested in international relations.

Laura is being presented by her stepfather. Her escort is Peter Eisenhower Riemers. Her presentation song is “State of Dreaming.”

Brenna Gay

Brenna Katherine Gay, is the daughter of Danielle and Samuel Gay.

Brenna is a senior at La Cañada High School, where she is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, the Athletic Leadership Council, and Teens for the Advancement of Children’s Hospital.

Brenna has played volleyball and basketball at the high school, but her true love is softball. In 2012, her high school team won the CIF-Southern Section Championship. Brenna has also been a member of several travel softball teams including the team that won the Junior Western National Division Championship in 2011.

Brenna loves photography and has been honored several times for her work by the California State Reflections Contest. She has also received a photography award from the Los Angeles Times. She is a photographer for the Daily Spartan, the high school newspaper.

She has played the guitar for eight years. She loves getting together with friends to play guitar and sing.

Brenna has travelled extensively around the country, but her heart always brings her back to Santa Barbara, where she treasures her time with friends and family on the beach.

Brenna plans to attend a university and major in business. She hopes to use her business degree to work in entertainment or sports marketing.

Brenna is being presented by her father. Her escort is Matthew Warren Van Wyk. Her presentation song is “Father and Daughter.”

Adelle Higley

Adelle Anne Higley is the daughter of Dena and Mark Higley and the granddaughter of Carol and Vance Breshears and Jane and Lee Higley. Adelle is the historian of the 2013 Les Fleurettes Provisional Class.

Adelle is a senior at Maranatha High School in Pasadena. She was born in Vietnam and adopted at the age of 17 months from an orphanage near Saigon. She has benefited greatly from the services of many doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and has been active in giving back to that community with volunteer appearances at special events. Adelle has also spoken to high school students with her inspirational message of courage and hope for teens struggling with difficult issues.

She has been the president of the Diverse Student Union Club at Maranatha. She spent two weeks in Nicaragua on a mission trip where she volunteered at an after school program with the children of Managua and helped refurbish the property.

Adelle has been a cheerleader at Maranatha. She is a member of the Maranatha track team. In her free time, Adelle enjoys piano lessons, reading, and spending time at the gym.

Adelle has been accepted to the University of Alabama, where she plans to study creative writing. She hopes one day to be a novelist.

Adelle is being presented by her father. Her escort is Kosmo Silas Brown. Her presentation song is “Lovebug.”

Haley Johnson

Haley Nicole Johnson is the daughter of Dina and James Johnson, and the granddaughter of Charles and Dianne Nockey and Dan and Lee Johnson.

Haley is a senior at La Cañada High School. She has been awarded the Student of the Quarter in her retail marketing class and she has also been named by Los Angeles Unified School District as a bronze medal award winning ROP Outstanding Student.

Haley has been a student ambassador for LCHS for two years. She has organized and promoted the annual career fair for the various ROP classes offered through the school. Haley also headed the efforts to send letters and candles from her school’s students to the community of Newtown after the tragedy last year.

Haley has played lacrosse for four years and was awarded Player of the Year in 2011 and Offensive Player of the Year in 2012.

Haley has attended a local summer camp since she was 6, and for the last three summers she has been part of the staff. Haley has been a part of the YMCA Youth and Government program for two years.

Haley plans to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. and major in International Relations. She hopes to pursue a career in international business.

Haley is being presented by her father. Her escort is Michael Scott Martinet. Her presentation song is “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Madison Johnson

Madison Rose Johnson is the daughter of Suzanne and Jack Johnson, and the granddaughter of Denise and Ted Johnson, Phyllis LoVetre and the late C. Mathew Parsons.

Madison is a senior at La Cañada High School, where she is president of the Baking Club, a member of the French Club and has served on Associated Student Body. She is also an Ambassador for the Feed the Children Club.

As a freshman, Madison was selected for the Varsity Cheer Squad and continued on the Pep Squad until her junior year.

Madison has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. She is in the process of earning her Gold Award, working on a project for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

She was selected as a 2013 Princess on the Miss La Cañada Flintridge Court, and has served as an ambassador for the city this past year. She also loves her part-time job at a local hair salon.

Madison writes, sings, and records her own music. She has sung the National Anthem at many local sporting events.

Madison would like to attend a university in one of the Southern states. She plans on majoring in nursing and hopes to work in the emergency room or in surgical nursing.

Madison is being presented by her father. Her escort is her brother, Luke Allen Johnson. Her presentation song is “Take It Easy.”

Alessandra Koeppen

Alessandra Theresa Koeppen is the daughter of Denise and Ernest Koeppen. Alessandra is a senior at La Cañada High School.

Alessandra was a member of the La Cañada High School Engineering Club for three years. The team creates and builds robots and then competes in games and races with other schools.

She spent her first two years in high school as a junior varsity and varsity player on the golf team and received a varsity letter. Since eighth grade, she has enjoyed studying the German language. Alessandra also competed in cooking competitions and received third place with her partner in the La Cañada Rotary Club Chili Cook-off.

Alessandra was a member of the Assistance League of Flintridge Assisteens. She enjoyed making blankets and goodie baskets for children, and also worked at a homeless shelter. Through the La Cañada Community Center, she helped plan and organize fun holiday events to help raise money to donate to other charities. Last year, Alessandra enjoyed being a junior coach for the La Cañada Gladiator cheer team. Currently, she volunteers at her church by organizing new programs for younger students.

Alessandra enjoys singing and acting and has been taking voice lessons for a year. She loves spending time with her father, working on cars together.

Alessandra plans to attend a university in California to study psychology and business. She hopes to pursue a career in psychology.

Alessandra is being presented by her father. Her escort is Ira Benjamin Glassman. Her presentation song is “I’ll Be.”

Charlotte Leddie

Charlotte Ann Robertson Leddie is the daughter of Louise and Grant Leddie. She and her family moved to the United States in 2005 from Sydney, Australia.

Charlotte is a senior at La Cañada High School. She is a Red Cross certified lifeguard and swim instructor at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena and at the La Cañada Country Club. She enjoys working with children and teaching water safety skills.

Charlotte has been a soprano in the La Cañada High School choir department for five years and a member of the Concert Choir for the last three years. Last spring, Charlotte adventured with the choir on a trip to Eastern Europe.

Charlotte has enjoyed participating on the La Cañada volleyball team. She has studied French for three years and was a member of the French Club. Charlotte is working toward completing her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Charlotte has been an active member of Girl Scouts since fifth grade. She has also participated in and been a volunteer leader at the local Girl Scout Day Camp for the last seven years. In her free time, she enjoys reading, singing, hiking, and watching movies.

Charlotte plans to attend the University of Oregon, where she will major in media and communications.

Charlotte is being presented by her father. Her escort is Midshipman Matthew Henry Faber. Her presentation song is “How to Save a Life.”

Madelyn Merchant

Madelyn Louise Merchant is the daughter of Gail and Kenneth Merchant and the granddaughter of Rosemary Worth. Madelyn is president of the 2013 Les Fleurettes Provisional Class.

Madelyn is a senior at La Cañada High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is senior class secretary for the Associated Student Body. She is a member of Bridge, the peer counseling program. She has played on the school’s golf, basketball and softball teams, and has earned the Iron Spartan Award three times.

Madelyn is a member of Teens for the Advancement of Children’s Hospital, and is vice president of Community Outreach and president of the associate members.

Madelyn recently earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by helping the La Cañada Junior Baseball Softball Association.

Madelyn is also a licensed amateur radio operator. She is a small group leader for seventh-grade girls at her local church. In October, she went to Mississippi as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. This past summer, she worked as a counselor at the Spartan All-Stars Sports Camp.

Madelyn hopes to attend a large university with a good football team and a business program. She plans to major in marketing and hopes to pursue a career in that field.

Madelyn is being presented by her father. Her escort is Christian Michael Tichon. Her presentation song is “Do You Believe in Magic?”

Margaret Morton

Margaret Ann Morton is the daughter of Sheri and David Morton, and the granddaughter of the late Alvena and Leslie Dobbings and Lila Lee and Clifford Morton.

Margaret is a senior at La Cañada High School. She has been in the choral program since junior high and is a second soprano in the Concert Choir. She was part of the Choral Arts performing group, which toured Europe last spring.

Margaret was on the high school junior varsity volleyball team for three years.

Margaret has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and earned her Silver Award. She also earned a Girl Scout Senior Visionary Award for service work against domestic violence. Margaret was a camp counselor at a local Girl Scout Day Camp.

A lover of animals, Margaret has two dogs and four cats. She enjoys photography. She works part-time at a local gift shop, where she is learning the business of retail sales.

Margaret loves traveling with her family and they have enjoyed cruising on the Danube, through the Inland Passage to Alaska, around the British Isles, and on the Mediterranean Sea. Her happiest moments have always been cruising to family get-togethers on Catalina Island.

Margaret is still exploring her college options and plans to study business, cinema or communications.

Margaret is being presented by her father. Her escort is her cousin, Blake Louis Elton Shermer. Her presentation song is “Uptown Girl.”

Annette Persson

Annette Marie Persson is the daughter of Janice DaVolio and Ralf Persson, and the granddaughter of Lee Esposito. Annette is the vice president of the 2013 Les Fleurettes Provisional Class.

Annette is a senior at La Cañada High School. She is an Advanced Placement Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, the California Scholarship Federation, Parent Teacher Student Association, and the French Club. She also played volleyball for the first two years of high school.

Annette has been part of the high school yearbook staff for the past two years; this year she is an editor. She enjoyed going to Pepperdine University over the summer to attend Yearbook Camp.

Annette earned her Girl Scout Gold Award last June. She planned a cooking class for children with Down’s syndrome at Club 21 in Pasadena.

Annette has been an active member of her church. She has enjoyed participating in her church’s World Vision 30-hour famine project for the past four years.

In her free time, Annette enjoys traveling, reading and cooking. She is a dual Swedish-United States citizen and loves going to visit her grandmother and cousins in Sweden.

Annette plans to attend a university and study business or communications and hopes to have a career in public relations.

Annette is being presented by her father. Her escort is Helio Jemberu Higley. Her presentation song is “What a Wonderful World.”

Shannon Ritter

Shannon Cleo Ritter is the daughter of Corina and Robin Ritter, and the granddaughter of Susan and Robert Ritter. She is the secretary of the 2013 Les Fleurettes Provisional Class.

Shannon is a senior at La Cañada High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and the California Scholarship Federation. She has been part of the yearbook staff at the high school for three years. This year, she was asked to be co-editor in chief. Shannon enjoys playing softball at a competitive level. She has played softball for the past seven years, and is the varsity catcher. She has been on three travel ball teams and has been voted team captain for two years in a row at La Cañada High.

Shannon has been an active member in the Assistance League of Glendale’s Assisteen program for five years. She is also a member of Teens for the Advancement for Children’s Hospital at the high school and serves on the board as historian. She also participates in a school club, Door of Hope, which helps the homeless in Pasadena.

Shannon enjoys photography and graphic design, running, and enjoying the freedom of driving herself places in her own car.

Shannon plans to attend a university and study marketing, sociology and photography.

Shannon is being presented by her father. Her escort is her brother, Brennon Conrad Ritter. Her presentation song is “Your Song.”

Lauren Skarupa

Lauren Drew Skarupa is the daughter of Leslie Wingate and Andrew Skarupa, and the granddaughter of Len Wingate and Andrew and Barbara Skarupa.

Lauren is a senior at La Cañada High School. She has played golf since she was a young girl, growing up attending many golf camps and was on the La Cañada girls varsity golf team for several years. She spends most of her free time practicing at Oakmont Country Club.

Lauren has been an active Girl Scout member since kindergarten. As a Girl Scout, Lauren was able to volunteer at Hillsides Home for Children, where she planned activities for the children. Currently, Lauren is working on her Gold Award project.

Recently, Lauren has been involved with the Door of Hope, a homeless shelter and transition home in Pasadena. There, she tutors underprivileged children. Working with young children and knowing that she can put a smile on their face brings joy to her heart. One day, Lauren dreams of opening a safe haven for abused and homeless children, where they are free to be themselves and experience childhood.

Lauren plans to attend a university and study finance with a minor in international development. She hopes to pursue a career in the world of Wall Street and later open a shelter for abused children.

Lauren is being presented by her father. Her escort is Cole Kendall Reeb. Her presentation song is “Sweet Pea.”

Meaghan Susank

Meaghan Ashley Susank is the daughter of Ava and Kevin Susank and the granddaughter of Beverly and Robert Sobraske and Edna Laker.

Meaghan is a senior at La Salle High School in Pasadena. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the California Scholarship Federation and Pi Alpha Chi, a service organization on campus.

Meaghan is an accomplished and talented Irish dancer. She has been dancing since she was 6 years old. She has traveled all over the United States competing and placing in Regional, National, and World competitions. She has been to Ireland and returned with a 20th-place World medal. She is taking this passion and helping others as she is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, teaching less fortunate children how to do Irish dance.

Meaghan has been on the varsity golf team for four years. She helped her team go to CIF finals and win the league championship. She has enjoyed being a volunteer at Huntington Hospital. She has also been a Girl Scout summer camp counselor.

Meaghan has a part-time job at her church, where she enjoys working with both the elderly and with children.

Meaghan plans on attending a university and earning a degree in nursing. She hopes to be a pediatric nurse.

Meaghan is being presented by her father. Her escort is her brother, Matthew Aloysius Susank. Her presentation song is “The Black Pearl.”

Grace Vallen

Grace Marie Barry Vallen is the daughter of Dr. Juli Barry and Randal Vallen.

Grace is a senior at Fusion Academy of Pasadena. She has a budding talent in cosmetic artistry, and coordinated make-up design for a local school play. She explores the latest trends and techniques in the world of fashion and beauty. Grace will attend the Bobbi Brown Program in Makeup Artistry at Emerson College in Boston next summer.

Grace has been a captain of her cheerleading squad. She has coached aspiring cheerleaders and has choreographed cheer and dance routines. Her volunteer work includes organizing “Meals for Love” at the Ronald McDonald House and packing meals for the Foothill Unity Center.

In her current job as a tutor, Grace even invents games and creative challenges to help her students love learning. Grace also was a counselor in training at a camp on Catalina Island.

A lover of travel, Grace has experienced the different sites and cultures of New York City, Philadelphia, the Hawaiian Islands, Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands. To fuel her ambition to tour Europe, she decorates her room with photos and accents of London and Paris.

Grace plans to go to a university with a business and entrepreneurial program and hopes one day to start her own cosmetics company.

Grace is being presented by her father. Her escort is Cooper Tyrus Shaw. Her presentation song is “My Wish.”