Community service project could become another Holly Ball tradition
, 2015

Community service project could
become another Holly Ball tradition

The 117th Queen of the Holly Realm Elizabeth Lee Rogers of Reedville recently established what could become a tradition for the Holly Ball by identifying The Haven Shelter and Services Inc. as its first community service project. The Haven provides shelter and services to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

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Debutantes and queens display items they collected for The Haven. From left are (front row) Anne Austin Carden, Taylor Nicole Childress, Kathryn Gordon Passagaluppi, 2012 Holly Ball Queen Elizabeth Lee Rogers, Elizabeth Spotswood Hudnall and 2013 Queen Hannah Elizabeth Rogers; (next row) Lauren Brooke Brent, Megan Grace Knight and Caitlyn Louise Cralle; (next row) Emma Kehlbeck, Olivia Grace Haase, Paige Nelson Pittman, Lauren Brooke Hudnall and Leanna Elisabeth Hall; (next row) Hannah Morgan Smith and Cassie Christine Haydon; (next row) Somerville Gwathmey Glubiak, Micaela Rowell Pittman, Alexis Kendall Lee Bruzgul, Jessica Taylor Rew, Elizabeth Latané McCarthy, Rachel Lee Berger and Sarah Grace Hurley.

Rogers espoused a passion for The Haven that traces her charitable work back to her philanthropy of choice while a student at St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, said publicity chairman Patricia Gallagher. Rogers’s dedication to The Haven and her volunteerism to support this worthy cause prompted her to spearhead an effort of “giving back” for the 2013 Holly Ball debutantes.

Del. Margaret Ransone, orator for the 118th ball, emphasized the importance of altruism and sense of gratification when placing needs of others before self, said Gallagher.

The 22 debutantes filled a truck load of supplies that Rogers and reigning 2013 Queen Hannah Rogers delivered, said Gallagher.

The month-long activities leading up to the ball provided many opportunities for them to gather donations, said Gallagher. Beginning at a coffee in late November, the debutantes selected an ornament from a holly tree. The ornaments contained items to fill The Haven’s wish list.

“The Haven truly appreciates the generosity of Elizabeth Rogers and the 2013 debutantes,” noted The Haven community relations coordinator Sandra D. Longest. “These items are needed daily and enable The Haven to provide much needed services within our community.”

Del. Ransone expressed gratitude to the Rogers family whose many descendants have shared the crown, said Gallagher. She presented them trimmings from the holly tree that were rooted in Lancaster from the original tree that stood outside of Kilmarnock. The trimmings will be delivered to Crookhorn Nursery and Poplar Ridge Nursery under the care of Louis Chandler and Marion James Packett. They will be propagated and prepared for rooting. This spring when the trees are stable, one descendant tree will be planted at The Haven Shelter in honor of Queen Elizabeth Rogers.

The second descendant tree will be planted at the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum in memory of Maria Biddlecomb Rogers, recognizing her love for family and community.

“Maria’s loving touch is embedded in this event, the museum, and our region,” said Del. Ransone. “For this we are grateful she has left us a wonderful gift of tradition and homegrown spirit.”

This community service will be perpetuated by the reigning queen whose responsibility it will be to choose a charity, said Gallagher.

The ball is the fundraising arm of The Tidewater Foundation. Proceeds are dispersed to charitable organizations supporting education and youth in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

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