Montgomery Assembly holds 57th annual dance

Gathering at the home of Julie and Marc Green before the dance are (Front L-R) Honoree Mary Frances Green, Lindsey Pinkham, Loren Potts, Drue Walker (Back L-R) Nolan Sasser, Ben Bricken, Honoree Russell McIntyre, and Max Williams.

A time-honored tradition was the pinnacle of the holiday season for more than 500 Montgomery area high school students who gathered for the 57th annual dance sponsored by The Montgomery Assembly.  The Holiday Dance was held December 27th at the RSA Activity Center in downtown Montgomery.  The highly anticipated event included teens in grades 9 through 12, representing many area high schools.

Posing with her cousin, Honoree Whit Sheperd, during the dance is Honoree Arden Lieux.

For more than five decades, the members of The Montgomery Assembly have hosted an annual Holiday Dance to honor their high school children.  This tradition began in 1961 under the leadership of Mrs. John Ashley.  Mrs. Ashley organized a group of parents and celebrated the holiday season with the first Assembly dance at the Whitley Hotel in downtown Montgomery.

The tradition continued this Christmas under the leadership of president, Julie Green, dance chairmen, Stuart Yelverton, treasurer, Lucile Lieux, secretary, Pam Stevenson, membership, Myra Dorey, and committee chairmen, Pat Budny, chaperones; Alex Parks, decorations; Holly Shegon, lead-out; Mary Lee Yelverton, coat check; Drennen Moore, invitations; Mary Elizabeth Collett, publicity; and Beth Hope, hospitality.  These ladies along with many other parents prepared for an evening of music and dancing for the honorees and their guests.

Dining is a pre-dance tradition, whether at area restaurants or at special dinner parties hosted by parents.  Many parents across the city opened their homes to groups of honorees and their guests for pre-dance dinners.  These lovely homes were decorated for the holidays and provided wonderful backdrops for keepsake photographs as well.

Cousins smiling together at The Montgomery Assembly’s 57th Holiday Dance are (L-R) Honorees Pruitt Lee, Jane Yelverton, Kay Yelverton, Lee Yelverton, and Chase Lee.

As the honorees and guests began to arrive downtown, they were greeted by Assembly member chaperones in the magically transformed RSA Activity Center ballroom.  Music by Just A Few Cats filled the room and promised to keep the dance floor hopping long into the night.  Decorations chairman, Alex Parks and her committee used a theme of gold and white for the evening.Six round tables each featuring a small pre-lit Christmas tree added to the elegance of the evening.  In addition to the Christmas tree, each table was adorned with snowflake confetti and votive candles.  At the far end of the venue a large table contained glass containers overflowing with an assortment of candy. The table was decorated with pre-lit Christmas trees on each end and white snowflakes.  Two large Christmas trees decorated with white lights and beautiful gold bows flanked the stage that was ready for the traditional lead-out presentation of senior and freshman honorees.

Looking forward to a fun night at Montgomery Assembly are (Front L-R) Honoree Susannah Blount, Lizanne Livings, Honoree Millie Stevenson, Emilee Arrington, Honoree Jane Yelverton (Back L-R) Honoree William Robertson, Honoree Oliver Bear, Cam Holmes, Hilsman James, and William Norrell

The flag featuring The Montgomery Assembly emblem hung behind the stage, bearing the image our state’s capitol dome, a shield surrounded by magnolia blossoms, and seven of the most well known flags to have flown over the site that is now Montgomery.

Promptly at nine o’clock, the doors closed and the most anticipated moment of the evening was underway.  Proud parents and grandparents sat in chairs that lined the path their children would take as they were announced couple by couple by Master of Ceremonies, Pat Shegon.  Cheered on by parents, grandparents, and friends, the honorees carried on the tradition of being presented to the group as they made their way through the festive crowd.

Senior Honoree Lee Chapman Parks escorted by Michael Thomas.

The senior honorees were John Quincy Adams sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. John Quincy Adams III; Thomas Melton Amster sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Troy Alan Amster; William Chandler Armagost sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Bradley Armagost; Austyn Elizabeth Barnes sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Rocky Barnes; Madeline Elizabeth Brazil sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Lee Brazil; Philip Carter Burwell, Jr. sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Philip Carter Burwell; William Penton Cousins sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Penton Cousins, Sr.; Stephen Wyatt Davidson sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Lee Davidson; Anne Miles DeMott sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Miles Lamar DeMott; Myra Rivers Dorey sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Jason Hollister Dorey; Bennett Clark Griffin sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Woodfin Holland Griffin; Charles Andrew Harris sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Marks Harris; Katharine Walraven Harris sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Marks Harris; William Oliver Hooper sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Earle Conwell Hooper, Sr.; Mimi Elizabeth Hope sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Mark Randall Hope; Morgan Elizabeth Karst sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Keith Charles Karst; Charles William Lee III sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Lee, Jr.; Mackenzie Lynn LeGrand sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Michael Vann LeGrand; Katherine Grace McIntyre sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Innes Thornton McIntyre IV; Lee Chapman Parks sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Lee Chapman Parks; Altson McKinney Parsons sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Todd Malone Parsons; James Wells Rutland V sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. James Wells Rutland IV; Mary Stewart Shegon sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Michael Shegon; Elizabeth Ann Skoneki sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Scott James Skoneki; Frederick Somers Tippett sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Christopher Tippett; Margaret Collins Tippett sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Christopher Tippett; Isabel Riley Trehern sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Leo Riley Trehern, Jr.; Kenneth Dallon Wallis IV sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Dallon Wallis III; Sidney Foster Ward sponsored by Ms. Burton Ward; Amelia Lancaster Whaley sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Alex Whaley II; Luke Jackson Whetstone sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. John David Barranco; Bradley Weldon Willis, Jr. sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Bradley Weldon Willis; Lee Gayle Yelverton sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. John Douglas Yelverton III.

Sisters with their dates at the dance are (L-R) Kylar Williamson, Honoree Hollister Dorey, Honoree Myra Rivers Dorey, and Paul Bishop.

Incoming freshman honorees were Winton Preston Cole Armagost sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Bradley Armagost; William Micou Jordan Barganier, Jr. sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Micou Jordan Barganier; James Alexander Brewbaker sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Dick Lansden Brewbaker; Alex Sabine Budny sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Patrick Budny; Louis Jones Corley IV sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Jones Corley III; Jon Everett Dennis sponsored by David Jordan Dennis, Sr.; Hollister Kennedy Dorey sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Jason Hollister Dorey; Mary Elizabeth Hill sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Chappell Henry Lipscomb Hill; Virginia Irene Hope Mr. and Mrs. Mark Randall Hope; Campbell McLemore Watson Jernigan sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Alexander Conniff; James Pruitt Lee sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Lee, Jr.; Keith Stewart Miller, Jr. sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Keith Stewart Miller, Sr.; Bentley Anne Moore sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Tanner Moore III; Thomas Hardwich Morris sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Buford Harrison Morris III; Ella Katherine Osmer sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Raymond Osmer; Samuel Parker Patterson sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Weakley Patterson; Leighton McKinney Robertson sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. John Douglas Robertson; Robert Whitfield Shepherd VI sponsored by Mr. Robert Whitfield Shepherd V; James Mark Snead III Mr. and Mrs. James Mark Snead, Jr.; Harper Elizabeth Thomas Mr. and Mrs. Henry Randall Thomas, Jr.; Allen Carter Wallis sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Dallon Wallis III; Katherine Noble Yelverton sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Noble Crump Yelverton.

Danna Black and Andrew Showalter exchange vows

Danna and Andrew with their wedding party.
Photo by Marty Chadwick

Danna Rae Black and Joseph Andrew Showalter were united in marriage, Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Eastwood Presbyterian Church, Montgomery, Alabama. The Reverend Bart Lester officiated the service.

Danna is the daughter of Barbara and Robert Harrington, Montgomery, and Dan R. Black of Mathews, Alabama. She is the granddaughter of Jane M. Stearns of Montgomery, the late Ray Black of Brundidge, Alabama and the late Thera Findley McAbee and the late J.H. Findley of Evergreen, Alabama.

Andrew’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. George Showalter of Andalusia, Alabama. He is the grandson of Mrs. Bobby Driver and the late Reverend Driver of Andalusia, Alabama, and the late Mr. and Mrs. George Blaine Showalter of Cumberland, Maryland.

Given in marriage by her father, Danna wore a full-length gown in candlelight, and her veil was designed and created by her mother, Barbara. Danna carried a bouquet of hydrangeas, magnolias, and spring wildflowers wrapped in satin ribbon, assembled by her sister and Matron of Honor Meredith Black Sellars. Her something borrowed was a pearl necklace from Meredith.

Danna’s bridesmaids were Neeley Boston, Montgomery, cousin of the bride; Allison Crusey of Tampa, Florida, cousin of the bride; Caroline Crusey of Tampa, Florida, cousin of the bride; and junior bridesmaid, Madilyn Sellars, niece of the bride, Montgomery. They each wore individual style dresses of petal pink while carrying bouquets that complemented the bride’s.  Her precious flower girl was Claire McLure, of Hoover, Alabama, dressed in an ecru hand sewn dress. She carried her flower petals in a satin basket.

The new Showalter family, Andrew, Danna and Sawyer.
Photos by Meredith
Sellers Photography

Andrew’s best man was his father George, his groomsmen were long time friends Lee Davis and Josh Calhoun both of Opp, Alabama. Brother-in-law of the bride, Ryan Sellars, also served as a groomsman, along with his son Weston Sellars who was a junior groomsman, both of Montgomery. The groom and attendants wore navy blue suits, petal pink bow ties, along with navy blue suspenders given as a gift from the groom. Sawyer Wiley Black was the ring bearer, and he wore a family heirloom hand sewn outfit of ecru color.

As friends and family entered the church, Dr. Sarah Mason, dearest family friend, provided music. They were greeted by the bride’s long time friends Mary Beth McLure of Hoover, Alabama, Johanna L. Stewart of Tallassee, Alabama, and Andrea Fretts of St. Louis, Missouri.

Mrs. Mac Cutchins of Auburn, Alabama decorated the church with banks of magnolias, hydrangeas and spring wildflowers as well as beautiful holly ferns.

The Showalters have fun as they dance to Sawyers’ favorite song, “Shout” by The Isley Brothers.
Photos by Marty Chadwick

The wedding reception was held at the Prattville Country Club where guests enjoyed a Taco Bar catered by the couple’s favorite restaurant, El Rey’s in Montgomery, along with other various favorite foods. The Bride’s cake was a key lime cake decorated with a Mr. & Mrs. topper and magnolias, while the groom chose a chocolate peanut butter cake with small peanut butter cups surrounding it.  On the pool terrace, Ben Norris, a local musician, provided entertainment.

After their honeymoon in Florida, the couple now resides in Montgomery.

Harry Fitzpatrick and Abby Luker celebrate their engagement



Abby and Harry toasting their upcoming wedding.

Despite a looming Hurricane Irma, a close group of friends and family gathered together in Gulf Shores to celebrate the engagement of Abby Luker and Harry Fitzpatrick at The Veranda, the lovely beach home of Mildred and George Wakefield. Guests were invited for the weekend, with the engagement party held Saturday evening. The festive mood was set on arrival with Mildred Wakefield’s bridal veil adorning the front doors. Parents of the couple, Melinda and Charles Luker of Kellyton and Alice and Tom “Fitz” Fitzpatrick of Montgomery, greeted guests.

Longtime friends of the Fitzpatricks were hosts of the party. Pictured from left, George and Mildred Wakefield, Alex and Charlene Holtsford, Harry and Abby, Katherine and Eric Crum, Fitz and Alice Fitzpatrick, and Rebecca and Jud Bryan.

The Veranda was exquisitely designed for entertaining and hosting weddings and was the perfect venue for guests to enjoy a weekend of celebration and friendship. Saturday night, guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed an appetizer of seafood gumbo while dinner was prepared by the hosts. The lovely floral decor included yellow roses and greenery in a tiered rustic grapevine stand, which was arranged by Charlene Holtsford. The tables were decorated in beach hues and accented with sailboat-themed votives. The central table featured three large glass containers displaying shells and block signs that read, “Happily,” “Ever,” “After,” “Harry & Abby.” The surrounding tables held handsome lanterns.

Abby Luker and Harry Fitzpatrick welcoming guests to their engagement party.

Fitz Fitzpatrick, father of the groom, thanked everyone for being at this special weekend celebration. He, along with Alice, welcomed Abby to the Fitzpatrick family and toasted the happy couple. George Wakefield offered a prayer before guests were treated to a delicious buffet dinner featuring a shrimp boil, accompanied by a Southern green salad with glazed pecans. A scrumptious chicken and wild rice casserole was an alternative main dish. Dessert was a beach-themed treat, topped with miniature “beach umbrellas” and “beach blankets.”

Abby’s parents, Charles and Melinda, and her sister Amanda Luker, joined in the festivities.

Abby and Harry met in Montgomery while both were working in the same building. Abby graduated Summa Cum Laude from Troy University and holds a Master’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations from The University of Alabama.  She is employed by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, where she serves as the Director of Communication and Engagement.  Harry obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Alabama and is a Bank Examiner with the State of Alabama in Montgomery.

Abby and Harry enjoy the beginning of a beautiful beach sunset with his parents, Alice and Fitz Fitzpatrick.

Abby’s family enjoying the happy event included her parents, Melinda and Charles, and her sister, Amanda, who will be the maid of honor. Other members of her family in attendance were Abby’s aunt and uncle, Martha and Keith Gray.

    In addition to Harry’s parents, Alice and Fitz, his sister, Sarah, and her husband, Mathews Bryan, joined the festivities.
Sisters Sarah Fitzpatrick Bryan and Amanda Luker join the happy couple.

Friends attending the weekend event were Patrick Craddock, Erin Hardin, Kayla Farnon, and Mason Bass. Hurricane Irma did not affect the weekend weather but did prevent Harry’s longtime friend, William McLain, and his wife, Ashley, from attending when William (who works for WAFF in Huntsville), was diverted to Savannah for hurricane news coverage.

 Joining Mildred and George Wakefield as hosts of the joyful dinner party were Rebecca and Jud Bryan, Katherine and Eric Crum, Charlene and Alex Holtsford, and Vonda and Tom McLain.
Mildred and George Wakefield enjoy the view from The Veranda with Abby and Harry.
Sarah Bryan is happy to welcome Abby to the Fitzpatrick clan.


Abby and Harry and a little sand writing on the beach.

Abby and Harry will marry on November 18 at the Fitzpatrick home in Montgomery. After their wedding and honeymoon, they will make their home in Montgomery.

Abby and Harry take one last stroll on the beach before heading home to Montgomery.