A time-honored tradition was the pinnacle of the holiday season for more than 500 Montgomery area high school students who gathered for the 58th 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.

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, Stuart Yelverton, dance chairmen, Beth Hope, treasurer, Lucile Lieux, secretary, Pam Stevenson, membership, Myra Dorey, and committee chairmen, Cam Hughes, chaperones; Nell Weisenfeld, decorations; Stacey Hill, lead-out; Mary Lee Yelverton, coat check; Drennen Moore, invitations; Mary Elizabeth Collett and Andrea Screws, publicity; and Lela Snead, hospitality. These ladies along with many other parents prepared for an evening of music and dancing for the honorees and their guest.

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 guest for pre-dance dinners. These lovely homes were decorated for the holidays and provided wonderful backdrops for keepsake photographs as well.

As the honorees and guests arrived 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, Nell Weisenfeld and her committee used a theme of gold and white for the evening. Six round tables each featuring a small Christmas tree with white lights added to the elegance of the evening. In addition to the Christmas tree, each table was adorned with sparkling snowflakes and pieces of candy. At the far end of the venue two large tables displayed glass containers overflowing with an assortment of candy surrounded by votive candles, sparking snowflakes, and an arrangement of gold and white balloons.There were two tables offering ice water which were decorated with sparkling snowflakes, votive candles, and balloons as well. Two large Christmas trees decorated with white lights and beautiful gold and white tissue paper flowers flanked the stage that was ready for the traditional lead-out presentation of senior and freshman honorees. 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, Chappell Hill. 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.

The senior honorees were Mary Curtis Ware Barganier sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Micou Jordan Barganier; Mary Frances Green sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Marc Green; Aaron Fleming Hall sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. John Erby Hall III; Alan Thomas Hargrove III sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Alan Thomas Hargrove, Jr.;

Vivian Scott Herron sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Mark Dayton Herron; Frances Fowler Hill sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Richard Hill, Jr.; Mary Claiborne Johnson sponsored by Mrs. Mary McCurdy Hardy; Arden Ashlee Lieux sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. David Michael Lieux; Mary Jane McConnell sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Gray McConnell; Russell Innes McIntyre sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Innes Thornton McIntyre IV; Wesley Bracken Osmer sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Raymond Osmer; Pickett Robinson Reese, Jr. sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Pickett Robinson Reese; Martha Mead Robertson sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. John Douglas Robertson; Lee Ayers Sahlie sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Clark Sahlie; Robert Kirby Sasser, Jr. sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kirby Sasser, Sr.; Gerald Andrew Weisenfeld sponsored by Ms. Nell Capell Weisenfeld; Mary Caroline Weisenfeld sponsored by Ms. Nell Capell Weisenfeld; Brian James Wilson sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Byrne Wilson.

Incoming freshman honorees were: William Arthur Beringer sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Michael David Beringer; Clinton Clisby Berry IV sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Clisby Berry III; Lillian Chandler Brazil sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Lee Brazil; Evelyn Isabel Drumwright sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kyle Drumwright, Sr.; Browder Ryan Gulledge sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Browder Gulledge; Catherine Pierson Hartley sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Davis Brian Hartley; Randall Geiger Hughes sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Bear Hughes; Merritt Gibson Lee sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Braden Jarrod Lee; Joel David McClinton III sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Joel David McClinton, Jr.; Mary Evelyn McLemore sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Price Chrenleigh McLemore III; Luke Crawford Moody sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sargent Moody; George Bristow Reese sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Pickett Robinson Reese; Rebecca Riley Renfroe sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Billy Ray Renfroe II; Mary Elizabeth Rutland sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. James Wells Rutland IV; Michael Anderson Screws sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Euel Augustus Screws III; John Peter Selman, Jr. sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. John Peter Selman, Sr.; Elizabeth Ann Stewart sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Frank McLean Stewart III; Florence Phillips Gunter Weller sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Christopher William Weller, Sr.