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Detroit Engineers' Winter Ball Presents Area's Debutantes
by Laryssa J. Kozak

The Ukrainian engineers Society of America (UESA), Detroit Branch, continued its 42-year-old tradition with the annual winter ball and presentation of debutantes on February 22. To date, the Detroit Chapter has presented 404 debutantes to Ukrainian society.

2003 Detroit Debutantes

The gala, held at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren, Mich., attracted 300 guests. Opening the ball's festivities, UESA Detroit Branch President Dianna Korduba Sawicky welcomed the debutantes and their escorts, families and friends. She acknowledged the attendance of four generations of debutantes' families at the event.

She made special mention of a past chapter president, the late Mykola Kunynskyj, for his initiative in the development of the presentation program beginning in 1960. His role had special significance as his granddaughter was making her debut and his grandson. Marco Shmerykowsky, UESA national vice-president was present at the ball.

Officiating as mistress of ceremonies. Oksana Woloszczuk, began by greeting friends, families and guests, and expressing appreciation to the organizers of the event, especially to Ms. Sawicky for her efforts in reviving the Detroit Chapter's activity.

The evening turned magical as each of the 12 debutantes was introduced. Entering the ballroom donned in regal white gowns, carrying delicate pink rose nosegays and flanked by their escorts, the ladies made their formal debut.

A group dance of the debutantes with their escorts was followed by the father-daughter dance. Elegantly choreographed, the gentlemen escorted the debutantes’ mothers to the dance floor where the debutantes, in keeping with tradition, presented their mothers with a single long-stem red rose.

The MC ended the formal part of the evening by addressing the debutantes. wishing them well in their goals and aspirations. and urging them to maintain their strong ties to the Ukrainian community. With a toast and group rendition of "Mnohaya Lita," the 41 st presentation of debutantes in Detroit became history.

The festivities continued after dinner to the sounds of Veseli Chasy of Chicago, as guests filled the dance floor late into the snowy night.

The successful event was largely due to the contribution of dedicated UESA ball committee members. This sentiment was expressed by Mr. Shmerykowsky, as he delivered a brief address to the guests on behalf of the UESA national board. Mr. Shmerykowsky also highlighted the UESA's 55th anniversary, which spawned the national organization's involvement in new projects. including charitable efforts in Ukraine.

Detroit Chapter Vice-President Natalie Lewyckyj presented Ihor Senyk an award recognizing his 50 years of UESA membership and his status as the longest active Detroit Chapter board member since 1958.

Special thanks were extended to the ball committee — Ms. Sawicky (chairperson), Zina Kozak-Zachary and Laryssa Kozak debutante presentation, advertising, program publication), Irene and Ihor Senyk (flowers, photographer). Ksenia Kozak (ticket/table reservations), Ms. Woloszczuk (MC) — as well as to Ireneus Kozak for the invitation design.

A portion of the proceeds from the winter ball will be used to support scholarship funds in the Ukrainian community.

To see a photo gallery of the evening please click here.

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