Dressed in their finest tuxedos and pristine white gloves, 29 accomplished young African American men were honored in style during the 20th Biennial Beautillion Ball hosted by The Missouri City – Sugar Land chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., an organization focused on stimulating the growth and development of children through educational, cultural, civic, recreational, health and social programs.
The black tie affair, which launched locally in 1981, serves as a cotillion-inspired rite of passage for the young men participating from Jack & Jill chapters across the Greater Houston area, helps to raise funds for local community organizations, counters negative stereotypes of African American men and prepares participants for the future.
The beaux, and their accompanying belles, were presented to a room of nearly 700 attendees during the celebration held at the Marriott Marquis Houston the evening of Wed., Dec. 27. The ball, themed “Emergence: The Rise of Excellence,” marked the end of the beautillion season for the teens who completed several weeks of service projects and leadership and self-development workshops designed to ensure success as they cross into adulthood. Beaux, including 16-year-old high school junior Trent Hubbard, found the instruction valuable.
“Outside of school and other activities, this experience definitely helps get me ready to be an adult,” said Hubbard. “I’ve learned more about how to conduct myself in a professional manner, and I feel I am better prepared to stand on my own once I head to college.”
The beautillion also serves as a fundraiser to support organizations which share Jack & Jill of America, Inc.’s mission to improve the lives of children across their communities. Net proceeds from the nearly $100,000 raised from this year’s ball will be donated to 8 Million Stories, The Chauncy Glover Project and The Jack and Jill Foundation (the philanthropic arm of Jack and Jill of America).
“Over the past 40 years, our biennial event not only uplifts the young men in our chapters, but it also allows us to provide resources to organizations that mirror our mission to ensure that all children have access to opportunities that we seek to provide to our own,” said Dr. Jackie Ward, president of the Missouri City – Sugar Land Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Beautillion guests included Fort Bend District Attorney Brian Middleton; Fort Bend County Attorney Bridgette Smith-Lawson; Fort Bend County Judges Tameika Carter, Tyra McCollum and Toni Wallace; and Missouri City City Council Member Lynn Clouser. They were witnesses to the evening’s program, which highlighted the beautillion journey, imparted words of wisdom for participants and featured a fluid waltz by beaux and belles.
ABOUT THE MISSOURI CITY – SUGAR LAND CHAPTER OF JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INC.
The Missouri City – Sugar Land Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. chartered in 1976, is part of the South Central Region, which includes 32 chapters in the states of Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico. Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is an organization founded in 1938 with the mission of stimulating the growth and development of children through educational, cultural, civic, recreational, health and social programs inspired by mothers. Through more than 250 chapters organized in seven regions across the United States, the organization consists of more than 30,000 family members which includes mother members, fathers and children ages 2 through 19. To learn more about Jack and Jill of America, Inc. please visit www.jackandjill.org.