Christian Debutante making plans for sixth annual cotillion

The official Christian Debutante Promenade & Cotillion is in its sixth year of operation in the Pine Bluff community and organizers of the event are making plans for the 2013 cotillion.

Sponsored annually by “For A Moment Like This” Special Events, the Christian Debutante has yielded more than 100 young ladies ages 4-18 over the past five years. Under the direction of Leaundra M. Sanders, the Christian Debs have received many accolades since its inception. The program focuses on Christian education under the motto: “Cultivating Tomorrow’s Women … Today.” Regardless of church denomination, the program is open to all young ladies.

Sanders said, “we began the Cotillion with hopes of making an impact on Pine Bluff’s youth as well as an imprint on their lives. All too often girls get caught up in the wrong elements, and it is our job as women to help guide them through the sometimes rocky process called growing up.”

The Christian Debutantes undergo three months of rigorous Christian enhancement courses, etiquette classes, as well as activities such as a slumber party, and a Mother/Daughter Sweet Tea & Talent. At the culmination of the courses, each girl is presented by her parents and a young gentleman escort in a Grand Promenade & Cotillion, donning a white gown. At that time, they receive awards based upon Highest Canned Goods submitted, Sweetest Spirit for the girl with the most impressive character, and the Butterfly Award for the young lady that has blossomed the most, just to name a few. Every participant receives accolades and awards. Traditionally, the church that has the most youth in the program receives recognition as well.

The program also awards Pine Bluff’s community leaders with the Community Icon Award, which is given to a leader that has exemplified unyielding faith and exemplary community involvement for the youth of Pine Bluff. Past recipients of the Community Icon award include Dr. Christy Walker, Glenn Barnes Sr., Larry Kirklin, Annette Dove and LeArthur Shelton.

The program begins in January and runs throughout the spring. According to Sanders, there are three divisions: Angels Academy — four years old through fifth grade; Junior Debutante Academy — grades six through eight; and Debutante Academy — grades nine through 12.

To register for the 2013 program, church youth departments and girls should call 870-872-2965 or visit the website at