This year, the Belle of the Ball was a wonderful event for the JLOCC and the Orangewood Foundation. There were over 100 teen girls that attended the event, and the JLOCC was able to assist 10 young ladies one on one. This provided a unique and individual experience as they selected their wardrobe, accessories, and make up in addition to affording more dedicated self-esteem building. We enjoyed many laughs and smiles as we encouraged the young ladies to step outside of their comfort zones and find the perfect fit to express themselves.
Some of the volunteers at the event were emancipated youth from Orangewood and this was incredibly inspiring to see. Many of them also shared their stories and provided wonderful support to the teens during their reveals after choosing a dress. These young women coupled with our strong and humble members of the league were a great fit in bringing together women of all backgrounds for one common cause, to empower young women through leadership, education, life experiences, and mentorship .
Our league members dove right in and assisted in many areas. We manned the changing stations, took initiative to help clean the dressing rooms, returned apparel back to the proper clothing racks and hung items with their designated size to make it easier for the teen girls to select their dress size. Members also enjoyed picking out fabulous dresses that fit the personality of each teen they mentored. While it was wonderful to be able to assist, it was even better to see many of the teens showing independence by selecting their own beautiful gowns and dresses!
The event was very well organized and incredibly inspirational thanks to the participants and a special guest speaker who captivated an auditorium of 200 people with her life story. All of the teen participants were beautiful on the inside and out, intelligent, and looking forward to very bright futures. This event is a heartwarming success every year and we hope you will join Bear Hugs and the JLOCC in the future to experience it for yourself.