Belles hold masquerade ball

The Helena Belles Inaugural Masquerade Ball held on March 2. (Contributed)

The Helena Belles Inaugural Masquerade Ball held on March 2. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Many a heel was kicked up at the Helena Belles Inaugural Masquerade Ball held on March 2.

In the spirit of Mardi Gras entitled A Night in New Orleans, the Helena Civic Complex was decorated with French Quarter street signs and the décor of each table of eight reflected NOLA’s favorite motifs. And did we mention beads?

The Helena Belles, 45 in number, made their entrance showering the audience with beads as emcee Brian Peters welcomed the crowd, all also costumed and masked in style for the musical evening presented by the Pelham High School Jazz Ensembles directed by Jeff Burnside and assistant Justin Ward.

The two PHS Jazz Ensembles feature their own vocalist, Helena’s own Meghan Ferrell. Helena Belle Tricia Bianco, currently an apprentice with the Alabama Ballet, performed a dance solo and the Evangel Classical Dance Crew demonstrated the East Coast Swing, Mambo, Irish Jig, Tango and Waltz and featured John Mark Carter and Meredith Meyers.

“This fundraising ball successfully raised approximately $7,000 to help provide scholarship money for a senior belle,” Amy Bolt said. “We are still hoping to collect additional donations by levels of sponsorship collected through

“This ball could not have been made possible without the amazing Parent Planning Committee — Leigh Bratina, Susie Downs, Tammy Hogue, JoEllen Ramsey, Ramona Rice, Kristi Watts, Tracy Williams and Kyra Woodman — who worked with me to pull everything together.”

“Six committees, with chairs and sub-committee members comprised of our many talented mothers, were involved behind the scenes.”

A buffet featuring barbeque and confetti coleslaw by Chef Susie Downs and jambalaya cooked up by Tom LeFebvre was enjoyed, along with a variety of sweets also provided by Helena Belle parents.

“Many contributions to the silent auction came from businesses in Helena that kindly donated to our cause. I was impressed that the majority of these contributions were procured by the Belles themselves,” Bolt added.

The Helena Belles are already looking forward to planning next year’s event. The Belles sincerely thank the city of Helena, their corporate sponsors, and individual donors and contributors.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by email at