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For over 60 years the Lebanese Syrian American Junior League hosted The Debutante Ball.  As one of the oldest organizations in Cleveland, we have been proud to offer this exclusive event.  There are months of parties prior to the Ball to allow participants to get to know one another casually and encourage their ties to the Lebanese and Syrian community of Greater Cleveland.  Teens and young adults of Lebanese or Syrian descent, as well as children or grandchildren of current League members, are “presented” to society at the Ball.  This tradition allowed us an opportunity to showcase the accomplishments of the young people of our community and offered an elegant way for us to applaud them and support their dreams.  We cherish the memories of these time honored events.







2016 Deb Ball Group
2016 Deb Ball Group 2
Presentation 6

Hisory of The Debutante Ball


​As the Lebanese Syrian American Junior League hosted its 38th Debutante Ball & Scholarship Presentation in 2016, we did so with a great debt of gratitude and a special prayer for the woman who first brought the idea of such a grand affair to our organization:  Geraldine “Jerri” Haddad.  Back in the mid 1950s, Jerri attended a Sweetheart Ball in California.  Upon her return to Cleveland, she expressed her desire to have the League host such an event.  She became chairwoman of the first Ball, held in 1958 at the Lakeshore Country Club, and her committee established standards which are still followed today.  Although Jerri has passed away, her enthusiasm and desire to toast the accomplishments of the young men and women of our community lives on.  


The Ball celebrates the introduction of young ladies and gentlemen into the Lebanese and Syrian community of Greater Cleveland.  The debutantes are presented by their fathers or a close relative, and are honorably accompanied by the escorts, whose achievements are also recognized


​From 1958 to 1971, the Ball took place every other year.  The League sponsored its first Debutante Tea in 1966.  These days, a less-formal introduction of the participants and their families to League members takes place the spring prior to the Ball.  This year it was via a party at Whirlyball!  In addition, parents of the debutantes and escorts graciously host private parties during the months preceding the Ball to allow the young men and women to get to know one another in a relaxed setting.


​The debutantes and escorts of 1967 were the first to experience private dining in the setting of the Sheraton Grand Ballroom.  From 1971 to 1986, due to the great number of Baby Boomer participants coming of age, a Ball took place every year as the Sheraton became Stouffer’s Inn on the Square.  In 1987, the Ball was moved to Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, The last Debutante Ball was held in 2017.


​Debutantes and escorts were high school juniors or graduating seniors of Lebanese and Syrian descent.  League members, family and friends enjoyed witnessing these young adults being presented and acknowledging their achievements and aspirations.  The Lebanese Syrian American Junior League took great pride in hosting this magnificent and elegant affair for our community. We treasure these events and their memories.

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