Mason Walker won first place as king with Lil Miss McKinzie Gathings, a cotillion participant

Hammond's Mason Walker crowned as king at OES Cotillion

Contributed By: By Safiyyah Muhammad

Social grace and manners of children count with Order of Eastern Stars

HICKORY HILLS, IL –The sisters of the Order of the Eastern Stars Eureka Grand Chapter of Illinois, in Chicago, hosted their third youth cotillion, “A Tale As Old As Time,” at the Camelot Banquets, 8624 95th Street in Hickory Hills on May 6th.

The winner of the cotillion for the young men category was Mason Walker, a 10-year-old Hammond resident. For 10 months, Mason and fellow participants practiced ballroom dancing, how to set a table, and the proper way of speaking to a crowd, among others. Guests were treated to several, beautiful ballroom performances where mothers and fathers gracefully danced with their sons and daughters in two performances, choreographed by Ms. Jasmine Wilson.

OES event organizers were Roland G. Simon, Grand Master; Priscilla Jackson, Worthy Grand Matron; Anthony R. Jackson, Worthy Grand Patron, and Cearmease Evans, Grand Youth Director.

Tequila Jarrett, Mason’s mom said, “By Mason winning the king status, it will build his confidence and reassure him that anything that he works towards, he can achieve.”

Research shows that the history of African-American cotillions in this country started in the 1930s and 1940s with inner-city organizations concerned about the social grace and manners of neighborhood children.

Cotillion participants ranged from ages 7-17; composed of 13 boys and 13 girls, each competing for the most tickets and ad sales. Girls wore several changing gowns and the young men changed into tuxedos. The highlight of the event was the crowning of the cotillion’s king and queen contest. All youths received a trophy and a certificate. More than 282 guests attended.

The cotillion winners were Chaise Franklin, First Place (Queen); Renita Reed, 2nd Place (Princess); Amariya Johnson, 3rd Place (Duchess). For the boys: Mason Walker, 1st Place (King); Kalvin Sneed, 2nd Place (Prince); and Jaylin Remmer, 3rd Place (Duke).

Chmeara Evans, chairperson said, “The overall purpose of the event was to expose African-American youths to a cotillion setting where they had to first attend etiquette classes so they can become more equipped with adult life as they transition out of the youth fraternity,”

“I applaud the committee for doing a spectacular job on “A Tale As Old as Time Cotillion,” said Mrs. Jackson. “The children were spectacular and they did an amazing job. I believe this 10-month experience will carry them throughout their lives with lessons learned that will prepare them to present themselves in any setting.”

For more information about youth activities, please contact Cearmease Evans of the Eureka Grand Chapter, OES at (773) 742-3539.

OES Eureka Grand Chapter of Illinois Cotillion participants

Story Posted:05/22/2023

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