Fishburne Military School Hosts Tea Dance

Fishburne Military School Hosts Tea Dance for Old Dominion Cotillion

military schools and debutantesWaynesboro, VA — Military Schools and debutantes have gone hand-in-hand for generations throughout Virginia’s history. Fishburne Military School (Waynesboro, VA) hosted Old Dominion Cotillion on Sunday for a special Tea Dance.

Four years ago, the young ladies of the Old Dominion Cotillion (ODC) and their families found themselves in a lurch. Their signature event of the year was approaching and their official escorts from the Virginia Military Institute were no longer able to participate. The organizers of the Cotillion reached out to Fishburne Military School for assistance and the Caissons responded with a performance that landed them an immediate invitation to return.

This year, the Caissons, organized by Ms. Joan Byrne, decided that the time had come to host an event of their own in honor of their new friends at the ODC; and so, the 2016 Fishburne Military School Tea Dance was born.

In preparation for the dance, the cadets dusted off their FMS Protocol Guides and invited Mr. Don Dollins from the Waynesboro Parks andmilitary schools and debutantes Recreation department to provide instruction in the Waltz, Foxtrot and Salsa.

On Sunday afternoon, over a dozen of this year’s ODC Post Debs, Debs, Future Debs and Pages arrived to a beautifully decorated Grand Foyer in Fishburne’s Alumni Memorial building. “We had a couple more boys than girls,” noted Byrne, “but it worked out fine as the chaperones filled in so all the boys were able to dance.”

The young ladies, who made the trip from Northern Virginia where they all reside, arrived in style courtesy of Reston Limousine.

The Old Dominion Cotillion, now in its 25th Year, was founded by Mrs. Sherry Presley “because we had a vision of something special we wanted for our daughters”. Over the years, the ODC has grown into a unique philanthropic and social organization which prides itself on “Volunteerism, Dedication, Integrity and Leadership”. Each year the young ladies of the ODC volunteer hundreds of service hours in support of the Katherine E. Hanley Family Shelter as well as the NoVA Fairfax Hospital Children’s Clinic.

“This Tea Dance,” Byrne explains, “is a wonderful opportunity for these two great groups of young people to discover and express a kind of inner elegance. It provides a chance for them to be (and to be seen as) ladies and gentlemen.”

Byrne and the ODC Director, Mrs. Francine Gallagher, are already hard at work making arrangements for the Caissons to travel to Reston in July for their, now annual, appearance at the Debutantes’ Ball on the 14th – 16th.

Photos courtesy of Old Dominion Cotillion – full gallery of FMS and ODC pictures HERE

The oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia, Fishburne Military School’s college-prep curriculum is built upon the structure of an Army JROTC program. FMS is designated as a JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction and may nominate qualified candidates to the United States Service Academics. Fishburne hosts one of only four Summer JROTC programs in the nation, accredited by US Army Cadet Command.