By: Renata Mendicino
Friday, November, 29, 2013 was a very important day for me and 5 other young women at Seton-LaSalle Catholic High School. It was the day we all have been waiting for since the end of eighth grade when we registered to become a Medallion Ball Candidate. Although we knew exactly what the Medallion Ball is, I have been explaining it to a lot of different people over the past four years!
Young girls are allowed to register to become a ball candidate sometime around the summer between 7th and 8th grade. We were warned the slots fill up fast resulting in a waiting list. The main requirement is you must complete 150 (or more) hours of volunteer service wherever you choose. In order to be eligible, hours must be completed during the summer prior to your freshman year of high school and be completed by May of your junior year.
I was put on the waiting list but still had to complete my hours hoping a slot would open so I would be ready to be a “Medallion Girl” if called upon. Well, I got the call during my junior year and still had about 60 hours to complete! Fortunately, I had volunteer opportunities lined up but there are so many organizations that need volunteers you could place a call right now and find someplace to volunteer!
The Ball is sponsored by St. Lucy’s Auxiliary for the Blind. This year’s Medallion Ball was extra special as it was the Golden Jubilee (50 years)! 107 young Catholic ladies participated and as a result over 21,000 hours of service were donated to a variety of locations throughout the local area over the past 4 years.
In addition to volunteering 150 hours, there are additional strict rules to participate in the Ball. Some include all Candidates must wear formal white gowns with long gloves and Escorts are required to wear tuxedos (with tails) with white gloves. We learn the Medallion Promenade and Waltz in a very short time! Organizing 214 young adults is not an easy task!
As each Candidate is announced we are given the Saint Joan of Arc Medallion by the Most Reverend David A. Zubik. We were especially blessed to have His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl in attendance as well!! As Bishop Zubik said, “The Saint Joan of Arc Medallion symbolizes the strength, courage, bravery and fidelity of the young woman, Joan, who sacrificed her very life for her faith.” I was so proud and happy to receive this special Medallion.
I wanted to see what the other Medallion girls thought of the night, so I asked them what their favorite part of the whole night was. Here are their responses:
“I think my favorite part was getting all dressed up. I also liked meeting all the different people and hearing about their service projects. It was awesome to meet so many people who were as passionate about community service as I am!” – Meghan Shanahan
“I loved having the opportunity to spend time with my family and friends and meeting so many new people!” – Haley Schepis
“It was awesome to attend such a formal event and I loved getting to meet so many new people. It definitely was one of the best nights of my life!” – Brianne Colligan
“The whole thing was really fun, but my favorite part was the Grand Promenade. We got to just walk around and see everyone who was there.” – Levi Masua (Brianne Colligan’s Escort)
The evening was beautiful and after the formal part of the Ball we all got to dance and have fun! I will always remember this special evening and will cherish the memories from my hours of volunteering and from the fun I had at the Ball.
Please join me in congratulating my fellow classmates who participated in the Ball; Brianne Colligan, Mia Dandrea, Haley Schepis and Elise Zielinski.
We will forever be “Medallion Girls!”