PHILADELPHIA – The 63rd annual Engineers’ Banquet and Ball, with presentation of debutantes, sponsored by the Ukrainian Engineers’ Society of America, Philadelphia Chapter, took place on February 4 in the elegant Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.
This gala event was, by all measures, a tremendous success.
There were nearly 550 guests at the banquet, and a total of over 850 attended the ball. The Bellevue Grand Ballroom was full to overflowing, and a second ballroom was opened to accommodate all the guests.
Archbishop Stefan Soroka, metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the U.S.A., opened the gala with a prayer for Ukraine and his blessing.
Sixteen lovely young ladies were presented as debutantes: Maryna Chuma, escorted by Daniel Sawicky; Adriana Dale, escorted by Adrian Charchalis; Ustyna Danylovych, escorted by Severyn Kushmeliuk; Kathryn Halarewicz, escorted by Michael Seneczko; Christine Heren, escorted by Dmytro Nebesh; Sophia Holowaty, escorted by Matthew Bach; Irena Kondrat, escorted by Daniel Sandursky; Katya Kopach, escorted by Peter Luba; Lilia Kuchta, escorted by Matthew Stefurak; Julia Kurylec, escorted by Zachary Firko; Ariadna Louer, escorted by Rostyk Kujdych; Anastasia Maystrych, escorted by Maximilian Chuma; Caroline Nowak, escorted by Aleksei Hulayev; Talia Nysch, escorted by Alexander Kuchta; Julianna Petrenko, escorted by Daniel Powers; and Oksana Zharovsky, escorted by Maxim Murphy.
The debutantes included one young lady from California and two from Toronto, and there were escorts from Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and New York.
The debutantes and escorts were exceptionally well prepared by Halia Wirstiuk and Ania Bohachevsky Lonkevych to perform their presentation dances. Original choreography for the dances was prepared by them to the music of Richard Strauss.
Masters of ceremonies for the banquet and ball were Natalia Antoniak Pylyp and Rostyslav Bukachevsky.
An additional highlight of the evening was a special performance by the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia.
An honored guest was Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, newly elected representative of the 8th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.
The outstanding success of this gala event was made possible by the preparation and hard work of the Ball Committee, chaired by Orysia Hewka.
Music was provided by the Hrim Orchestra from New York and Connecticut, and by Ihor Sypen and the Fourth Wave Orchestra of Philadelphia.
For weeks after the ball, social media were buzzing that Philadelphia is the place to debut. Next year’s Philadelphia Engineers’ Ball is scheduled for February 3, 2018, at the same venue – the Hyatt Hotel at the Bellevue.