In 1964 a small group of young women working at what was formerly Kit Carson Elementary School developed a special bond with each other. Through their common interests and concerns for the community, they founded Les Femmes Douze (the ladies twelve in French). The founding members were Helen Anderson, Gwen Bennett, Ella Blackmon, Lois Bolden, Margaret Crawford, Ruth Hicks, Barbara Kirkland, Esther Langston, Bernice Moten, Joanne Pughsley, Eva Simmons, and Dorothy Taylor.The ball concept was conceived through like experiences of cotillions commonly held in the eastern and southern states which presented young ladies to society. The vision of Les Femmes Douze was more than a ball and the initial goals are still in place today.
Girls are recommended by their high school guidance counselors, must maintain a minimum grade point average, and meet high moral and character requirements. At the first Cotillion in 1964, Les Femmes Douze presented nine high school seniors at the Las Vegas Convention Center. A scholarship of $25 was given to one of the Alpha Debutantes. Since 1964 Les Femmes Douze has presented over 875 young women at their annual cotillion and awarded over$525,000 in educational scholarships to Debutantes.Members of Les Femmes Douze volunteer countless hours to the Debutante program and many other local organizations.
Les Femmes Douze (The Ladies Twelve)
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