On Dec. 26, 2009 after many months of planning and preparation, five beautiful young ladies who have committed themselves to improving the lives of others, completed the journey to become Precious to Cultured Pearls.

The Presentation Ball was presented by the Ivy Charitable Endowment of Pittsburgh and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter. Churchill Valley Country Club, the jewel of the east suburbs, was the venue for the second Presentation ball.

FIVE CULTURED PEARLS —LaRay Alicia McGee, Sienna Imani Graham, Alema R. Heywood, Christin Nikole Thorpe and Tayler Alexis Wright.

Glenda Mayo, presentation ball co-chair, said, “Our gratitude is extended to the parents for giving us an opportunity to share in this phase of their lives. We believe that we have cultured the five young ladies who will be presented. The families and ICE have partnered in creating great leaders for tomorrow.”


The Hon. Dwayne and Joy Woodruff served as honorary co-chairs and grand marshals. Joy was beautiful in a shimmering emerald green gown while Dwayne was handsome in a granite tuxedo.

The Woodruffs have raised three children and applaud and appreciate the efforts over the last few months to nurture the beautiful pearls to prepare them for a brilliant future.

Lynne Hayes-Freeland (KDKA TV) an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., was a charming emcee. Tony Dixon returned as the waltz and promenade choreographer. Dixon has been the dance instructor and musical theater director at the Pittsburgh Rogers Creative and Performing Arts School for the past 17 years (now CAPA).

The five lovely ladies, Sienna Imani Graham, Alema Heywood, LaRay Alicia McGee, Christin Nikole Thorpe and Tayler Alexis Wright, were elegant in beautiful white gowns. Each “pearl” presented a bouquet of pink and white flowers to their mothers as “the village” looked on with pride. These young ladies have aspirations for careers in fields such as pharmacy, engineering, costume design, history and communications.

ICE of Pittsburgh invites you to look forward to 2012 when they will again present the best Pittsburgh has to offer.

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