Sara-Mana: 62 Years BY C.S. HOWARD
Sixty-two years ago, a group of 17 young professional women came together and formed the Royal Sara-Mana Club, Inc. Having mutual and similar interests, they decided to come together to plan how they could provide wholesome social entertainment for themselves and their friends, and to consider ways by which they could give their service to the community and to the needs of others. The Cotillion was THE social event of the year; the first Cotillion was held in 1966 and the presentation of the 2016 Debutante Cotillion on April 9th marked its 50th year.
Over the past 50 years, the group has presented over 1,000 young ladies to society. These young ladies represent the best society has to offer. They are of up standing quality, character, intelligence and refinement. As they enter adulthood, the desire is that they have the astute awareness of volunteerism and an increased knowledge of community involvement and civic activities.
Royal Sara Mana was organized in October 1954, in Bradenton. Its mission – then and now – is to serve the community with direct attention focused on assisting young ladies who are high school juniors, seniors and college freshmen, in furthering their education beyond high school through scholarships. Their motto i s “Helping O thers , One Helps Himself.”
The founding members in 1954 were Naomi Bivens, Willie Mae Butler, Esther Dailey, Inez S. Ford, Katherine Hepburn, Louise Rogers Johnson, Kathryn Houston Jones, Emma King, Mable King Martin, Eunice Roberts, Minnie Rogers who served as the advisor, Dorothye G. Smith, Alma M. Singletary, Helen B. Thompson, Willie Mae Walker, Kate Sue Middleton White and Ruby Williams. Mrs. Jones, Bivens, Smith and Thompson are still active members of the group.
The 2015-2017 officers are Peggy A. Jefferson, president; Jacqueline T. Lewis, first vice president; Rose Dennis, recording secretary; Celestine Campbell, assistant recording secretary; Karyn Washington, corresponding secretary; Jeanette Kelly, assistant corresponding secretary; Theresa Scott, treasurer; Kathryn Houston Jones, financial secretary; Diana Jackson, assistant financial secretary; Jacquelyn Houston, parliamentarian/Sergeant-At- Arms; Mary A. Tillis, business manager; Lorine Brown, chaplain; Helen Thompson, historian/scrapbook; Angela Hodges Lindsey, reporter/publicity; Prevell Barber, Naomi Bivens, Francheska Dixon, Patricia Grimsley, Paula Lowe, Sharon Martin and Dorothye Smith.