55th Cinderella Ball ‘shines bright’ despite changes made due to COVID-19

For the Daily Journal

ROCKINGHAM – Alpha Mu Chapter of Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc. sponsored its 55th Cinderella Ball with a parade of family and friends to present the four enchanting and beautiful young ladies that participated. For the past 54 years, the Cinderella Ball was an evening of beautifully dressed young girls escorted by handsome escorts that waltz and parade throughout the auditorium to celebrate the crowning of a new queen. Girls from the ages of 7 to 12 are given the opportunity to raise money and compete for the title of ‘Miss Cinderella’. Funds raised are used to establish 529 College Saving Plans for each girl, scholarships for High School Seniors, and a host of other contributions are given to local and national non-profit organizations.

Prior to COVID-19, the young ladies participated in numerous activities throughout the year that assisted in developing their social and educational development. They put together gift bags and distributed them to residents at a local nursing home. They attended a Mother/Daughter Tea where they were given a history lesson on ‘tea parties’ and made hats to wear during the time that they sipped different kinds of tea. The girls also participated in a STEM session at RCC, took part in a Black History program, and learned about proper care of their skin.

This year’s Queen is Anilah Michelle David. Anilah is a rising 4th grader at Washington Street School and a member of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. She sings on the youth choir and dances with the Tiny Tots Praise Team. Anilah’s parents are Lidya Davis and Steven Malcolm, Jr. She loves spending weekends with her Uncle Tommy and Aunt Betty Ewing. She was sponsored by Mrs. Bernice Sims-Royster. Anilah said she was so happy becoming Miss Cinderella 2020 and wanted to thank all her family and friends for helping her make it happen.

Jakhia Elyse Baldwin is this year’s Maid of Honor. She is the daughter of Danielle Baldwin and Donald Pettigrew. Jakhia will be a 5th grader at East Rockingham Elementary School. She is a quiet, thoughtful and reserved young girl that enjoys coloring, drawing, and watching TV. She is involved in the school chorus and is always awarded ‘Terrific Kid’ at her school. Jakhia was sponsored by Ms. Orga Ellerbe. Jakhia loves being around and working with young children and because of that passion, she hopes to become a pediatrician.

The 1st attendant is De’Mya Shalise Dennard who will be a 6th grader at Hamlet Middle School this coming school year. She is the daughter of Johnny & Terrina Harris & Megan Smith. Due to the death of her father at the age of 7, she has learned to value life and love her family unconditionally spending quality time with her grandparents, family and friends. She realizes that if she continues to put God first, she can achieve all things. During the school year, De’Mya participated in Battle of the Books and was a member of the chorus. She loves dancing and cheering in her spare time. At the completion of high school, she plans on attending college to become a lawyer. De’Mya was sponsored by Mrs. Vanessa Tillman.

Trinity Elsye Lockhart is this year’s 2nd attendant. She is a rising 8th grader at Hamlet Middle School and the daughter of Lawrence & Rona Lockhart. Trinity attends First Baptist Church in Hamlet where she sings on the youth choir. She is a busy young lady at school, in the community, and at home. Some of her interest are cheering for Hamlet Middle School and playing on the softball team. She is a member of Champion in Motion Cheerleading and she designs and sells tie-dye t-shirts and hair bows. Trinity was sponsored by Mrs. Lettie Sturdivant.

Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc. is a non-profit service organization composed of professional/business women geared to fulfilling the interest and talents of women. Alpha Mu Chapter, located here in Rockingham, is one of more than 30 chapters located throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeastern parts of the United States. For the last 55 years, Alpha Mu has been empowering members by providing an outlet to render service to many needed causes through active involvement in Richmond County and beyond. The purpose of the Sorority is to provide services and resources to the community, provide leadership development of members, increase cultural awareness and provide opportunities for networking among women of similar interests.

Members of the local chapter are: Sandra Smith, Kay Morman, Annie Harden, Lettie Sturdivant, Angela Hope, Trendee Bostick, Orga Ellerbe, Cynthia Stanback, Shirley Fuller, Bernice Sims-Royster, Anna Thomas, Luredean Ellerby, Regina Wall, Yvonne Rush-Wright, Jessica Sawyer-Horne, Gracie Jackson, Henrietta Wheeler, and Betty Clapp.