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Sgt. Shawon Clark, supply, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, escorts Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills volunteers down the red carpet as they model proper ball attire during the Belle of the Ball event at the Officers’ Club, Oct. 4, 2014. After the event concluded, appropriate ball attire was given away.

Photo by Pfc. Medina Ayala-Lo

Belle of the Ball event prepares spouses for Marine Corps Ball

4 Oct 2014 | Pfc. Medina Ayala-Lo Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills program held its 3rd Annual Belle of the Ball event at the Officers’ Club, Oct. 4, 2014.

“A few years ago, the family readiness officers were asking for something to really show the ladies what would be good for the ball and not good for the ball,” said Amber Bilderain, LINKS program manager. “We had a FRO that came from Cherry Point, N.C., and she gave us some ideas and we ran with it.”

The Belle of the Ball event is a rehearsal of how the night would really function. They run through the cake escort and a presentation of what is and isn’t suitable ball attire. At one point during the event, there was a skit performed by the L.I.N.K.S volunteers addressing behavior you shouldn’t engage in during the ball. During the skit, L.I.N.K.S volunteers walked through the ball room, drinking wine from the bottle, talking loudly on the phone and taking selfies.

“If it’s your first ball, it can be intimidating to go to a formal event if you don’t know what to expect. Often times the Marine doesn’t tell them what to expect,” Bilderain said. “The idea is just to get the word to them so they feel more confident when they’re at their first ball.”

For one who has never attended, it can be a bit overwhelming. The Belle of the Ball provided a crash course for the spouses of Marines on the do’s and don’ts of the ball. With registration cutting off at 90 people and seats filled within four days, the event was in popular demand.

“I was expecting to have a good time,” said Amber Vega, spouse. “It’s important to be able to support our Marines and the tradition behind what our Marine Corps stands for.”

During the event, there were prize giveaways including hair and makeup tips from Elite Makeup, a two-day hotel stay, as well as ball gowns and high heels.

“I had a lady last year come up to me and say, ‘I went to your Belle of the Ball! I was so prepared,’” Bilderain said. “We get that when we go places and run into people who actually went. So it’s a good feeling.”

For those who weren’t able to attend, they can go to their family readiness officer for tips on proper attire, etiquette and a sequence of events.

“A FRO would love to give that information,” said Bilderain. “If they ever have any other questions, they can always call us.”

For more information please contact your unit FRO.


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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms