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Abilene Philharmonic Guild holds Cherry Blossom Tea before 2018 Gold Medallion Ball

The Abilene Philharmonic Guild hosted their Cherry Blossom Tea event Saturday afternoon, which led up to the 2018 Gold Medallion Ball at the Abilene Convention Center Saturday evening.

The event, which benefited the Abilene Philharmonic Guild, honored two women who have contributed to the organization for decades, with Portia Moore receiving the Grand Dame honor and Gaylon Neatherlin being presented with the Golden Charm distinction.

Thora Sutton, the co-chair of the Medallion Ball, said both women were a clear choice for the highest honors being presented at this year's event.

"I mean, and they have been season ticket holders at the Harmonic Symphony for over 50 years, so, you know, they were a pretty clear choice of what wonderful examples of supporters of this wonderful program that we have," said Sutton.

On top of raising money for their orchestra, the Abilene Philharmonic Guild has a program that promotes responsibility and confidence called the Belles and Beaus, which gives children and teens the opportunity to become more involved in the fine arts.

"They are belles or beaus, so girls or boys. What they do is they volunteer at our concerts. They are either going to greet our patrons at the door, they walk them to their seats, show them when they are sitting, they take their ticket, they are kind of the face (of the organization)," Sutton said.

The 2018 Senior Belles honors were presented during the event, with three deserving members of the Belles and Beaus program being awarded with scholarships that were determined by a points system.

The gold level honor, worth $2,000, was presented to Grace Ann McCaslin, the silver level honor, worth $1,500, was presented to Shruti Patel and the bronze level honor, worth $1,000, was presented to Elizabeth Ice.

KTXS News spoke with McCaslin, who had some advice for the younger girls in the Belles and Beaus program.

"My advice to them would be just keep working hard and times get tough, but if you just persevere through it, it's going to be worth it in the end," said McCaslin.

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