Pilgrimage Garden Club presents first Royal Court of 2023

Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 8, 2023

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The first Pilgrimage Garden Club Royal Court was presented at Stanton Hall on Saturday, January 7, 2023.

The white-tie presentation, followed by a Court Ball, marked the inauguration of the Pilgrimage Garden Club’s royal court, which presents children and grandchildren of club members.

Led by Queen Baylee Rose Graning and King Hagan Kennedy Speed, the court also includes Christi Harrison, Liza Mayo, Clare Frances Meng, Hannah Grace Mire, Emily Stewart, William Hayes Daly, John Donald Frasier IV,  Lance Gaude Jr., William McClain Mitchell Henderson, Luke Ryan Wright, Albert Lael Lum, Jackson Moody, Coleman Miller Tate, and Will Vaughn.

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Royal pages are Benton Ater, Aubrey Page Ryan, Abigail Lynn Hall, Ella Blasé Gaude, Grafton Keys Dollar and Sutton Ellis Smith.

The court tradition, started this year by PGC, continues to honor and recognize the efforts of members who help meet the club’s overriding mission of serving the community; preserving heritage; caring for the environment; and preservation of Stanton Hall and Longwood.

The court was announced Nov. 19, 2022, with a picnic brunch at Longwood and recognized during the annual PGC Christmas Party Dec. 17, 2022, at Stanton Hall.

The royalty includes:


Queen Baylee Rose Graning

Baylee is the daughter of Mrs. Susan Graning and the late Mr. Alan Ward Graning, III. She is a graduate of Cathedral High School and currently attends the University of Mississippi where she is majoring in exercise science. After graduation in May of 2023, she plans to continue her education and earn a doctorate in physical therapy.

Baylee is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. She has two brothers, Mr. Jimmy R. Hope, Jr. and Mr. Hunter O. Hope. She also has one sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Shaye Hope-McAdory.

She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, and Phi Sigma Theta Honor Society. Baylee is the recipient of the Academic Merit Award, the University of Mississippi 1848 Scholarship, the University of Mississippi Medical Center Faculty and Staff Tuition Award, and she received the United States Armed Forces Outstanding Scholar Athlete Award.

Her activities on campus include membership in Kappa Delta Sorority where she has taken on leadership roles. Baylee is also involved in the University of Mississippi Exercise Science Club, Rotaract Club, Big Event, RebelTHON, and has participated on multiple campaign teams. Baylee is honored and excited for the opportunity to represent the Pilgrimage Garden Club as queen for the 2022 court.

King Hagan Kennedy Speed

Hagan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Stewart, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Earl Speed, Jr. He is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral High School where he participated in football, cross country, track and field, and golf.

He is grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Windell Adrian Kennedy of Raleigh, Mississippi,and the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Earl Speed, Sr. of Prentiss, Mississippi.

Hagan currently attends the University of Southern Mississippi where is pursuing a degree in in Construction Management. He is an active member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity where he participates in intramural sports and has served as social chairman. He is a member of The First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. His hobbies include golfing, duck hunting, and scuba diving.


Ladies of the Court

Christi Harrison

Christi is the daughter of Genny Wrape Harrison and the late Grover Bradley Harrison.  She is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral High School where she was a Middle and High School Cheerleader, a member of the CHS Soccer Team and the CHS Tennis Team.  She is the granddaughter of William R. Wrape, II and the late Betty Christian Wrape of Little Rock, Arkansas and the late Mr. and Mrs. James Grover Harrison of Ferriday, Louisiana.

Christi is currently a Senior at the University of Mississippi where she is majoring in Communications Sciences and Disorders with plans to pursue her Masters in Speech Pathology and minoring in Education.  She is a member of Chi Omega Sorority, a volunteer in the Americorps Jumpstart Kids Program, and a member of the National Speech Language and Hearing Association.

Her hobbies include traveling, watching movies with her friends, cooking, and cheering Hotty Toddy for the Ole Miss Rebels.

Liza Mayo

Liza is the daughter of Monty and Monica Mayo. She is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral High School where she was a trainer for the football team, a member of the golf team, and the 2018 Homecoming Queen. She is the granddaughter of Millicent Mayo and the late Red Mayo, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry LeBlanc.

Liza is currently a senior at Mississippi State University where she is majoring in Marketing. After graduation, she has accepted a job with a real estate company in Rosemary Beach, Florida. She is in the Delta Gamma Sorority, a member of the American Marketing Association, and a member of the Undergraduate Women in Business club.

Her hobbies include traveling, attending MSU football and baseball games, and going on walks around campus with her friends.

Clare Frances Meng

Clare is the daughter of Paul and Susan Meng. She is a 2018 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was a member of the Schola Cantorum Choir all four years of high school, and had the opportunity to sing in Carnegie Hall in New York City her senior year. She is the granddaughter of the late James Carroll and Catherine Meng, and the late John Ray and Pat Ray all of Natchez.

Clare is currently attending Mississippi State University where she is majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in Child Development. She is a member of the University’s archery team, Archery Dawgs, and served as the Vice President from the Fall of 2020 to the Spring of 2022.

She is an avid hunter and is an active volunteer for the Dream Hunt Foundation. Clare is a member of St. Mary Basilica and attends St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville.

Hannah Grace Mire

Hannah is the daughter of Dr. Blane and Jennifer Mire. She has two siblings, her older brother Connor and younger sister Abby. She is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral High School, where she held the positions of Cheer Caption, Class President, Mrs. CHS, and Salutatorian her senior year.

During her freshman year of college at The University of Southern Mississippi, Hannah was a student in the Honors College and a member of the USM cheer team. She later attended LSU where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and a research assistant at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She has since transferred to William Carey University, where she is completing a major in biological sciences and a minor in chemistry.

She currently devotes her spare time to working in the anatomy labs and volunteering for Worthy Stables where she helps with horses and trauma patients.

Hannah enjoys long distance running and spending time with friends and her dog Winston. After

graduation, she plans to obtain a master’s in biomedical sciences and later attend medical school.


Emily Stewart

Emily is the daughter of Butch Stewart and Kristie Blanchard. She is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral High School where she was a cheerleader, member of the Peer Ministry Team, and National Honors Society. She is the granddaughter of Barbara Nell Stewart and the late Van L. Stewart of Natchez, and Bennie and Evelyn Porter of Roxie.

Emily will graduate in May from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After graduation, she hopes to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, UL Student Nurses Association, and the Honors College. She is a volunteer with Prevent Child Abuse America, Faith House of Acadiana, and Girl Scouts of America.

Her hobbies include spending time with friends, participating in sorority activities, playing with her dog Biscuit, and cheering on the Cajuns.


Gentlemen of the Court

William Hayes Daly

Hayes is the son of Edward and Stephanie Daly. He is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral School

where he was an honor graduate, an Eagle Scout, and an MAIS state champion in cross

country and track.

He is the grandson of Ed and Astrid Daly of Natchez, and of Wayne and Mercedes Wells of Mandeville, La.

Hayes currently attends Auburn University where he is majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

He currently serves as the executive vice President of the Interfraternity Council, where he has spearheaded a campus wide campaign for men’s mental health awareness and philanthropy. Hayes is a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, Sigma Gamma Tau Aerospace honor society, and the Auburn waterski club. Hayes is a Presidential Scholar and recipient of the Aerospace Engineering Advisory Council Endowed Scholarship. His hobbies include golf, skiing, and Running.

John Donald Frasier IV

JD is the son of John and Mary Frasier of Church Hill. He is the grandson of the late John Donald and Flora Ann Fraiser of Lorman and Mary Lee and the late Hugh Denton of Church Hill.

He is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral High School where he was a member of the Greenwave football team and selected to the MAIS All District 2nd Team. He was an MAIS District Doubles Tennis Champion.

JD is a combat engineer in the Mississippi Army National Guard having recently completed his One Station Unit Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He is attached to Company A of the 150th Brigade Engineer Battalion of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team.

He is currently attending Copiah Lincoln Community College in Natchez. In the spring, he will attend the University of Southern Mississippi majoring in business and finance and will serve as a Cadet in the USM Army ROTC. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and playing guitar. He is a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church.


Lance Gaude Jr.

Lance is the son of Lance and Tracy Gaude. He is the grandson of Ron and Roseminette Gaude and the late James Carroll and Catherine Meng all of Natchez. Lance is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral High School. During his years at Cathedral he excelled academically and athletically. He was a member of the National Honor Society and participated in football, track and baseball. He received the National Football Foundation Team of Distinction Honoree.

Lance is currently attending LSU on an academic scholarship. He is majoring in Construction Engineering. He is a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and expected to graduate May of 2023. When not studying, Lance enjoys hunting and fishing and his newest passion is golf.


William McLain Mitchell Henderson

McLain is the son of Emily Smith Wright and Gregory Ryan Wright of Bloomington, Indiana, and Carlisle Henderson of Brookhaven.

He is the grandson of Marion and Carolyn Vance Smith of Natchez, Anne Henderson of Brookhaven, Ed and Tricia Henderson of Baton Rouge, La., Roger Wright of Spencer, Indiana, and the late Mary Wright.

McLain was an honors student at St. Richard’s Episcopal School, Indianapolis, Indiana, and is a 2020 honors graduate of Brookhaven High School.

There he was a member of the BHS varsity basketball team, elected Most Popular, president of the BHS Literary Club, editor of the BHS literary magazine, president of Quill & Scroll, a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Mississippi Mad-Lax Lacrosse team. An Eagle Scout, he attended Mississippi Boys State and in 2019 was a U.S. Senate Page in Washington, D.C, appointed by Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker.

McLain is a junior at The University of Mississippi, where he is in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. Among other awards, he received the Academic Merit Scholarship, the 1848 Scholarship and the Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant.

He is majoring in public policy with a minor in English. He is working part-time in the Oxford, Miss., office of U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

His interests include reading, writing, basketball, lacrosse, trapshooting, golf and hunting. He is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchez.

Luke Ryan Wright

Luke is the son of Nancy Hinesley Wright of Greenwood, Indiana, and Emily Smith Wright and Gregory Ryan Wright of Bloomington, Indiana. He is the grandson of William and Rosemarie Hinesley of Greenwood, Indiana, Roger Wright of Spencer, Indiana, the late Mary Wright, and Marion and Carolyn Vance Smith of Natchez.

In 2021, Luke simultaneously earned a high school diploma from Center Grove High School, Greenwood, and an Associate of Science degree from Vincennes University, Vincennes, Indiana.

An honor student in high school, he was a member of the basketball team and played with Indiana Elite AAU Basketball and other teams. He was also a board member of Best Buddies Club, a national club that works with special needs children. Active in youth sports camps, he worked one summer with a youth mission project in the Dominican Republic.

Luke is a sophomore at The University of Mississippi, with a major in Business and a minor in Central Intelligence and Securities Studies.

At Ole Miss he is a member of Mississippi National Guard, U.S. Army ROTC, Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Ole Miss Ducks Unlimited Chapter. His interests also include golf and hunting.


Albert Lael Lum

Lael is the son of Deborah Dulaney Lum and William D. Lum, Jr. He is a 2020 graduate of Van Dorn Academy. He is the grandson of the late Martha Brady Lum and William D. Lum, Sr., and the late Catherine Gunn Dulaney and Sim C. Dulaney, Jr. all of Port Gibson.

Lael graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hinds Community College May of 2022. Lael was the lone recipient of the Outstanding Awards over all HCC campuses in Mathematics, Physical and Computer Science. He was inducted into Who’s Who at HCC. He received the Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship and the Community College Scholarship. Lael is currently a junior at Mississippi State University majoring in Computer Engineering.

His hobbies include competing in ultimate frisbee, bicycling, disc golf and tennis. Lael is a member of the Reformed University Fellowship at MSU campus.  He attends Grace Presbyterian Church in Starkville.

Jackson Moody

Jackson is the son of Cara Winter Moody and the late Monroe Jackson “Jack” Moody III. He is the grandson of Margaret Marshall Moody, the late Monroe Jackson “Jack” Moody Jr. and the late Kim Louis Winter.

Jackson is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Natchez. He is a 2019 Cathedral Catholic School graduate and is currently attending Mississippi State University in Starkville majoring in Forestry with concentration in Wildlife Management.

He served as PGC Page in 2008 and has participated on little maypole, big maypole, picnic, and soiree. Jackson enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and being outdoors.


Coleman Miller Tate

Coleman is the son of Chris and Laura Copeland Tate. He is the grandson of Charlotte Copeland and the late Marlon Copeland both of Natchez, and Elizabeth Tate and the late Larry Tate of Memphis, Tennessee.

He is a 2019 graduate of Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill, Georgia.Coleman is currently attending Mississippi State University where he is majoring in Biochemistry. He is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Student Association Senate, Rho Chi of Interfraternity Council, Maroon VIP, athletic recruiting, President’s honor roll, and the Dean’s honor roll.

Coleman is an Eagle Scout, and a member of the Eagle Class of 2017. He attends St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville.

Coleman’s hobbies include camping, traveling, spending time with his family and friends, and going to Mississippi State baseball games.

Previous participation in the Pilgrimage Garden Club includes the Little Maypole.


Will Vaughan

Will is the son of Chris and Susan Vaughan of Ferriday, Louisiana. He is a 2019 graduate of Cathedral School where he lettered in Cross Country, Track & Field, and Soccer. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop #158 where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Will also was a member of the 2019 State Champion Cathedral Science Olympiad Team.

He is the grandson of Al and Jane Vaughan of Ferriday, and the late Ray and Joyce Turner of Collierville, Tennessee.

Will is currently attending the University of Mississippi where he is majoring in Mechanical Engineering.  He is a Provost scholar, a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi Honor Society and Phi Kappa Tau fraternity where he serves as Vice-President of Alumni Relations.

His hobbies include running, watching the Ole Miss Rebels, and participating in Rocket Rebels launch competitions. Will is employed as a research assistant at the National Center for Physical Acoustic located on the University campus.  He attends the First Presbyterian Church in Ferriday.


Court Pages

Benton Ater

Benton is the son of Rivers and Thomas Ater of Natchez. He is the grandson of Mrs. Susie Ater and the late Al Ater, and Mr. and Mrs. Butch Hosea, both of Ferriday, LA.  Benton is also the proud big brother to little sister, Mary Alan Ater, age 4.

Benton attends Cathedral School where he shines academically as a second-grade student. He is a member at St Mary Basilica where he loves to be part of his parish family. Benton is also active in several extracurricular activities including, golf, tennis, and art classes. He enjoys reading,Legos, science projects, and playing games with his dad.


Aubrey Page Ryan

Aubrey is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Ryan. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Blackwell and Mr. Alan Ryan and Ms. Tammy DeLaney.

Aubrey is a first-grade student at Cathedral Elementary School and attends St. Mary’s Basilica. She enjoys ballet, gymnastics, reading and baking. Aubrey loves spending time with her family and friends, playing soccer, softball and cheering at the AYA games.

Her past tableaux participation includes Little Maypole.

Abigail Lynn Hall

Abigail is the daughter of Matthew and Elizabeth Hall. She is a second-grader at Cathedral School. Abigail is the granddaughter of the late Dr. David and Christina Hall of Natchez, and Dr. Byram and Jennifer Ratliff of Mount Sterling, Kentucky. She is the great-granddaughter of Bobby and the late Joyce Hall of Natchez, and Sonny and Veronica Womack of Byram.

Abigail is involved in AYA Cheerleading, Basketball, and Natchez Adams Girls Softball. She also dances at Middleton School of Dance. Abigail is a member of Girl Scouts of America. She is a former participant of Little Maypole, and a category winner in the Garden Club’s annual flower show. Her hobbies include drawing, reading, swimming, and playing with her little sister Caroline.

Ella Blase Gaude

Ella Blasé is the 7 year old daughter of Kakki and Blase Gaude. She is the proud big sister to Landry, Brady, and Miller. She is the granddaughter to Connie and Kim Grantham of Brookhaven, Linda and John Frenz of Brandon, and Ann and David Gaude of Natchez. She is in first grade at Cathedral Elementary School. Ella Blase attends St. Mary Basilica. She loves to play soccer, softball, golf and tennis. She has danced for 4 years at Middleton school of dance. In the winter, you can find her in the deer stand with her Daddy, and in the summer, Ella Blase likes to be anywhere near water. She draws whenever she can and dreams of being an artist when she grows up.


Grafton Keys Dollar

Grafton is the son of Adam and Kassie Dollar, and big brother to his sister Leighton. He is the grandson of Robbie and Morgan Dollar, Cindy Moore, and Kevin Dodge, all of Natchez. Grafton is in the first grade at Cathedral School. He is a member of the Catahoula Riding Club and Feliciana Youth Rodeo Association where he competes in various rodeo activities. Grafton plays baseball in the spring with the Concordia Dixie Youth Baseball league and AYA flag football in the fall. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, riding horses, playing sports, and spending time with his cousins and friends.


Sutton Ellis Smith

Sutton is the son of Brad and Ashlee Smith of Church Hill. He is a first-grade student at Cathedral Elementary, where he sings in the student Mass choir. He is the grandson of Dr. J. George, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Smith of Jackson, Mississippi and Richard and Ellen Ellis of Memphis, Tennessee. Sutton’s younger brother George attends pre-kindergarten at Cathedral Elementary, his older sister India attends Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, and his older brother Gibson is a sophomore at Texas Christian University. His hobbies include art, music, soccer, tennis and t-ball. He attends First Baptist Church of Natchez.