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Cotillion History

In 1997 & 1998 J. D. Kellum and Jeff Paramore hosted the first Atlanta Cotillion, a drag cocktail party, to provide a creative and unique way to raise funds to fight HIV/AIDS in Atlanta.

After a three year hiatus, in 2002, a committed group of volunteers, led by John McGuirk, reorganized Atlanta Cotillion—introducing the rich traditions of the south--creating the Debutante Ball to celebrate the end of a fundraising competition amongst the debutantes.

In 2004, leadership was passed to former debutantes, Edward Holifield and Greg Whitmire, along with the reigning titleholder, Harrison Perry. Creating an entire campaign season during the summer fundraising history was made with over $120,000 raised. Edward and Greg Co-chaired from 2005 through 2007 with extensive growth in stature, operation, reputation and fundraising success. Edward Holifield Chaired in 2008, with Darrell Burke and Bryon Brown serving as Vice-Chairs. In 2009 and 2010 Darrel Burke and Bryan Brown Co-Chaired.

Darrell Burke Chaired in 2011, Ronnie Mallette Chaired in 2012--the final year with the debutante fundraising class model. Darrell Burke returned in 2013 to Chair a repositioned affair-- “Atlanta Cotillion Presents - Cirque de Nuit”. In 2014, “Atlanta Cotillion Presents Cirque de Nuit en Rouge" was chaired by David Janke, the former titleholder.

AID Atlanta honored Atlanta Cotillion with membership in The Founder’s Society in 2008 for its unprecedented impact on the health of Greater Atlanta. Creating summer full of activities, an exceptional ROI, and steady financial contributions total more than $1.35 million dollars.

The Debutante who raised the most during their respective debutante year was crowned the Queen of Atlanta Cotillion at the climax of the Debutante Ball. The Atlanta Cotillion Title Holders are:


In 2017, Atlanta Cotillion historical files, mementos, and collateral materials were accepted by the Political, Cultural and Social Movements Collection of Emory University's Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library as a part of this community’s response to the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis in Atlanta

A production of:

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