The RECREATION LEAGUE OF CLEVELAND, a private, invitational organization representing many of Cleveland's "founding families," was formed in 1927 by a group of parents who wanted "to provide supervised recreation and wholesome entertainment" for their sons and daughters. A constitution was adopted, and FRANCES P. BOLTON (Mrs. Chester C.) was elected as first president. In its early years the league sponsored coasting parties, afternoon tea dances, and other entertainment for the children (juniors, ages 14-16, seniors, 16-18). In Dec. 1937 the league held its first Assembly Ball for the members' college-freshmen daughters, patterned after the Philadelphia Assembly Ball (1748). The Christmas holiday festivity, in which approx. 50 young ladies are formally introduced to Cleveland society, has been described as a "family affair," as the debutantes ("hostesses") are led down the UNION CLUB staircase (the usual setting for this annual event) by their fathers in the traditional Grand March, greet their families and friends at a formal reception, and conclude the evening with a dinner and dance with their escorts. The Recreation League also sponsors a Bachelors' Ball for members' sons who are college sophomores. Begun in the early 1960s, the Bachelors' Ball is also held during the holiday season, often on New Year's Eve.


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