Abigail Lee Floreth, the 2016 Beaux Arts Ball queen, will crown her successor at this year’s Ball, “Pop Revolution: Revive the Movement,” on Saturday, April 29. The reigning queen is the daughter of Brad and Tammy (Baldes) Floreth of Jacksonville.
The 2012 graduate of Jacksonville High School earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Floreth was very involved during her time at SIUE as a founding member of the Iota Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta. She continues to be very active with the chapter as an alumna and is planning to be an advisor for one of the chapters around the St. Louis area. After being chartered in 2014, Floreth served as the public relations vice president of Alpha Xi Delta. She also volunteered her time to the advocacy organization called Autism Speaks. She has participated in many walks over the last four years at Forrest Park in St. Louis, and she was a member of the Autism Speaks U club on campus. She continues to volunteer time with children with autism. As a college student, Floreth was a member of the Criminal Justice Club, Psychology Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Order of Omega Society.
In March 2015 Floreth took a semester off from SIUE to attend basic training for the United States Navy in Great Lakes, Ill. After graduation she was sent to Pensacola, Fla., for “A” school. There she trained to be an aviation structural mechanic and volunteered her time at the USO on base. One of her favorite things to do in her free time was to explore the Naval Aviation Museum and watch the Blue Angels practice.
As a college student, Floreth was employed at ILMO Products Company over her summer and winter breaks. She now serves in the Navy Reserves and is currently working at the Naval Operational Support Center in Bridgeton, Mo. Last summer she interned at the Jacksonville Police Department. She currently works as an assistant manager at Hollister Company and plans travel to Washington, D.C., this summer to complete annual training with her unit in Whidbey Island.
Floreth will continue her education at Lindenwood University in Belleville, Ill. this fall, where she will begin coursework toward a Master of Science degree in criminal justice administration.
A life member of The Art Association of Jacksonville, Floreth has been involved much of her life with the organization’s major fundraiser, participating in three previous Beaux Arts Balls: as a flower girl in “Celebrate Jacksonville” in 2000, as a junior attendant in 2008’s “Prairie Springs” and as a senior maid in “Black and White” held in 2012.
Floreth’s family has a long history with the Beaux Arts Ball, as well. Her parents are life members of The Art Association of Jacksonville. Her mother served as a general co-chair of the Beaux Arts Ball in 2010 when the theme was “Gateway,” co-chaired the auction, “Cherish the Arts” in 2008, co-chaired the Lawn Party in 2006 and has served on various Ball committees. Her father has participated in many Beaux Arts Balls and lawn parties as a featured musician. He also participated as a page in 1967’s Ball, “Palette Magic” and as a junior attendant in 1975’s “Buttons and Bows.” The queen’s grandmother, Dolores Floreth, was a general co-chair of the Beaux Arts Ball for “Athens April” in 1972.
Chase Weston Vaughan will be Floreth’s escort on the evening of April 29. Vaughan is the son of Ruth B. Vaughan and the late Gary R. Vaughan. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational leadership. While a student at WKU, Vaughan was an active member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Formerly a resident of Clearwater, Fla., he has recently moved back to his hometown, Jacksonville, where he is seeking employment with the State of Illinois Department of Corrections.
Patron and general tickets will be available at the JHS Bowl prior to the Beaux Arts Ball on Saturday, April 29, where the coronation will begin at 7 p.m. – 45 minutes earlier than in prior years. The traditional reception for participants will be held immediately following the coronation at The David Strawn Art Gallery, with dancing until 12 midnight at the Jacksonville Country Club. Patron tickets that include admission to the coronation, reception and dance are $40.00, while general tickets for the coronation and reception are $10.00. An interpreter will be available at the coronation for the hearing impaired. Call the Strawn Art Gallery office at 217.243.9390 for more information.