Each little Princess was formally introduced, then had “Fairy Godmother dust” sprinkled on her before being escorted by a young “butler” to her table at the Princess Tea Party in Palmyra. Later each princess was given a crown to wear and pages to color before being served tea and cookies by servers wearing black and white maids' uniforms. The tea party had 240 guests.

Each little Princess was formally introduced, then had “Fairy Godmother dust” sprinkled on her before being escorted by a young “butler” to her table at the Princess Tea Party in Palmyra. Later each princess was given a crown to wear and pages to color before being served tea and cookies by servers wearing black and white maids' uniforms. The tea party had 240 guests.

A total of $3,098 was raised for Relay For Life at this 12th annual tea party, which was Saturday morning, March 18, in the Sesquicentennial Building in Palmyra's Flower City Park. The total was reported by Yvonne Goellner, who chairs the fund-raiser each year, with the assistance of Carolyn Carpenter. “We have raised over $40,000 in 12 years,” Yvonne said, adding, “we usually raise $3,000 each year.”

She explained the tea party is funded by donations only, because, “we wanted all to be able to attend. … It's more about cancer awareness and making sure no matter how old they are, they are aware and help support it.”

Yvonne founded the tea parties 12 years ago after her 2-year-old daughter, Emily,was diagnosed with what was described as terminal cancer. Her daughter is now in total remission, she said, “by the grace of God” and is a 17-year-old Palmyra High School junior. Yvonne enjoyed sprinkling her “Fairy Godmother dust” on Emily during the tea party.

Emily was among the “queens” hosting the tea party, and her brother, Brandon, was one of the “butlers” escorting the princesses.

Yvonne had a second reason to raise awareness about cancer – her husband, Paul, is a 20-year cancer survivor.

This was not the only Palmyra family with both male and female members participating. Aiden Schaefer - wearing his crown as the Littlest Mr. Marion County - escorted each of his sisters, Autumn Schaefer and Lilly Borrowman, to their table. Their brother, Jonathan Borrowman, also served as a butler.

Some of the tea party's servers included two generations, such as Brittani Binson and her mom, Barb Binson.

A total of 21 “queens” in evening gowns hosted the tables, with 10 reigning queens and 11 former queens and other young ladies. Gracie Bross of Palmyra, who was crowned 2017 Miss Jesse James' Teen elsewhere in Missouri, hosted a table, as did Chloe Dent, a former Miss Mark Twain Outstanding Teen.

One family group included perhaps the youngest “princess” attending the tea party. She was Carissa Conrad, almost 2 months old, held by her mother, Stephanie, and accompanied by her sisters, Lydia, 2, and Adelyn, 6.

Most of the little princesses wore fancy gowns, and some were from literature. Among them was Natalie Vandiver, 7, wearing a Rapunzel wedding dress. She arrived with her sister, Sophia Vandiver,

After the tea was served, 2016 Miss Marion County Amanda Lewis played two songs on her violin.

While she was doing so, Annie Sodari of Palmyra enjoyed “leading the music” while Annie's sisters, Angie and Addie, watched.

See photo gallery for more pictures of the tea party.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.