Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Even royalty comes here to party

By Jim Knippenberg jknippenberg@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Whew, no rest for anyone on the weekend party circuit: Young professionals bopped waaaay into the night Friday, Cystic Fibrosis supporters placed their bets Saturday, and Hebrew Union College supporters spent a lot of money to make sure the horror of the Holocaust is not forgotten.

        • The glitziest of the bunch was Sunday's black tie, ball gown and big jewel gala at the Omni to kick off Holocaust Awareness Weeks (April 7-21) and raise some money for HUC's Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education.

        The evening was also to honor Denmark and Bulgaria for rescue efforts during the Holocaust. Princess Maria Louisa of Bulgaria couldn't make it, but her son, Prince Boris Leiningen and wife Princess Cheryl did. So did Ulrik Federspiel, Denmark's ambassador to the United States, and about 30 other dignitaries from the two countries.

        A full night, that, with a cocktail reception where 350 guests — including Cincinnati's entire political power structure — could mix 'n' mingle with dignitaries, then munch a sea bass and filet mignon dinner and enjoy a stage full of entertainment, including a few unbelievable moments from the May Festival Youth Chorus singing poems written by Holocaust survivors. Not many dry eyes left after that.

        • For a bunch of young professionals kicking up heels — The Remains were playing; of course everyone danced — you couldn't beat Cincinnati FunRaisers' “You Did It!” party celebrating the $500,000 it has raised for Children's Hospital Medical Center since 1985.

        About 400 past and present FunRaisers — a singles-only group that exists only to raise money for cancer research at Children's — did the light appetizer thing and danced way late at Symmes Township's Four Seasons Country Club, all decked out with candlelight, chocolate gold coins and tons of play money.

        They spent real money at a silent auction and cash bar while remaining true to the group's motto: “Have Fun While Raising Funds.”

        • River Downs turned on the glamour Saturday, when the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation threw Derbies, Jockeys & Stables, a $50 a head fund-raiser built around a bit of wagering — the satellite sort — a bunch of food and an active bar.

        Oh, and a silent auction — lots of sports stuff there — and some plenty bizarre photo ops using cardboard cutouts.

        Money raised here goes to cystic fibrosis research which, any number of people seem to think, is closing in on a cure.


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