Sunday, November 30, 2003

Greater Cincinnati's Benefits and Bashes



By Stephanie Creech Hackett

Cincinnati Opera Guild Masked Opera Ball

[IMAGE] Co-chairs Eileen Barrett and Rhonda Sheakley visit with Patty Beggs (right), Cincinnati Opera's managing director.
(Philip Groshong photos)
Nearly 500 supporters arrived at the Music Hall ball room donning evening dress and exquisite masks as the Cincinnati Opera Guild presented its Masked Opera Ball.

Making their way down the red carpet into the ballroom, guests were greeted by flashes of more red and swaths of roses, courtesy of floral designer Scott Atkinson. Chairing the evening were Rhonda Sheakley and Eileen Barrett.

As guests mingled over cocktails, there were more than a few audible "Wows" at the steady stream of stunning ensembles: Ginger Warner in an exquisite black-and-white harlequin ball gown, Susan Strike in a black gown with a sheer black hoop skirt overlay, and Dabby Blatt with a mask created by florist Keith Mueller with fresh flowers, predominantly miniature orchids, that smelled as heavenly as they looked.

Not to be outdone by the ladies, Jay Springer sported a black mask with gold brocade - with a tuxedo vest to match.

After-dinner entertainment featured opera favorites performed by University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music students, directed by the Opera's artistic director, Nicholas Muni.

The Masked Opera Ball netted more than $900,000. Committee members included Barbara Hahn, Patrick Korb, Jo Selnick, Tom Osterman, Barbara Harshman and Joyce Re. Sponsors included the Corbett Foundation and Western Southern Financial

Junior League of Cincinnati wine tasting

[IMAGE] Reba St. Clair (left), president of the Junior League of Cincinnati, shares wine with Bruce and Irmgard Freeman.
An elegant gathering of nearly 100 guests at Covington's Metropolitan Club raised $6,000 for the programs and projects of the Junior League of Cincinnati (JLC).

Sponsoring this evening were JLC president Reba St. Clair and her husband, Al. Patrons attending the event included Amelia and Tom Crutcher, Elizabeth and Rick Findlay, Irmgard and Bruce Freeman, Linda and Andy Smith and Priscilla and Les Ungers.

The evening supported such projects as MindPeace. Working with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, MindPeace JLC volunteers work to heighten awareness of the need for mental health services for children, to eliminate the stigma of children's mental illness and to facilitate the development of a mental wellness system for all children in Greater Cincinnati.

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition's Whisper of Jazz

[IMAGE] Tony and Vicki Scalia (left) with Jeff and Barb Reiss
The Cincinnati Division of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) presented its first Whisper of Jazz benefit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Some 150 guests turned out for dinner by the bite, cocktails, jazz, a silent auction and an education and awareness display on women's health issues.

The evening was co-chaired by Marianne Breneman, Laura Miller, Heather Saupe and Claudia York. Mojo in the Morning's Keith Mitchell and Laura Powell served as celebrity emcees. Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune spoke of his experience when a former neighbor and friend suffered with ovarian cancer. Keynote speaker was noted gynecologic oncologist Dr. Marcia Bowling.

The evening's goal was to raise $65,000 for research and education.

"For too long, ovarian cancer has been considered a 'silent killer' and baffled many doctors," said York, president of the NOCC Cincinnati division. "It has had little public education and slow advancements in the research field. In fact, the federal government recently cut ovarian cancer research by $2 million."

The event was a benefit for the NOCC, with the money earmarked for local research. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Cincinnati Wellness Community, which supports cancer patients and their loved ones.




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