Sunday, December 14, 2003

Greater Cincinnati Bashes and Balls

By Stephanie Hackett

Cincinnati Ballet Crystal Ball

[IMAGE] Melody Sawyer Richardson (left) introduces Rosa Blackwell and Cheryl Love to Cincinnati Ballet Artistic Director Victoria Morgan (right).
(Philip Groshong photos)
The magnificent, historic Caprice Pavilion Ballroom at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza was a virtual winter wonderland as the site of the Cincinnati Ballet's spectacular Crystal Ball. The ballroom twinkled with the lights of dozens of holiday trees shimmering magnificently against the glistening floral arrangements, all created by John Hinger, event designer of Beau Bolce Interiors. The event, co-chaired by Deni Tato and Nancy Brinker, was a sell-out with 400 guests.

The attire for the evening was breathtaking, featuring ball gowns in icy blue or frosty winter white, accented with anything and everything that shone like crystal. Guests mingled over cocktails and perused the silent auction. Background music was provided by Dove Song and by Donna Jo Tucker. Cincinnati Ballet Artistic Director Victoria Morgan welcomed guests as everyone was seated to dinner. Snow on the Moon was performed by ballet dancers Rene Micheo of the Cincinnati Ballet and Elizabeth Kent of the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music.

Following dinner, Main Auction Galleries' Jay Karp held a live auction, featuring a Utah ski trip, and a bejeweled Mickey Mouse minaudi╦re from Nina Paul Jewelry. Guests then danced away the remainder of the evening to the sounds of Act I.

Presented by Riverpoint Capital Management, with sponsors Fidelity Investments and the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, the evening netted more than $90,000 to benefit the Cincinnati Ballet.

Tender Mercies CelebriTrees

[IMAGE] CelebriTrees designer Troy Willingham poses with event coordinator Suellen Chesley in front of a Christmas tree re-creation of the Tyler Davidson Fountain.
CelebriTrees, a holiday party to benefit Tender Mercies, made its debut with a preview party. About 200 guests, each paying $75, earned the rights to the first glimpse at more than 50 beautifully and creatively decorated holiday trees at the former Closson's location on Race Street, downtown.Guests got to record their silent bids while enjoying cocktails and a buffet supper. Trees ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime. H.J. Euless created "Tie Me a River," a tree decorated with men's ties, for Hunt Club Clothiers. Holly Collinsworth and Toni Hoge, in keeping with a Bengals season like we've not seen for years, created their football-themed "Bengals on Top" tree. Top honors went to several outstanding trees, including Saks Fifth Avenue designer Mark Adams' tree, "Make It Your Own," and to "Woodland Dream" designed by Becky Barras Interior Design.

CelebriTrees was coordinated by Suellen Chesley, Nancy Berman, Judy Roth and Michele Peck. During its silent auction, running from Dec. 4-11, Chesley estimates that CelebriTrees raised more than $35,000 for Tender Mercies, a nonprofit organization providing housing and individualized support services to homeless people with histories of mental illness.

Shop 'Til You Drop

[IMAGE] Jennifer Mooney (left) of Time Warner Cable checks out a coat while awards honorary chair Jane Portman models a festive scarf. Awards selection committee chair Reba St. Clair zeroes in on a new hat.
When was the last time you exhausted yourself shopping and could claim it was for a worthwhile cause? That's just what about 100 holiday shoppers at downtown's Saks Fifth Avenue were doing at the recent Shop 'Til You Drop benefit, an evening of shopping with Saks Fifth Avenue donating a portion of all sales to community resource Every Child Succeeds.

The focus of the evening was the announcement of a new community awards program for 2004 sponsored by Every Child Succeeds and Time Warner Cable - Every Child Succeeds: Celebrating Those Who Parent Children.

Every Child Succeeds provides support, encouragement and information to families about each stage of a child's development for the first three years of life. Every Child Succeeds offers first-time parents support in the areas of parenting services, child development and child safety. Parents also can enroll in the home visits program to gain parenting skills that will enrich their babies' potential for a lifetime. These visits occur up to 33 times a year over the first three years of the baby's life.

Suffering children, desperate parents

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Greater Cincinnati Bashes and Balls
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