Sunday, January 11, 2004

Greater Cincinnati Benefits and Bashes

By Stephanie Creech Hackett
Enquirer contributor

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Gala

[IMAGE] FunRaisers vice president Jan Eide (left) and secretary Dede Ralston get fired up for the new year with Mike Staudt and Maureen Cleary (right).
(Philip Groshong photo)
The Board of the Cincinnati FunRaisers hosted a crowd of 100 at the Quality Inn in Norwood on New Year's Eve. The black tie-optional evening featured cocktails, buffet dinner and dancing to the hot sounds of the Cincinnati Rhythm Band.

FunRaisers is a philanthropic singles organization dedicated to raising money for cancer research at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

No one in the lively crowd - singles and married couples alike - seemed the least bit shy about donning tiaras and pointed hats or enjoying the evening's flying streamers. The stroke of midnight exploded with champagne toasts and more than a few kisses.

FunRaisers board members responsible for this special event include president Rich Perry, vice presidents Jan Eide and Bruce Hust, secretary Dede Ralston and treasurer Mary Susan Zavos.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Gala

Following a New Year's Eve concert, more than 300 guests set sail from Music Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on a gala "Grand Voyage." Joining the fun were Maestro John Morris Russell and violinist Chee-Yun.

Grand Voyage guests moved on to cocktails, dinner and a silent auction on the "lido deck," the beautifully transformed Music Hall Ballroom. Guests enjoyed a three-course meal featuring tournedos of beef and ending with a choice of cr╦me brulee cheesecake or double chocolate pate cake.

With a quick shot of coffee, everyone was up and dancing to the sounds of the Jerry Conrad Orchestra. Of course, midnight was full of champagne toasts, hugs and kisses.

The entire New Year's Eve event raised $97,250 for the symphony.

Torey and Tom Torre chaired the evening. Diana West provided advisory support. Sponsors were the Dr. John & Louise Mulford Fund and Dolores Amann.

American Cancer Society New Year's Eve party

The American Cancer Society was the beneficiary of the third annual New Year's Eve party at the Cincinnati Museum Center at historic Union Terminal.

About 250 guests purchased tickets for $75 each to attend this year's hip bash. The black tie-optional evening featured cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and desserts from Elegant Fare Catering. Everyone enjoyed dancing to the sounds of Reggie Calloway and, of course, the popping of champagne corks at midnight.

Several groups, including iRhine, the Urbanists and Young Professionals, hosted the event. Among those contributing to the successful party were Leslie Ghiz, Krista Katona Pille, Roger Pille and Dan Driehaus.

Young downtown enthusiasts are committed to organizing this annual bash and ensuring that it benefits a worthy cause. The amount of proceeds will not be known for several weeks.

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