Monday, February 6, 2012

Conservation Foundation's Palm Ball

Such a pretty evening from start to finish!  From approaching the magnificent, stately Burrows-Matson House, to entering the gorgeously decorated tent, it was a stunning evening "in the Garden of Good & Evil".  From what I could tell, it was all good and no evil.  The weather was simply lovely, though a little humid to ensure an authentic Low Country atmosphere.  How did they arrange that?  Perfection!

I do believe this was one of the best dressed crowds I have seen in a long time.  It seems that way every year, though.  The chairs - Ariane Dart, Pauline Joerger, Nora Johnson, Amie Swan, Margaret Wise, and honorary chair, Cornelia Matson - always set a terrific example.  Each lady was really beautifully turned out.  And Foundation Chairman and Founder, Dr. Albert Joerger was no slouch himself in a custon-made Hickey Freeman tuxedo!

I do love a reception line and Albert and the chairs are always there welcoming each guest with a smile and a hug.  From there you enjoyed the cocktail hour on the gracious lawn overlooking Sarasota Bay - very romantic in the moonlight!  A quick stroll and you were entering the tent and meeting "Lady Chablis" and passing the Bird Girl Statue.  Then you entered "The Tent" in all its glory!  Large oak trees filled with white lights guarded each tent pole and made the scene quite magical.  Right in the middle was the black and white checkered dance floor, which was barely vacant all evening. This definitely was a dancing crowd.  Speaking of the crowd, it was a terrific mixture of young and old.  I always have to smile when I see all the young turks in town gathered together in little groups, finding their way in society and playing with the big boys.

As always, the food from Michael's On East was scrumptious and served to perfection.  Tracey McCammack sees to that!  Seafood Gumbo started us off, followed by a chateau of beef in a whiskey sauce.  A very crumbly, but yummy corn bread was served.  I was reminded of its crumbliness when I took off my ball gown when I got home and found several crumbs in my decolletage!  The dessert was one of my favorites - sticky bourbon pecan tart with praline ice cream.  Very southern and very yummy!

Marjorie Floyd was telling me about all the weddings that are now being planned there.  I certainly think it would be one of the prettiest places to hold a wedding and reception.  I know you can use Mary's Chapel next door at Spanish Point and then hold the reception in the mansion, on the lawn, or in a tent.  The whole property is quite lovely, so there are many options for the bride and groom wanting to plan a memorable wedding day.  Marjorie was telling me that some wedding parties even arrive by boat - now that would be dramatic and unforgettable!  Oooh, now I'm getting ideas for my next birthday party!!  Sssh...don't tell anyone, I want it to be a surprise!

Others attending not pictured below include: Scott and Kelly Collins, Art and Peggy Wood, Marjorie North, Raul Molina, Laura Hansen, Rob Brown and Rosemary Eure, Emily Walsh Parry, Dr. Bob and Carolyn Johnson, Dr. Harold Johnson and Dr. Krista Toomre, Joe and Sydney Gruters, Johanna Gustafsson and Chris Pinckney, Bill and Darla Furst, Steve Wilberding, Nora and Billy Johnson, Dan Hoffe, Bruce and India Lesser, Katie and Michael Moulton, Robyn Marin, Jon Thaxton and Dru Greene, Pat and Charlene Neal, Ping and Fritz Faulhaber, Dr. Bill and Crystal Lahners, Liebe and Billy Gamble, Betsy and John Kane-Hartnett, Lea Mei, Mark Steinwachs and Jarred Wilson and just scads of others.

Bill and Margaret Wise

Bob and Ariane Dart, Julie Dooley, Jamie Becker, and Terri Vitale

BJ Creighton, Ric and Kathy Coffey

Jenny Pendery, Linda Jacobs, Marjorie Floyd, and Kitty Cranor

Meg Lowman, Michel Brown, and Teri Hansen

Lesley France, Brenda Michel, Retta Wagner and Christine Johnson

Michelle Swatek

Jacqueline Morton

Mike and Roxie Jerde

Monica and Diana Kelly

Kelley Lavin and Margaret Pennington

Pauline Joerger and Jenni Hudson

Sylvia Barber and Elizabeth Waters

Julie Delaney and Mary Evelyn Guyton
Bill Harrison and Sharon Black Floyd

Catherine Ellis and Laura Leeming

Beth Bobb, Amie Swan, and Stephanie Hannum

Dr. Sid and Anita Holec

Conservation Foundation President, Christine Johnson and husband, Bill

Noreen Delaney and Kristine Nickel

Lady Chablis serenades the crowd

The captivating centerpiece dripping with moss and topped with roses

The glittering table setting

The Bird Girl statue

Connie Kurkomelis, Douglas Noppe, and Tracey McCammack

Julie Milton and BJ Creighton

The Palm Paddle

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