Monday, May 7, 2012

YMCA Foundation's Cirque du Gold

"It's like your prom, only better", said Ilene Denton as we looked around the room at the YMCA Foundation's Cirque du Gold gala.  The room being the gym at the Berlin branch of the YMCA, where they haul out all the equipment and decorate the life out of the place until it is unrecognizable, just like high school!  Well, not quite like high school, but I totally understood what she meant.

Huge, and I mean huge, wall murals of dreamy watercolor-esque circus scenes covered the three big walls and in the center of the room was a stage with all sorts of cirque de soleil type of riggings hanging to and fro.  The tables were covered in turquoise cloths with light and airy orchid arrangements in the center.

Tri-chairs Debbie Dannheiser, Dawn Epstein, and Denise Mei, along with event coordinator, Jennifer Grohndahl did a terrific job of pulling the evening all together.  The Y event is known for its outstanding live and silent auction and rightly so.  There was an entire room filled with silent auction items and they too, used the now omnipresent BidPal system, which is fabulous!

Lots of terrific live auction items sold well with Tim Wilkins as emcee and auctioneer, but the one that really got people going was when Michael Klauber jumped up on stage to help sell his donation - a wine tasting for 20 at Michael's Wine Cellar, which he got two people to bid $10,000 each for the experience.
Cirque Vertigo, which includes members of the Wallenda family, entertained during dinner totally feeding into the cirque theme.  They were extremely colorful and extremely talented.  Aren't we fortunate to have so much talent right in our hometown? 

Another bit of entertainment was Angela Kaset, a singer/songwriter from Nashville who is a friend of Debbie Dannheiser.  She performed a lovely ballad she had written, which speaks to the "Angels" among us, which as Debbie said in her introduction, reflected the Y Angels.  Her song lyrics included how someone's "beautiful angel wings" were helping her take flight (my interpretation), just like the Y Angels help many of the area's children and families take flight to a better life.

Michael's On East did a nice garlic and herb crusted chateau of beef for dinner and what they called a chocolate abstract finished with gold dust and filled with mocha mousse for dessert (photo below).  Everything was yummy and served well, as always.

In addition to healthy living and youth development, our local Y does much in regards to social responsibility. It is the area of the mission that really speaks to the hearts of many of the donors attending the event. Did you know our Y also has a family management services program which counsels individuals and families? It also is the lead agency for Safe Children Coalition, which is a continuum of services for foster children. One of the largest projects is the Y Youth Shelter which is temporary housing and safe care for runaway children and children who have been locked out of their homes. The Y programs address the issues of the 1000 homeless children in our area, the 300 children who last year sought shelter, and the over 2200 children in the child welfare system of the tri-county. Those numbers are staggering to me. Thankfully the Y has programs in place to help those in need in our community.

Others attending and not photographed below were Charlie Huisking, Phil and Julie Delaney, Linda Whitacre, Mike and Marie Pender, Jay and Veronica Brady, Jocelyn Stevens, Gail Bowden, Donna Simmons, Mary Beth and Jim Bos, Jean Weidner and Al Goldstein, Laura Peters, Miqui Lora, Dr. Anne Chauvet, Terry McKee. Tom Dabney and Elaine Briggs, Stanley Kane, Nola and Larry Hietbrink, Gil and Elisabeth Waters, Michael Welly, Steve and Beth Knopik, Kem Lindsay, Pat Martin, Diana Armbrust, Robert and Shannon Warren, Matt Otto, Ann Ross, John and Virginia Harshman, and so many, many more.

Roberto and Denise Mei

Debbie Dannheiser

Terri Klauber and Dawn Epstein

Paul Bowman, Y Fdn. Board Chair and Karin Gustafson, Y Fdn. Pres./CEO

Dr. Michael and Gila Meriwether

Mary Anne Robinson and Ida Zito

Drs. George and Sarah Pappas

Me and Susan Brennan

Suzette Jones and Richard Dorfman

Patricia and Chris Caswell with Ellen Wells

Phil King, Ronelle Ashby, and Dennis Stover

Flori Roberts and John Fain

Dr. Diana Lager, Marv Albert, and Gerri Aaron

Greta Carlo and Julie Milton

Jeff and Susan Jones

Beverly Bartner and Marjorie North

Wendy and Jerry Feinstein

Pam Daniel and George Augustin

Wanda Martinetto, Angela Massaro-Fain, Anne Weintraub, Rochelle Nigri, and Kelly Gettel

Dr. Parlane Reid and Carol Butera

Kim Githler, Betsy Kane-Hartnett, and Dr. Tom Schroeter

Steve Patmagrian, Brent Greeno, and Cliff Roles

Steve Wilberding and Teri Hansen

Peggy Abt and Flora Major

Ric and Kathy Coffey

Margaret and Bill Wise

Jessie Niecestro, Laura Williams, and Lynn Bonnett

Bob and Kathryn Carr

Teri Hansen couldn't resist taking a photo of me and the H-T's Gayle Guynup dishing about the evening, as  only two social columnists can do.  What did we talk about?  We'll  never tell!

Jennifer Grondahl


The table

The salad course

The centerpiece

Cirque Vertigo

Cirque Vertigo

The chocolate tower dessert