Thursday, February 21, 2013

New College Inaugural Ball

A gorgeous, crisp, alright, downright cold and very windy, evening, allowed the luscious fur coats to come out to play at New College's Inaugural Ball.  I was keeping my fingers crossed all week for a cool evening, so I could break mine out!  It might have been cold, but the spirit of the evening was warm and inviting, as love and admiration for New College and its new leader, Dr. Donal O'Shea, was heartily celebrated.

All the marvelous extra touches were in place as guests arrived up the circular drive to the mansion.  The college's acapella group, Acapellago, greeted guests and then it was in to the receiving line, where Dr. O'Shea and the four hardworking chairwomen, Kathy Coffey, BJ Creighton, Renee Hamad, and Patricia Johnson, who all looked quite beautiful, were welcoming the 400 guests.

The Charles Ringling Mansion, now called College Hall, is such a gracious setting for an event.  It is one of the most elegant venues in town for a black tie gathering or any gathering for that matter.  Just being there puts a little extra "la-de-da" in your step as you greet your friends with hugs and kisses.

As I mentioned, there were furs galore and stunning gowns on some of the most high profile women in town. It really was the place to be.  I loved being there because I have long been involved and supported New College, mainly through the Library Association, and have so many happy memories of that enchanting place.  It seemed everywhere I turned, there was another friend.

After cocktails, a bagpiper, in a salute to Dr. O'Shea's Scottish heritage, led the guests out of the mansion into the magnificent tent, dazzlingly decorated by Affairs in the Air.  There were MANY chandeliers hanging in the tent, or as I might saying, swaying in the breeze!  The strong winds had the entire tent moving all night!  Each tent pole was covered in glittering beads - really pretty.  I wished I gotten out to the tent earlier, so I would have had better photos of the tent.  My pictures do not do it justice.  The centerpieces, by Flowers by Fudgie, just added more glamour to the occasion.

I must say, Bless the Abe Guard Orchestra!  They not only played wonderfully - the crowd was up dancing all night - but they were blissfully quiet during most of dinner, so you could talk with your dinner companion.  And I must say, my dinner companion, Bobby Wood, whom I had never met before, was so interesting, with lots of southern charm thrown in for good measure!  Of course, you just know he would be fascinating, since he is the husband of the terrific Janice Zarro!

Another really nice thing?  It was so lovely to attend an event and not have to sit through any kind of auction.  It was truly just a dinner dance, albeit, a very elaborate and glamorous dinner dance!

The food catered by Michael's On East, was so delish!  I loved the Kobe short ribs and sea scallops.  I think I could have eaten two helpings!

Attention was given to every minute detail.  I loved the lux invitations, program books, table cards, place cards - all the paper goods were so refined and a throwback to a more gracious time.  Edith Ringling would have approved!

It was a truly majestic welcome to a visionary leader.  We are so glad you are here, Dr. O'Shea!

So many others were scene in the crowd.  I will try to name a few in addition to those photographed below: Shannon and Robert Warren, Diana Lager, Karin Gustafson, Jean Martin, Patricia and Chris Caswell, Jon Thaxton and Dru Greene, Mary Ruiz, Gwenne and Gen. Ron Heiser, Michael Longworth, Mike and Marie Pender, Billy Robinson, Charlie Lenger, Jim Shirley, Kelley Lavin, Sam and Jane Skogstad, George Kole and Judy Zuckerberg, Mary Ann Myers, Linda DesMarais and Doug Barker, Heather Dunhill and Ted Meekma, Chip Gaylor and Jody Fountain, John and Denise Saputo, Rabbi Jonathan and Marty Katz, Charlotte and Kurt Stringfellow, Dennis Rees and Felice Schulaner, Lauren and Bernd Koken, Kathy Killion and Steve Miles, Bill and Betsy Johnston, Jono Miller and Julie Morris, and oh so many fabulous more!

Dr. Barbara Srur and Renee Hamad

Ron Giarrusso, BJ Creighton, and Raul Molina

Ric and Kathy Coffey

Sen. Bob Johnson with wife, Pat, and their grandson, Calvin Troutt

Dr. Donal and Mary O'Shea

Alice Rau, Beverly Koski, and Clint Monts de Oca

Dr. Lou Bertha McKenzie-Wharton and Dr. Richard Wharton 

Jimmy Pritchard and Elizabeth Tucker

Kevin Dean and Kay Kipling

Jenn McAlister and Dave Otterness

Lisa and Stan Eding

Janet Hunter, Phil King, Dennis Stover, and John Hunter

Michael Brown and Dr. Meg Lowman

Elisabeth and Gil Waters

Christine Jennings and Penelope Kingman

Julie Milton and Dr, Anne Chauvet

Sherry and Tom Koski with Tomeika Koski

John and Kitty Cranor

Veronica Brady and Sue Jacobson

Marv Albert and Gerri Aaron

Jennie Famiglio and Pat Thompson

Darlene Wedler-Johnson and Ann Moore

Betsy Koepsel and Julie Delaney

John Mason, Roxie Jerde, and Scott George

Cindy Hill with Jennifer and Altom Maglio

Adam Tebrugge with Gilda and Scott Dennis

Elaine Keating, Dr. Sidney Katz, and friend

Jocelyn Stevens with Gardner and Dannie Sherrill

Chris and Aimee Cogan

Charlene and Phil Wolff

Bobby Wood and Janice Zarro

Leslie Glass and Joan Engelbach

Annette Scherman and Bob Droelich

Beverly Bartner and Nikki Nilon

Dr. Mike Michalson and Ken Abt

John Bean and Alexandra Jupin

Lynn and Dr. Arthur Guildford

Drs. George and Sarah Pappas

Jim Helmich and Gloria Moss

Nancy Blackburn and Margaret Wise

Moi and Gayle Guynup

The centerpiece

The place setting

The program book

A view of the orchestra

The dance floor

The beaded columns with one of the many chandeliers

The table

The salad

The entree

The trio of desserts

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