Following my husband's death in 2008, I moved from Tennessee to Florida to look after my parents. Now I'm living in a retirement community, making friends and trying new things. The most fun I've had has been ballroom dancing. So far, I've taken intro lessons in all the dances and now I'm starting intermediate. I hardly have time to read anymore but I manage four or five dances a week!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Charity Ball - May 18

This year, Dennis and I were co-chairs for the Charity Ball given by USA Dance to benefit Hospice of Marion County.  We both feel a connection to Hospice because both our spouses were under hospice care when they died.  Plus Den's wife, Sandy, worked for Hospice of Marion County.

We arrived at the Pioneer Gardens around 5:00 to set up and the air conditioning was off. That was fun ... NOT.  Thankfully, someone came and turned it on just before the dance started.  One other little hiccup was that one bag full of decorations for the VIP tables somehow didn't make it to the dance so Den went out and bought new tablecloths, napkins and champagne glasses.  My hero came to the rescue.

We got "Automatic" Amee and Henry as the band and they were wonderful.  They played a good number of fox trots and waltzes and rumbas as well as cha-chas, swings and slow dances.  There was something for everyone since we had quite a few non-ballroom dancers as well as our ballroom dance members.  On the right is a good shot of the dance floor with Norma and Bill in the foreground.

We had a lot of help with decorations and food from various club members.  At left, Gail, painted butterfly centerpieces for all the tables since the butterfly is the symbol for Hospice.  There was VIP seating at an extra charge that had black tablecloths with silver butterflies and champagne.  Lots of people brought food for the buffet table which really could have been called a "groaning table".  Frieda and Al always take care of the refreshments and they kept an eye on everything this night as well.

Many of the area dance teachers provided dance exhibitions: Joe Mounts, Jamey Webb, Danila Tobias and Charles Cook.  On the right is Jamey Webb with Diedre.  All the dances were wonderful entertainment.  Jamey's dance was particularly mesmerizing.

Another thing we did for the charity ball that we don't normally do at our dances was have raffles.  One of our volunteers, Ella, sold tickets and we had nearly 20 gift baskets in which one could place as many tickets as one wished in hopes of winning that gift.  The most popular gift basket was the $50 gift certificate to Horse & Hounds Restaurant. During one of the breaks between dance exhibitions, Dennis announced our sponsors and Wayne and Susan helped distribute the gifts.  It flowed smoothly because Wayne and Susan worked great together.

After all the expenses were deducted we raised $1700 for Hospice of Marion County.  For such a small organization as ours, that is phenomenal.

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