News from Assistance League of Indianapolis
Guests began to enjoy the party as soon as they entered the beautiful grounds. After picking up nametags at the registration table, which for ladies were on a string of faux pearls, they had the option of having their photo taken by Michael Camp Photography. Then, while bidding on the varied silent auction items, such as sports memorabilia and local attraction packages, and strolling the beautiful grounds of the estate, attendees enjoyed complimentary wine and beer along with passed hors d’oeuvres. As music by Cole Porter played, two signature cocktails were offered for sale as well: Side Car and Death in the Afternoon. In addition, participants could purchase tickets to try their luck at the 50/50 Raffle, Putt for a Prize, and the Wine Toss.
A fabulous venue and a wonderful theme, plus the dedication of five co-chairmen, all contributed to making Assistance League® of Indianapolis’ 2015 Star Gala, “Anything Goes,” the perfect party. Held at the lovely Lucas Estate in Carmel, the theme, “Anything Goes” celebrated the time and the music of Indiana’s own Cole Porter. During the 1920’s to the 40’s Porter wrote the music and lyrics for many popular songs. Many guests embraced this theme by enthusiastically dressing up in garb that reflected the era.
As guests sat down to dinner, they were welcomed by the Star Gala Co-Chairmen: Deb Myers, Connie Pollom, Debbie Yuska, Jane Vawter, and Barb Zurek. Kara Kenny, award winning investigative reporter for WRTV Channel Six, was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening. She introduced Gloria Slama, President of Assistance League of Indianapolis, who then invited the Mayor of Indianapolis, the Honorable Greg Ballard, to speak. As guests enjoyed dessert, Shannon Forsell, the Artistic Director and the CEO of The Cabaret at the Columbia Club sang a “teaser” song of her performance which came later in the evening.
In addition to Mayor Ballard and his wife, Winnie, several other special guests were at the Star Gala. Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and his wife Dr. Edye Ferebee also attended. Other notables at the event were: Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Assistant to the Superintendent, Warren Township; David Hillman, Program Director, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; Dorothea Genetos, Director, Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation, Inc.; and Elizabeth Casselman, Executive Director, The Clowes Fund. Two of Assistance League of Indianapolis Advisory Council members, Kathleen Hart and Billie Breaux were also in attendance
During the proceedings, Margaret Cole Russell and the MCR Charitable Foundation, Inc. was honored with The National Operation School Bell® Award. Margaret Cole Russell, President, accepted the award which was created by National Assistance League at the request of the Indianapolis Chapter to recognize individuals and organizations that have given above and beyond to support the Operation School Bell® Program. The MCR Foundation was celebrated for covering the cost of duffel bags for the last 12 years. The more than 34,000 children served by the program since then carry their new clothing and supplies home in these sturdy, colorful bags. This is only the second time the chapter has given this award; the first was in 2001 to honor the Indianapolis Public Schools.
As the evening progressed, guests had other opportunities to support Assistance League of Indianapolis while still having fun. President-Elect, Patricia Johnson, introduced a video which featured the four philanthropic programs of Assistance League of Indianapolis: Operation School Bell®, Assault Survivor Kits®, ALI Friends, and ALI Bears, and explained how guests could donate through Fund-a-Cause. Mike Mensendiek, energetically led the Live Auction and attendees bid on vacation and entertainment packages of: BMW Golf Championship, Demo & Dinner for Eight Prepared by Chef Tony Hanslits, Signed Andrew Luck Jersey, Wickwood Inn Bed and Breakfast in Saugatuck Michigan, Apartment for Two in Southern France, Colts Football in a Suite at Lucas Oil Stadium, Hilton Head South Carolina Vacation, and A Week in Sunny Mexico.
The five Co-Chairman led and directed several Star Gala Committee members in planning for the event which raises an average of $90,000 to $100,000 each year: Andrea Arbore & Judy Tomke, Reservations; Nancy Bennett, Tear Down; Karen Brantingham & Pam Smith; Transportation and Set-Up, Adele Carr, Qtego; Rosy Crowley, Silent Auction; Kathy Detzler, Invitations and Programs; Vicki Drake & Sharon Gleason, Data Entry; Jane Edington, Decorations; Carol Gambrel, Gala Treasurer ; Margie Graham & Lynne Hurlbut, Event Volunteers; Margaret Lawrence, Check-in; Cindee Potterack, Live Auction; Linda Ranger, Games; Mary Reid, Treasurer; Carol Valentine, Thank You Correspondence; Kathy Kerr Wylam, Silent Auction, Qtego and Sponsors; and Julie Yates, Public Relations.
The evening concluded with music from Shannon Forsell and pianist Ray Lahrman. As guests left, they knew that besides attending a wonderful party, they also enabled Assistance League of Indianapolis to continue its mission of caring and commitment to the Indianapolis community through the organization’s philanthropic programs.
To View Photos from the 2015 Star Gala, "Anything Goes" Click Here
Included are some photos from Michael Camp Photography, Seppala Photography, and shots from Assistance League.