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 place setting
The program book
A view of the orchestra
The dance floor
The beaded columns with one of the many chandeliers
The trio of desserts