Who: Brightly clad Junior Leaguers with their man in tow
What: Spring Fling: Simply the Best gala
Where: Wayzata Country Club
When: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Why: Why wouldn’t we want to break out those spring frocks, support a good cause, and sip a few cocktails with the Junior League of Minneapolis’s members, hubbies, and boyfriends?
As a newbie to the Twin Cities I’ve heard mention of this illustrious group of women on multiple occasions, but I had yet to experience the Junior League first hand. Sure, I grew up with a mother in Service League, and, yes, I read The Devil in the Junior League , but as a newly transplanted adult looking for ways to meet new people, I had yet to fully ingratiate myself into this world of women.
As I prepared myself for an evening at the Wayzata Country Club with some of the most notable benefactors of the Twin Cities, I evaluated what I hoped would come of the night. New friends? A possibility. Fun snapshots? A definite. Inspiring mentors? No better place to find one.
The evening kicked off with drinks and appetizers in the VIP lounge overlooking the course. A part of me wanted to kick off my heels and explore the oh-so-tempting links, but I refrained and enjoyed my complementary Barefoot Wine tasting.
After introductions with the current JLM president Anna Lyon and a quick chat with the former JLM president Nancy Lindahl, I decided to scan the silent auction for any goods worthy of a bid. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts at stalking a coveted Kiehls travel basket, I did not walk away with said skincare swag . . . but I tried not to let my lost skincare regime ruin the rest of my evening.
Dinner consisted of a buffet-style smorgasbord of snacks: sliders, pot stickers, chicken on a stick (who doesn’t love chicken on a stick?), pizza . . . you name it; we ate it. The live auction portion of the evening commenced with a hall of fame auctioneer calling off the bids. Although my plus one encouraged our tablemate to bid on the “Girls Weekend” (for his wife, of course), the weekend went to a determined bunch of ladies looking for a relaxing getaway at Clearwater Lake. The real crowd pleaser? Throwing out the first pitch at a Twins game, which, after quite the bidding war, went to JLM president elect Sarah Borchers and Brian Kingsley. The final auction item—Fund a Need—resulted in most attendees reaching for their wallets to make bids ranging from $1,000 to $50, all to benefit the mission of the JLM.
Contrary to my usual party reputation, I decided to forgo the dance floor and head back to the casino gaming portion of the benefit, complete with real dealers and fake money. I realized I might want to stick to my usual grooves, however, after I threw out a “hit me” . . . before realizing I was playing Texas Hold ’Em.
As the evening unfolded, I surveyed the scene for a final verdict. Sure, this might not have been the typical night on the party patrol—the clunky jewelry was replaced with baubles and pearls—but for this fledgling Minnesotan, entering the Simply the Best gala was like entering a new realm of opportunity: potential friends, probable mentors, and volunteer prospects—all in support of a good cause.
Now all I have to do is learn how to play poker.
Photos courtesy of Mike Feltault. For additional pictures, please visit http://mjf.SmugMug.com/JrLeague