Who: Masquerade ball lovers, young professionals, late-night scenesters
What: Friends of St. Jude Masquerade Ball
Where: Seven Sushi Ultralounge
When: May 6, 2011
Why: To get young professionals together to raise funds in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
My first personal connection to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital—located in Memphis—came last year when talking to our 2010 Volunteer Hall of Fame honoree Berit Francis. Her daughter was treated at the hospital and she had nothing but wonderful things to say about the magnificent place that treated and cured her daughter. Now that I’m aware of the hospital’s extraordinary mission, I’ve learned that it is truly a special place offering services, top-of-the-line medical care, and the best in treatment at no cost to families.
Friends of St. Jude is a group of young professionals—with 40 chapters across the US—dedicated to helping raise funds and awareness of the hospital. YPs fighting for children battling cancer? Talk about helping the next generation.
And the YPs sure to do love a theme and a good party. The masquerade ball theme was a hit with more than 400 attendees. I saw masks in every color, shape, and rendering. I didn’t bring a mask and, dang, I wish I had. Now I know.
Seven was a perfect venue for the party, which lasted late into the night. I found my way to the (selective) open bar and then checked out the small bites, a perfect mix of flavors. Seven had nonstop sushi and very tender beef sandwiches, Maple Tavern served up lettuce wraps, McCormick & Schmick’s had seafood galore with scallops and oysters, and my favorite Indian place, Bombay Bistro, was serving a perfectly spicy chicken tikka masala. The spread was topped off with a chocolate fountain from Melting Pot. Needless to say, I ate a bit too much!
MyTalk 107.1 and FOX 9 host Jason Matheson was the emcee for the evening. After chatting with him I ran into Miss Minnesota USA and committee member Brittany Thelemann. Then DJ Skribble, of MTV Spring Break fame, kicked things up a notch and before I knew it, the dance floor was packed. But everyone was really waiting for the big kahuna of the evening: the raffle item. For $10 you could win more than 50 bottles of liquor, estimated to be worth a couple thousand dollars! Devan Futterer took home the big prize and promised to host a big party. I’m looking forward to my invitation.
The night of dancing, drinking, and lots of masks raised more than $40,000 for St. Jude’s. These funds go to the best cause in the world—so that no child is ever denied cancer treatment because of a family’s inability to pay. Not only do dollars raised help pay for groundbreaking research, but funds also cover costs a family may run into while visiting St. Jude.