Who: Young professionals, artists, music lovers, and friends of the Minnesota Orchestra
What: Crash the Ball 2011
Where: The Depot
When: June 25, 2011
Why: To raise funds for the music and education programs of the Minnesota Orchestra
This past Saturday night, I found myself standing below disco balls at The Depot. A perfectly balanced glam fest and benefit—this year’s Crash the Ball was a mix of Gatsbian elegance and purposeful conversation. Sponsored by Target, Haskells, and E & J Winery, the event aimed to raise $10,000 for the funding of bus transportation for 3,000 students to attend a Young People's Concert at Orchestra Hall. In total, the event raised nearly $65,000 for the music and education programs of the Orchestra.
While partygoers had an opportunity to bid on a wide array of goodies—dining experiences, premium wines and beers, sports memorabilia, and fashion accessories—some of my favorite items from the auction included a family-level Walker Art Center Membership, a cutout leather purse from The Grand Hand Gallery, and Minnesota Zoo passes. The most popular item of the night (at least among the ladies), was a Princess Kate replica sapphire wedding ring with the clever tag, “Prince William Not Included.”
After I put in my bid for the coveted Princess Kate bauble, I headed over to the impressive libation station, which featured martini-shaped ice sculptures that were not only beautiful, but functional as well. I marveled as a cummerbund-wearing bartender poured tequila and Ketel One Vodka Oranje from the top to the bottom of one of the luge-like sculptures. A mere few steps away, I also had the privilege of speaking with artist Behrooz Abshar, who told me about his music-inspired paintings that were up for bidding. Before we parted, Abshar and I sampled a couple of the evening’s delicious appetizers including bacon cream cheese wraps and chicken sauté skewers with peanut sauce.
As I continued to weave between groups of tuxedos, I noticed the VIP Lounge was nearly filled by 10:00 p.m., and the event’s sound crew was sending a message: it was time to dance. Giving me a playful nod from atop his booth in the center of the dance floor, DJ Jonathan Ackerman put on his head phones and began to spin tracks. Ackerman took requests and played Michael Jackson, Adele, and even Young MC’s “Bust A Move.”
Towards the end of the evening, I stopped to rest between songs at Brian Lesteberg’s photo booth, where I ran into Jacqueline Johnson-Leister and Crash the Ball committee member Liz O’Neal. Looking sophisticated in a Viking purple cocktail dress, O’Neal expressed her satisfaction with the event.“We are so happy we could help facilitate this event. Everyone brings something to a night like this,” O’Neal said. “It’s a fun and wonderful way to support the future of music education.”