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Imagine Ball

Saving Lives and Celebrating Life

Story by Bill Bannister | Photos by Don Perry

Imagining a world free of cancer was the inspiration of the 2017 Imagine Ball, to benefit the American Cancer Society. With the enormous windows of the FedEx Event Center open to a magnificent lakeside sunset, this incredible night began with a welcome reception and cocktail hour. Guests entered and began perusing the hundreds of treasures laid out on the silent auction tables, enjoying the sounds of the dueling pianos of R.E.G Entertainment.

Items up for bids included artwork and fine wines, vacation getaways from the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, the Verandah Resort and Spa in Antigua, Los Establos Boutique Hotel in Panama, St. James Club Morgan Bay in St. Lucia, Palm Island Resort in the Grenadines, and The Pineapple Beach Club Resort. There was a Hot Springs weekend condo getaway, as well as goodies from Horseshoe Casino, The Memphis Redbirds, Malco Theaters, Café Society, Porcellinos, The Memphis Zoo and Godiva Chocolates. FedEx donated a once in a lifetime flight simulator experience. The silent auction was sponsored by Dr. Thomas and Regina Russell. Kendra Scott Fine Jewelry was on hand with a jewelry pull, and for a donation of $25, guests were able to participate in a mystery wine pull.

Jeremy Park welcomed the crowd of supporters, who sat down to a magnificent Asian-inspired dinner prepared by chefs Jimmy Gentry and Alia Hogan of Paradox Catering. After a starter of assorted sushi, dinner began with cabbage salad with cucumber and calamari, followed by the entrée duo of smoked beef and coconut salmon with miso mashed potatoes. Dessert was a delicious lemon grass and ginger cream matcha tea.

After dinner, guests marveled at the creation of live art depicting energy and health by special guest artist Joseph Boyd from Flight of Fancy. There was also the presentation of the evening’s honoree, Dr. Kurt Tauer, followed by the fantastic live auction conducted by auctioneer Jeff Morris. Items up for bid included a sumptuous five course dinner for 10, personally prepared and served in the luxurious Jack Binion’s Wine Cellar at Horseshoe Casino Tunica. The Peabody offered up a one night stay and dinner for two at Chez Philippe. First Tennessee donated their Grizzlies suite for 18 including four parking passes. There was a week in a private beach condo at Adagio Estates in Blue Mountain Beach Florida, as well as a Live 24x36 canvas painting by artist Joseph Boyd created during the gala.

The grand finale celebration featured the live presentation of The Dancing Dragons. Caesars Entertainment was the proud sponsor of this year’s Imagine Ball. Other sponsors included AEL, FedEx, First Tennessee, Methodist Lebonheur Healthcare, Stern Cardiovascular, West Cancer Center, Baptist Hospital and Gastro One. Money raised at the 2017 Imagine Ball supported the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives and celebrate life.

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