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Promise Ball

Masquerading for a Cure

Story by Bill Bannister  |  Photos by Don Perry

It was a magical and elegant evening to remember at The Memphis Hilton for the 2017 Promise Ball, Masquerade For A Cure, a mask and Black Tie event to benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in their quest to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. The festivities began at 6 p.m. as guests passed through black gold-trimmed silk curtains, and descended the escalator to the ballroom. Going past elaborately dressed and masked mannequins, party-goers entered a colorful, surreal world of jugglers, harlequins, stilt walkers and magicians.

The welcome reception included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a whiskey pull, and a Kendra Scott jewelry pull. Over 480 guests mingled over libations while perusing one of the most amazing silent auctions in the history of Memphis. Items up for bids included fine wines, artwork, jewelry, and gift certificates from The Memphis Zoo, River City Gymnastics, The Memphis Grizzlies, Bella Vita Gifts and Interiors, and Kim Rhodes Fine Art. Ridgeway Country Club donated a Wilson Burn 100S tennis racquet, and there were books and memorabilia from Graceland. Some of the unique silent auction items included an autographed bottle of Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Merlot, as well as a complete Fleetwood Mac Vinyl Collection personally signed by Mick Fleetwood. There was a Dirty Martini Kit from Busters Liquors, and bottles of whiskey and vodka from Old Dominick Distillery. Hilton Memphis pitched in with a Relax and Retreat Package at the hotel and Theatre Memphis donated a membership for the 2017-2018 season. Guests marveled at the magic of Larry Clark and enjoyed tunes by Shane Dauberger of Perfection DJs. Guests were seated at beautifully decorated tables for dinner and welcomed by Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer, Fox 13 News Anchor Darrell Greene, along with 2017 Miss Memphis Callie Compton.

The elegant dinner started with fresh mozzarella with marble tomato and basil salad with hearts of Romaine in a Parmesan balsamic vinaigrette and cilantro ranch dressing, followed by an entrée of grilled pork chop and crab uu gratin with smashed red bliss potatoes, carrots, spinach and cauliflower, and topped off by a scrumptious chocolate tuxedo mousse gondola and a special masquerade surprise for dessert. The live auction was an exciting affair, with priceless items up for bids, including the chance to ride on The Krewe of Orpheus Float in next year’s Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. Guests also bid on VIP Club level seats to a Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour Concert, a fabulous island getaway on St. Thomas, NFL Club seats at a Dallas Cowboys game, and a one week stay at La Riva Condominium at Perdido Key Florida.

JDRF works tirelessly to change the reality of Diabetes for millions of people by funding research, advocating for government support of research, and ensuring that new therapies come to market.


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