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Red Boa Ball

Support for the American Red Cross of the Mid-South

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Don Perry

The entry of the Memphis Botanic Garden was bathed in soft red lights for the eighth annual Red Boa Ball, presented by Sedgwick. The event was a fundraiser for the American Red Cross of the Mid-South. The glow continued inside the building where both the lobby and Hardin Hall were also illuminated with a ruby hue. Many of the guests were decked out in the color of the evening, and red feather boas added a festive note to their attire.

The evening began with a cocktail reception with servers passing trays of smoked salmon mousse eclairs, goat cheese and roasted red pepper phyllo cups and chicken pesto pastry cups. Guests browsed the silent auction items on tables lining the main hallway. Items up for bid included jewelry, original artwork, spa treatments, gift certificates to favorite restaurants, sports memorabilia, vacations and more.

Partygoers dined on a meal catered by Coletta’s Restaurant that featured Caesar salad, a dual entree of beef tenderloin and spinach and fontina-stuffed chicken breasts, with roasted potatoes and vegetables primavera. Cheesecake provided a smooth, sweet finale. Auctioneer Jeff Morris stepped up to the microphone to lead the spirited bidding on hotly contested live auction items. Dancing followed dinner, with music by the Gerry Goin Group (G3 Group) getting everyone into the groove and out on the dance floor.

Flowers for the centerpieces were donated by Kroger and arranged by Bouquets of Hope, a job training and volunteer ministry of Catholic Charities of West TN. At the end of the evening, the flowers were readied for repurposing to residents in area nursing homes and hospice patients, to brighten the lives of others. The 2017 event was chaired by Alice Higdon, who led committee members Kelli Acree, Melayne Horton, Gail Milnor, Todd Stricklin, and Colleen Hitch Wilson. The event was not only a fundraiser, but was also designed to raise awareness about the organization’s local activities.

“We respond to residential fires and floods, teach life-savings skills like CPR, assist members of the military and their families, and provide safe blood products to local hospitals,” explained Laura Vaughn, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of the Mid-South. “Funds raised at our Red Boa Ball supports critical needs in our community.”


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