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Sparkling Nights

Benefiting SRVS

Story by Gaye Swan   | Photos by Don Perry

The night was truly sparkling at the Shelby Residential and Vocational Services’ (SRVS) largest fundraiser of the year. After descending a staircase lined with purple and white balloons and lit with festive twinkling lights at the Memphis Hilton ballroom, guests were greeted with glasses of bubbly from members of the SRVS board and steering committee. SRVS’ signature colors of purple and white carried into the decorations, with purple confetti and white floating candles contrasting perfectly against black tablecloths, and purple gauze ribbon accenting white-covered chairs.

Beautiful and unique wine glasses, hand painted by individuals supported by SRVS and Memphis artist Connie Lampen, were available for purchase. Guests could also try their luck at a wine pull with a fun twist — numbers corresponding to delectable bottles of wine were hidden under floating rubber ducks. 

The ballroom was lined with tasting stations from more than 20 wineries and breweries. Delicious food pairings were offered by some of Memphis’ best restaurants. Treats included smoked gouda grits and grillades from Bounty on Broad, panna cotta from Libro at Laurelwood, grilled peaches from Sweet Grass, and a make-your-own s’mores bar from Kooky Canuck. An appetizer of strawberry basil crostini from Off the Square Catering was also passed among the crowd.

The 2019 commemorative featured artwork was by Memphis-area artist Michael Maness. Entitled “Success in the City,” the painting included handprints of people supported by SRVS scattered around a heart, with Downtown Memphis in the background.

The evening featured both a live and a silent auction, with artwork, vacations, jewelry, sports tickets, gift baskets, and wine and wine tastings up for bid. WMC-TV news anchor Joe Birch served as the night’s emcee and Ron Childers, Chief Meteorologist for WMC-TV, served as the auctioneer. The SRVS Star Singers were a huge hit with their rendition of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” and the SRVS Star Performers delighted the crowd with their dance moves to the hit “Old Town Road.” The evening ended with fun on the dance floor with Tiger City Entertainment providing lively music. 

Presenting sponsors for the 21st annual event were Sedgwick and Wanda and John Barzizza. SRVS’ mission is to provide the services that people with disabilities need to live meaningful lives as members of their community. Sparkling Nights has raised more than $2 million since it began in 1999 as a fundraiser to support SRVS programs. 

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