Our guy takes a spin on Wilmington's revitalized Art Loop, boogies at YWCA's Evening of Style and mixes it up for the Fund for Women.
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It began with an elegant invitation to a soiree at the classic Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont. It peaked when YWCA director Ginny Marino, wearing a dazzling sapphire-blue gown, presented awards to six high-achieving women. The presentation, always made during the annual Evening of Style, was the perfect expression of the YWCA’s mission: Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women. “In this less-than-wonderful economic climate, it’s important to remain optimistic, celebrate terrific women, and give ourselves a small pat on the back,” Ms. Marino told all assembled. She added that she hadn’t felt so special since she was mistaken for the wife of football legend Dan Marino and given the full VIP treatment on a recent vacation in Florida.
We compared hors d’oeuvres with gala committee chair Sandra Behrens, who enjoyed the smoked chicken. (We preferred the mini lamb kabob.) Ms. Behrens thanked all of the women of JP Morgan Chase who had spent the past nine months helping to plan the event.
Though the event is a fundraiser for women, gentlemen are enthusiastically welcomed. Among them was Jerry Bilton, who attended with his wife, Michele. Jerry, director of Wilmington’s Community Services building, served on the gala committee as food and entertainment guru. He explained that the committee chose the Gold Ballroom this year to “up the formal factor.” It was no coincidence that the walls are adorned with decorative plaques of beautiful women. Trés apropos.
The honorees were adorned beautifully as well. Among them were Doneene Keemer Damon, Leslie Stanford, Paulette Sullivan Moore, Claire DeMatteis, Samanta Lopez and Rebecca Stepp. Respectively, they were honored with the Trailblazer Award, the Rita Turner Award, the Leadership in Racial Justice Award, the Advancement of Women Award, the Genevieve Gore Young Women’s Leadership Award and the Women’s Empowerment Award.
An interesting and apparently effective live-auction bonus was the dollar-for-dollar match offered by a group of previous Evening of Style award winners. The financially fearless women elevated the night’s fundraising to more then $17,000. When it came time to shake it to the sounds of The Quake, it was reported that the Biltons were the first on and last off the dance floor. They stopped only briefly to refuel with sumptuous treats served in the DuBarry Room.
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