On the Town: Living ‘A Summer Night’s Dream’
Article by Pasadena Star-News
Posted: 09/15/2010 04:05:10 PM PDT
On Saturday night, the annual Huntington Ball feting the Society of Fellows – the major support group of San Marino’s Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens – drew 400 guests and raised more than $250,000 for the San Marino institution’s programs. There was a lot to celebrate this year at the always posh black-tie bash.
Huntington President Steve Koblik proposed a toast to the members of the Fellows and announced that the six-year fund-raising campaign, “For Generations to Come,” ended on June 30 with a final tote of $244 million, which exceeded its $175 million goal by nearly 40 percent. With success like that, there is no need for the usual charity ball format – no raffles, no auction and, mercifully, no long speeches – just great food, a marvelous band and a fantasy setting. Co-chairwomen Chris Benter and Hannah Kully borrowed their theme, “A Summer Night’s Dream,” from Shakespeare, whose rare first editions are among the library’s treasures.
The guests arrived at sunset, where they were greeted with flutes of pink vodka-pomegranate juice called “Puck’s Punch.” Then, as darkness fell and the moon rose over the gardens, the Munger Plaza was transformed into a make-believe Arden Forest with columns of tiny white lights dripping from the trees like Spanish moss. The tables were draped in shimmering rose damask, and florist Jacob Maarse carried out the sylvan motif with faux woodland nests filled with sandersonia, veronica, hydrangea, roses, ferns, Irish moss, fresh mushrooms and a twinkling firefly or two.
Amid all this enchantment, Patina Catering’s staff dispensed shrimp and haricot vert salad; filet mignon; polenta ravioli with curry, asparagus and sweet basil; and a trio of dreamy desserts: chocolate crunch cake, lemon curd with berries and strawberry English fruit fool.
Who was there? Le tout San Marino, La Canada Flintridge and Pasadena – from the Abdos to the Zimmermans.
Wayne Foster’s big band kept the dance floor jumping until the iron tongue of midnight told 12, and the last foolish mortals went home with chocolate truffles as mementos of a fairy-tale evening.
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