Nevada Ballet Theatre held its annual Black &White Ball celebrating its 30th anniversary Jan. 25 at Aria. Actress Florence Henderson was honored as the 2014 Woman of the Year.
The event also featured an announcement that the Elaine Wynn Foundation is giving $1 million to the dance company.
Cartier in Crystals hosted the VIP reception where co-founder/co-chair Nancy Houssels and co-chair Wendy Plaster welcomed guests including Diana Bennett, Audra and Bobby Baldwin, Susan Molasky, Frank Schreck and Julietta Bauman, Madeleine and Don Andress, Carolyn Sparks, Susan Graves, Gayle Anderson, Michael J. Brown, Parvin Modaber Jacobs, BeBe Adams, Sharon Jenkins, Richard Plaster, Michael Shulman, Julie Murray, and Mariam Afshai, Cartier’s West Coast regional director.
The large reception and dinner for 474 guests took place in Aria’s Pinyon Ballroom. Seen socializing were Irais and Bob Kolesar, Dee and Ken Ladd, Nancy and Nunzo Truscello, Jackie Glass and Steve Wolfson, Toni and Victor Chaltiel, Jewel Brooks, Mari and Thom Landers, Patricia and Richard Wright, Jeanne Greenawalt, Mike Cahlan, Vera Goulet, Jackie Delaney and Brian Conant, Beth Barbre and John Mangan, Marie Claire and Rino Armeni, Vicki Fertitta, Debra Mills and Chuck Berry, Trish Walsh, Florence and Garth Jameson, Doris and Ted Lee, Kari and Jonathan Halkyard, Jeffrey Cummings, Rita Rudner with husband Martin Bergman and daughter Molly Bergman, and Sandee, Tiffany and Tito Tiberti.
Comedian Judy Gold offered a welcome and introduced Houssels, who paid tribute to the Black &White Ball’s Women of the Year Award recipients of the past 30 years.
“Brady Bunch” mom Henderson listened to stories from her TV “sons” Barry Williams (Greg Brady) and Christopher Knight (Peter Brady). Last year’s Woman of the Year, Mitzi Gaynor, also paid tribute to Henderson. The award winner receives the Nevada Ballet Theatre’s “Dancer,” a bronze sculpture by Richard MacDonald, and a Cartier clock.
Auctioneer Christian Kolberg sold 11 packages, including a personalized dinner for 12 at the winner’s home by Aria’s Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten that sold for $35,000. A trip to the Lanvin Fashion Show in Paris and dinner at Restaurant Guy Savoy sold for $12,000. An Oceania Cruise for two for 10 days from Istanbul to Barcelona brought in $14,000.
Chet Buchanan did a “Raise Your Paddle” fundraiser to support live music for the ballet company in The Smith Center.
Gillian Wynn took the stage for her mother, Elaine Wynn (the dance company’s first Woman of the Year recipient) and sister, Kevyn, to announce the $1 million donation. Nevada Ballet Theatre Executive Director and CEO Beth Barbre thanked the many contributors who made the evening a huge success in raising more than $1.3 million.
Special recognition went to James Canfield, Nevada Ballet Theatre’s artistic director, and entertainers Bella Strings and “Thunder From Down Under.”
Also among the partygoers were Lynn and Mike Joseph, Farid Matraki, Stephanie and Steve Stallworth, Ruth and Jack Lillis, Punam Mathur, Suzanne Rogers and Brian Plant, and honoree Henderson’s daughter, Barbara Chase.