The evening’s winning tent by Modern Mix
Summer is here in Saratoga Springs and that means that one of the season’s signature events, the SPAC NYC Ballet Gala and Lawn Party took place over the weekend. The evening’s first event, the SPAC Ballet Gala: A Tribute to Great Britain welcomed guests to the Hall of Springs with a sparkling cocktail reception courtesy of Mionetto and dancers from Northeast Ballet. A roaming bagpiper helped bring a little British ambience to the clear evening, and one or two real life Beefeaters were seen mingling with the guests.
The Gala, hosted by SPAC’s Action Council, welcomed top sponsors like Price Chopper, Neil, Jane, William, Estelle Golub Family Foundation, Turbine Services ltd., and Mionetto. Spotted inside were Mike & Linda Toohey, Traci Jersen, Andrea Spungen, Tas Steiner, Erica Dingeman and Matt O’Rourke, Sue Hensley-Cushing & Kevin Cushing, Maria Harrison, Michele and Ron Riggi, Patty and Vince Riggi, Stephen & Keeley Desalvo, and Ed and Maureen Lewi. Guests dined inside the Hall of Springs on British classics like Beef Wellington and Shepherd’s Pie and enjoyed wine courtesy of Kenwood Vineyards Jack London Merlot Sonoma County Chardonnay.
Outside on the SPAC lawn the British Invasion was taking over and the mood was mod for the swinging 60s, Great Britain style. The Union Jack was sported on everything from bow ties to go go boots and guests really got into the spirit of the theme this year and went all out decorating their tents.
The Ballet Gala Lawn Party: A British Invasion was hosted by SPAC’s Junior Committee and top sponsors like Ayco, Bodywork Professionals, Mingle on the Avenue, and Towne, Ryan & Partners, P.C. helped make the night possible.
There was some stiff competition for who would win the Best Picnic Award, the Zieker’s tent was decked out with life sized Austin Powers cutouts and a great Sergeant Pepper’s cutout created by Gloria Ford which saw a lot of action from guests wanting to get their photo snapped as part of the Fab Four. Wendy Lawrence was spotted in a fabulous tent they were calling the “Shagalicious Lounge” with spot on swinging 60s décor complete with a white leather couch, oversized Union Jack painted guitar and more by Fine Affairs and catered by John Winnek.
It was the tent sporting a huge hand painted Union Jack tapestry that won out in the end though, as the cup went to the tent hosted by Jacob Hopper and Terry Leahy of Modern Mix and included guests Catherine and Mark Hover from Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio, Judy Soukup, Gretchen Tisch, Bret Van Etten, and Todd Garafano, the President at Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau and wife Holly. Gretchen from Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio was the artist that created the tapestry, and the group really came together to deck out the winning tent in all of it’s British glory.
It was the tent sporting a huge hand painted Union Jack tapestry that won out in the end though, as the cup went to the tent put on by Catherine and Mark Hover from Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio, Jacob Hopper, Terry Leahy, Judy Soukup, Gretchen Tisch, Bret Van Etten, and Todd Garafano, the President at Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau and wife Holly. Gretchen from Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio was the artist that created the tapestry, and the group really came together to deck out the winning tent in all of it’s British glory.
Spotted on the lawn we saw Joanne Yepsen, Charlie Samuels & Erin Koenen, Dennis McGowan & Erica McCarthy, Terry Lee & Dave Povero, Brendan Nadick, Shane & Jamie Williams Ness and their adorable daughter Addie, Rick Partyka, Julie Natale, Tammy Loya, Allison & David Meyers, Erika & Matt Gough, and Natalie and Charles Wait, Jr.
As the gong sounded to begin the performance guests took their seats and gathered closer to watch the NYC Ballet perform, and this year’s gala program also featured NYCB principal dancer Wendy Whelan in her last SPAC performance before her retirement from City Ballet after 30 years with the Company. Topped off with post-performance live music by City Rhythm, dancing and a grand Firework Display, it was a perfect tribute to the NYC Ballet at SPAC.
Always a successful event, all funds raised from the evening’s festivities support NYCB’s residency at SPAC, which will be back for 2 weeks for 2015.