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'Great turnout' for Baron's Ball

by Lindsey Wells | November 7, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

Over 400 guests filled Horner Hall at the Hot Springs Convention Center on Saturday for Levi Hospital's annual benefit gala, the Baron's Ball.

Following the theme of "An Evening at Moulin Rouge," attendees donned attire from the Gay '90s to the Roaring '20s, including everything from simple black cocktail dresses to extravagant evening gowns and headbands for the ladies and tuxedos and sport coats for the gentlemen.

"Our theme kind of crossed over not only Moulin Rouge but kind of that Great Gatsby look, so we had a lot of dresses with fringe and headbands with feathers, and then we had, of course, with the Moulin Rouge theme, we had bustiers and just really adorable outfits," Jackie Arrison, vice president of development for Levi Hospital, said Monday.

"Then we also had very elegant, long, formal dresses, a lot of red, a lot of black, beautiful, long dresses. The thing that I love about this event, for people who either are planning to attend or maybe have never attended and they worry about what to wear, is that you should never worry about what to wear because there is a little bit of everything."

Guests enjoyed a three-course meal and first-class live entertainment.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the programs at Levi, which include Outpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Services, Student Athlete Programs, Levi Transitions Counseling, and Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Care.

Though numbers are still being counted, Arrison said around 430 were in attendance and the event had exceeded last year's fundraising total before it even began.

"We were well ahead of last year's number before we even factor in the silent auction items. Before the event even started we had raised over $10,000 more from last year in sponsorships and donations and individual ticket sales. We had one live auction item that sold very well, it was a Disney package," she said.

Other silent auction items were a downtown package that included eight burgers at The Ohio Club, eight passes to the Gangster Museum of America, beer, and a tour of Superior Bathhouse Brewery; a Memphis package valued at over $1,000 that included a hotel stay at the Peabody Hotel; passes to the 2018 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival; and gifts from Lauray's The Diamond Center, local spas and salons, Riley Art Glass, and Oaklawn Racing & Gaming.

"Everything went great. We had great turnout, and the decorations -- the ballroom just looked incredible. Davis Tillman just does an incredible job with the stage, he has got a great group of volunteers that help him every year to build sets and move the sets in, and people who volunteer their time to perform in the show," Arrison said.

"We had a DJ dance party at the end of the evening and people stayed and danced and had a great time. What I've read on the comments on social media over the weekend is that people were saying it was the best one yet, and I think that's just because they had such a wonderful time," she said.

Tillman, who serves as The Baron, and his wife, Suellen, were the "Excellence Sponsor" again this year. Other sponsors included Dorothy Morris and the Morris Foundation, Brad and Elaine Wolken, Angela Rose of Rose Eye Clinic, Lou and Susan Siegel, Southern Bancorp, PLD Transport Inc., LifeNet, Hurst Law Group, Robert Zunick, branch manager for Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, Regions Bank, First Security Bank, Legacy Printers, Walmart on Central Avenue, Hot Springs National Park Dental Group, Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Relyance Bank, Dr. Hal Koppel, Jim and Jane Randall, Ray and Kerry Owen, Jean Gershner, and Carol Wootton, a news release said.

Arrison said Tillman will now take a short break to recuperate before he begins to think about the 2018 Baron's Ball.

"Davis takes a little break right here to rest and relax, which he should, and then he just starts brainstorming around the first of the year and he bounces a couple of ideas off of me before he lands on his final decision as far as what the next theme will be, and then we just start building it from there. So, I would say that probably by maybe March or April of next year we'll have a better idea of what next year's theme will be," she said.

Arrison said as of now the only thing set in stone about next year's event is the date, which is Nov. 3.

"That happens to be a bye week for the Razorbacks, so that's always beneficial," she added.

Save the dates for next year's event should go out in June.

Local on 11/07/2017

Print Headline: 'Great turnout' for Baron's Ball

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