Jacqueline and Sandra praise The Swan Ball Committee
The email read:
What an amazing year! The Swan Ball 2012, Celebrating Fifty Years, has been a tremendous success. A success we could not have embraced without the legions of volunteers that make The Swan Ball happen.
You will all be hearing from us in the months to come, but until then, know that your efforts were essential and appreciated.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Jacqueline and Sandra
“Legions of volunteers” might be the understatement of the spring; particularly when referring to the mammoth undertaking that is The Swan Ball. But, the Committee Chairmen’s Party, which accompanies each Ball, is an opportunity to really offer a hearty “thank you” to those who put in the hours, the days and the months of tremendously hard work (and volunteer work at that!) which made this 50th Swan Ball a grand success, not only as Nashville’s premiere gala event, but also as a source of major funding for the city’s beloved Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art. During your next visit there, perhaps during a trip to view the phenomenally popular Treehouse extravaganza, take a moment to pay quiet homage to those volunteers, primarily women, who gave so much of their time and energy to help bring this calibre of work to Nashville—a town that has matured into a thriving cultural and artistic destination.
Our glasses should first be raised to this year’s chairmen, Sandra Lipman and Jacqueline Hutton, who made this event happen (along with its myriad of pre-parties) and surpassed their high-bar financial goal in the process. These two whirling dervishes started making their plans before last year’s Ball had even commenced, such was their commitment and dedication to The Ball. With more than 250 committee members to inspire and direct, their task became akin to running a rather large company for a year-and-a-half!
John and Lisa Campbell were gracious enough to open their beautiful home (though Lisa was sick and could barely speak!) to help say thank you to the Committee Chairs the night before the Ball. With most of the Committee members on hand, it was quite a shindig. Procuring Marian Worley’s MM catering certainly was a tasty idea as the guests seemed to thoroughly enjoy the imaginative presentation of tomato, Benton’s bacon, and basil aioli sandwiches, tenderloin cheese burgers, roasted asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with nutmeg and grated parmesan, jumbo lump crab cakes with Remoulade sauce, chilled shrimp with spicy cocktail sauce, stuffed eggs with candied smoked pepper bacon, sun dried tomato and feta stuffed mushrooms, ham on homemade rolls, warm rosemary goat cheese with lemon fig preserves, caramelized onions served with artisan flatbread crackers and shortbread cookies, almond tart, coconut macaroons, strawberries and chocolate Kahlúa mousse, all served on the screened-in porch before heading out to the pool to view the pair of oversized, feathery swans which were floating languidly.
It was a fun night, but not a late one as most of the attendees verged on the edge of exhaustion following a long day under the “Big Tent” sprucing, tweaking and attending to the last-minute, final touches. All were giddy with anticipation, just like kids on Christmas Eve, as they counted down the hours before the start of the 50th gala the following evening.
—Gloria Houghland, Photographs by Eric England