Decor Switch at Hospital Fund-Raiser Turns Reception Space Into Nightclub

By Carla Warrilow May 31, 2012, 11:46 AM EDT

Following dinner, guests hit the dance floor. Organizers had one hour during dinner to give the reception area a nightclub feel for the after-party.

Photo: Leon Robinson

Joseph Brant Memorital Hospital Foundation Crystal Ball Gala
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Held on Saturday, Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Crystal Ball fund-raiser served a dual purpose this year: to raise funds for the hospital and celebrate its new facility-expansion project, scheduled to break ground in December. Tapping into the excitement surrounding the changes, the event was given the theme “New Beginnings” and attracted 700 guests.

“We’re really feeling the momentum here on-site as the project gets under way,” said Anissa Hillborn, president at the foundation. “The theme for the gala really ties into this idea of a new era of health care at Joseph Brant.”

Event management company Orchestrations brought in decor elements that looked to the future of the hospital. “It’s looking forward, fresh, optimistic, and exciting,” said Michelle Dubois, senior project manager at Orchestrations. Held at the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Burlington, the same site used the previous year, the event began and ended in the service bay, which saw a decor change as guests dined in the showroom. To represent the New Beginnings motif, the reception space was inspired by spring and filled with white draping and lounge furniture with green throw pillows and carpeting. The effect was clean and elegant. For the after-party, the team gave the service bay a nightclub feel, removing the draping to reveal hoisted Mercedes cars and exposed truss. “It sort of spoke to the future of Joseph Brant,” Dubois said about the industrial look.

The return to the car dealership was partially based on the success of last year's gala. “It’s a beautiful venue within which to work,” Dubois said. “At the same time, it poses a few challenges.” Wall-to-wall glass in the showroom can create an echo and offset lighting. CCR Solutions made a number of venue visits to ensure that sound and lighting for the performance—a surprise dance number from two of So You Think You Can Dance Canada’s finalists, joined by a flash mob of 100—went smoothly.

The event raised money with a silent and live auction, raffle, ticket sales, and sponsor support, which included 26 new sponsors. Organizers are still tallying the total fund-raising numbers.

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