Hope and Help Center Celebrates 21st Annual Headdress Ball With Bawdy Birthday Bash
The Hope and Help Center, a nonprofit focused on treating and preventing the spread of H.I.V./AIDS in Central Florida, celebrated the 21st year of its Headdress Ball with a birthday party theme at the Hilton Orlando on Saturday night. The “Let Them Eat Cake” theme used traditional elements of a 21st birthday bash, like Jell-O shots and cake accents.
“Headdress Ball is known in the community as the most outrageous black-tie event in Orlando, so it seemed only fitting that for our 21st [ball] we throw a wild birthday party with all the details you would expect to see at such an event,” said the nonprofit’s event manager, Julie Noda.
The party began with a V.I.P. reception for the 530 attendees, who paid at least $350 per ticket (some paid as much as $2,500). In addition to an open bar provided by Ketel One, servers handed out more than 600 Jell-O shots, and a performer from Cirque USA poured champagne while suspended from the ceiling. Unique Option decorated the room with colorful lounge furniture.
Lowe and Behold Event Accents topped the tables in the main ballroom with cake-shaped centerpieces, each made from 250 fresh flowers donated by Organic Bouquet. The four V.I.P. tables, purchased at either $10,000 or $25,000 each, had unique faux cakes covered in fondant as centerpieces. Guests at those tables also received gift bags filled with items such as Cake O Licious cake pops, wine, and gift certificates to Orlando restaurants. Following the plated three-course dinner, servers presented guests with individual chocolate bombes topped with candles lit tableside.
The gala included a variety of entertainment elements involving more than 100 dancers, stiltwalkers, and drag queens in a Las Vegas-style show produced by JM Best Entertainment and Hardrive Productions. Seven Orlando companies, including Universal Orlando Resort and Pulse Orlando nightclub, created elaborate headdresses for the night’s competition, which were judged by a group of community leaders and media personalities. When the gala wrapped up around 10 p.m., guests moved back into the reception room for an after-party with music from DJ Joanie.
Overall, the gala raised $240,000 through ticket sales, live and silent auctions, and donations made throughout the night.
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