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NEW YORK Who has time to change into black-tie dress when there's networking and catching up with friends to do? This seemed to be the prevailing attitude among the approximately 300 guests at the Meeting Professionals International Greater New York chapter's Starlight Ball and 15th annual Terry Spinelli auction at the Starlight Roof inside the Waldorf=Astoria.While a few guests donned evening gowns and tuxes, most attendees opted for the “optional” in the “black-tie optional” dress code and came straight from work.
The Starlight Roof--a long, narrow room with two elevated areas on both sides--was well-suited for the event's Roaring 20's theme, with the space's restored Art Deco ceiling and decor. The dance floor was located at one end of the room, and the buffet--which offered roast beef, a few different pasta options, some Chinese cuisine like moo-shoo rolls and potstickers and a nice spread of desserts including chocolate-dipped strawberries--was located at the other end.
The dinner tables were decorated with unusual centerpieces from Bullfrogs and Butterflies. The flower arrangements were set in pedestaled stone vases, and featured greenery interspersed with white lilies, orchids and pussy willow splayed above the table. Long vines with small yellow flowers reached toward the ceiling and were tied together with raffia at the tips.
An array of fabulous hotel stays in exotic locales, restaurant meals and entertainment packages was available to the highest bidder at the silent auction, as well as some other fun stuff like a gift basket filled with kiddie bath products and some sports memorabilia. Overall, the event raised more than $50,000 for the Terry Spinelli scholarship fund and Miracle House, a nonprofit that assists family members of AIDS patients.
Read about last year's Terry Spinelli auction...