DATE: May 26, 2011
VENUE: Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto
AUTHOR: Lianne Gravitis
PHOTO CREDITS: pending
It was a night to remember, as the 14th Annual Butterfly Ball took over the swanky Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, Thursday, May 26 (hosted by TV personality Tracy Melchor and Danielle McGimsie of Etalk). Each year, growing and improving from the last, the event helps to raise funds for the Boost for Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists children who have been abused and raises awareness about the issue. The committee members are hoping that with all the generous supporters attending, they will beat last year’s total of $270,000.
For three years, Marla Brown, décor sponsor and founder of Marla Brown Designs, has been working with the event committee to bring the Butterfly Ball to fruition. This year, they decided to try something new and exciting and centre the theme around the word “fresh”, which led to the creation of a cool “Supperclub” feel.
Ushered into the Truffles Room through a luxurious entrance of walls created by white flowing fabric, the guests were immediately transported to a chic Miami style experience. Starting the evening off with a cocktail reception outside the Regency Ballroom, where the main event was to be held, a soft, sexy atmosphere was created through the use of grey linens topped with loose orchids and small tea lights that were dotted around the space. The sounds provided by DJ Daniel Buckman, musical director at The Four Seasons Hotel, and founder of Bello Sound in Toronto, were described as, “New York/Chicago house music” which added to the “upscale, sophisticated, sexy Miami lounge vibe” that certainly set the mood for the evening. As the tunes bellowed through the air, the 400 guests excitedly conversed as appetizers of seared Ahi Tuna (rested over top of crisp rice), Risotto balls, Tandoori chicken skewers and lamb chops were served. Guests also had a chance to win a freshwater pearl necklace, courtesy of Twain Designs, by purchasing keys that could potentially open a rather fancy lit box that the necklace was placed in.
Following the cocktail reception, people filtered into the main ballroom accompanied by the sounds of Canadian songstress Alex Pangman and her jazz quartet. The room was illuminated with greens, whites, and silvers, and was set up to “break from tradition” says event coordinator, Lindsay Jolie. Instead of using traditional round tables, Brown and committee wanted to “stylize” the room by bringing in “oversized, wider dining room tables”, to allow for a more intimate and linear feel to the room. Table accessories were kept very low, using small vases filled with calla lilies, miniature silver lamps, and tea lights over top a long white runner and grey linens provided by Have A Seat Inc. This allowed for conversations to flow easier between everyone as there were no obstructions. Clear seating from Contemporary Furniture in Toronto provided comfort and a modern touch as guests dined on salmon, beef tenderloin and two delicious alternating desserts of key lime tarts and chocolate molten (provided by Four Seasons Hotel).
After a few words from the co-chair of Boost, Keri Johnston, and executive Director Karyn Kennedy, special guest Vicky Avramopoulos, and survivor of child abuse herself, silenced the crowd and brought them to their feet as she spoke about her heartbreaking yet triumphant story of child abuse, and how Boost for Kids Foundation with their compassionate employees, helped her get through the toughest time of her life. This amazing story motivated the guests to support the cause even more through the next event, the live auction, hosted by Bonhams of Toronto Harry Tum. Attendees jumped to their feet to secure their favourite auction items, which included such things as a Turks and Caicos vacation (courtesy of Gansevoort, Turk & Caicos), a night in NYC (courtesy of Chartright Air Group, Crosby Street Hotel & Jeremy Laing), and a “Staycation” in Toronto (courtesy of Elm Spa, Brilho Luxury & Cleaning Services & Matt Kantor).
The night concluded with a chance to relax in the “sexy lounge” where comfortable couches, and hi-top tables, were set up, amongst sensual purple and soft candle light. The smooth sounds of DJ Daniel Buckman filled the air once again as guests sipped on cocktails and wine. All in all, the hard work and modern vision of the committee, and the support of the numerous volunteers, helped pull off a successful and heartwarming evening, proving this event gets better and better each year. For more information on Boost For Kids Foundation please visit http://boostforkids.org/, and do your part in making a difference in a child’s life.
Invitations – Marcee Ruby
Linens – Have A Seat Inc. (www.haveaseat.ca)
Food provided by Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville
Lead Sponsor – Byron Capital Markets Ltd.
Media Sponsor – CTV Media
Additional Interview Questions with Lindsay Jolie
1) Were there any eco friendly processes incorporated within the event?
There were no specific "green initiatives" used at the event
2) Were there specific marketing strategies used to boost awareness for the event? CTV I’m sure was a major help! Was there a lot of word of mouth? I know you mentioned that the committee created a lot of awareness. Any promotional materials used besides the website that was created?
CTV ran national ads for Boost/Butterfly Ball, both the Boost website and the Boost for Kids Foundation website promoted the event. The committee members were really responsible for promoting the event/cause.
3) Did you feel that the energy was different than last year around the room? More excitement? Was the Miami theme a success?
The energy in the room was very positive. Guests seemed to be enjoying themselves very much. Its difficult to compare this years event to last years as they were both such a success! The theme changes every year for the Ball which creates a new and engaging energy.
4) Did the live auction prove to be more successful than the silent auction in terms of raising funds? Would you use that format again? IT seemed to create a lot of buzz and excitement around the room.
Over the years, the Butterfly Ball has had both live and silent auctions. Both can generate revenue depending on the audience of the event, the items in the auction and the expertise of the live auctioneer. The decision to feature only a live auction this year was made by the planning committee. The feeling was that we wanted to do something a little different than our previous events as well as free up room in the cocktail reception as silent auctions take up a lot of floor space.