Merry Old England came alive at the Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls for A Downton Abbey Evening on Friday night. Toni Kayumi chaired the fundraiser for Western Reserve PBS, and fans came from all over the viewing area to spend an evening in the Downton Abbey tradition.
Guests scoured attics, vintage stores and online to find Edwardian attire for the dinner/dance.
“I have been searching my attic for three days,”said Diane Kruger, who added her great-grandmother’s garnet necklace to her vintage dress, while Ray Correll wore her father’s cutaway. Juanita Taylor borrowed her dress from a friend — singer Barbara Rosene of New York City, who performs in 1920s attire. Susan Conder said she found her dress and Barry Clever’s tux on eBay: “It was fun to research the era,” she said.
Also doing research was chef Roger Thomas, who prepared a five-course Edwardian feast with wine pairings, including barley soup, whitefish from Iceland and Orange Glazed Beef Brisket with parsnips and potatoes. Thomas said Edwardian dinners lasted through many courses and were talked about for months afterward.
Guests sipped the signature cocktail — Pink Lady’s Sister — while looking over the silent auction of Downton Abbey items, including a personal voice mail message donated by actor Jim Carter, who portrays Mr. Carson on Downton Abbey.
Richard Wolfe and Charmaine Kaylor came from Ashland to enjoy the dinner with Tricia and Dean Myton and Leo and June Futia. Mike and Tammy Shultz came from Canfield.
“We have guests from all over Ohio and western Pennsylvania,” said Trina Cutter, president and CEO of Western Reserve PBS, as she welcomed guests.
Flappers Teri Incorvia and Julie Irvin were ready to perform dances of the 1920s with students from the Martell School of Dance. They also taught guests the waltz and other dances, all to music provided by the Kool Nights Band.
Maj. Gen. Ronald Dziedzicki wore his full dress uniform to dance with his wife, Mary Ann, while Laddie Wolfe wore his Gordon plaid kilt as he danced with his wife, Cal.
Bryan Depoy, vice chairman of the board, enjoyed the event with his wife, Natalia, along with Marty and Carol Prellevitz, Meryl Johnson, Lovie Jones, Diane Steiner, Ed and Liz Rocha, Denny and Sandy Surrell, Kevin and Wendy Anderson, Steve Hall and Susan Colville.
Kayumi said funds raised would be used to purchase programming for Western Reserve PBS.