Nostalgia played an important role at the Akron Children’s Hospital Women’s Board 110th Charity Ball, held at Goodyear Hall on Friday evening.
Bill Considine, president and CEO of the hospital, said it was a bittersweet evening, since after 38 years this was the last time the ball would take place at Goodyear Hall. Next year the Charity Ball will move to E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall.
“We have 38 years of wonderful memories of the celebrations here,” he said, looking over a crowd of 900 beautifully attired guests. “This is also special for my family, since my niece and godchild, Colleen Considine, is being presented,” he said. “Colleen is the youngest daughter of my brother Tom and his wife, Susan.”
Connie Nolte chaired the event, assisted by co-chairs Mary Briggs and Cyndy Myer. Guests took a walk down memory lane where debutantes’ ball gowns from previous cotillions were on display. Harriet Chapman said her gown brought back memories of her debut, when her brother kept her laughing to ease her nervousness.
Joyce Hamaker, Retta Billow and her granddaughter Katie Long liked the timeline that told stories of past events in photos. Linda Aulino was grateful so many people lent photos and ball gowns for the exhibit, which tied together the Charity Ball, the city of Akron and Goodyear.
Guests mingled over cocktails and an hors d’oeuvres buffet as they awaited the presentation. John Jesser recalled being an escort at his first Charity Ball 30 years ago, as he waited to present his niece, Nicole Jesser.
Larry and Nancy Hoover came from Canton to see their granddaughter Bergen Schmetzer presented. “After raising four boys, this event is special for me,” Nancy said.
Before the debutante presentation, Considine presented a collage to Richard Kramer, president and CEO of Goodyear, in thanks for 38 years of support for the ball. “Goodyear is proud to be part of this Akron tradition, which supports Children’s Hospital, a treasure of our community,” said Kramer. He added his thanks to the volunteers who put together the evening full of memories.
Eric Fankhauser introduced his cousin Sheila Brennan, who came from Santa Barbara, Calif., for the event where he presented his godchild Ann Brennan. Donna Bender recalled her daughter Tracy’s debut when she almost forgot her mother, Hazel Hoffman, in all of the excitement.
Richard R. Grigg introduced 41 lovely debutantes as they appeared before a backdrop of the Birch Tree Allee at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. After the grand march, all former debutantes were invited to join in the debutantes’ dance. Gary and Susan Weiss and Donald and Barbara Dieterich were spotted enjoying the dance.
Behind the scenes, Michael Strah and his staff from Sammy’s prepared grilled beef tenderloin and chicken stuffed with pears and sage on large outdoor grills. Following dinner, guests enjoyed dancing to music by the Rick Purcell Band.