It was a night for making memories as 600 people gathered at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron for the 116th Charity Ball on Friday evening.

“This is a wonderful family event to celebrate volunteerism and Akron Children’s Hospital,” said Bill Considine, CEO emeritus, as he joined his wife, Becky, and Grace Wakulchik, president and CEO, her daughter, Caroline, and Chairman Amy Bowers and her husband, Brad, in welcoming guests.

The evening began with a reception in the foyer of E.J. Thomas Hall where guests enjoyed cocktails and conversation. Heather Vereecken and her daughter, Heidi, liked the Asian buffet. “She just loves sushi,” Heather explained, as they enjoyed the buffet served by A Taste of Elegance.

Susan and Bob Berk and Kathy Reed looked over photos of the history of the Charity Ball. The ball began in 1895 and quickly became an Akron tradition. In the past 68 years, 2,699 young ladies and their families have participated in the event.

William Marchetta kept busy photographing his extended family. Vivian Schmitz said she and her daughter, Katie, drove in from Rochester, New York, for Amanda Marchetta’s debut, while her father, Herb Schmitz, came from Potomac, Maryland.

Laine Vereecken and her son, Vince, and daughter, Izzi, came for cousin Amy Lane’s debut. Gavin and Colin Butler looked spiffy in tuxedos as they joined their uncle Kurt Butler at the event.

Spotted in the crowd were Mary Briggs, Marian Calvin, Bill Silver, Fran Buchholzer, Jim Simon, Anthony and Cathy DeLuca, Frank Kousaie, Dr. Larry Cervino, Dr. Ernie and Bonnie Estep, Shawn and Amy Lyden, and John and Bonnie Childs, who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Before a backdrop of twinkling white stars, Board Chairman John Orr introduced 34 lovely young ladies in white gowns and their presenters.

The debutantes were chosen for their families’ participation in volunteerism in the Akron community. However, the debs also participated in their own Linus volunteer project, making blankets for children who are patients at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Following the presentation, guests enjoyed dinner and dancing to the music of Special Request.