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Decked Out Guests at 1999-Themed Mayor’s Charity Ball Support West Hartford Charities

Michael Cantor and Mayor Shari Cantor. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Guests dined and danced under the ‘Grande Tent’ at the 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball at West Hartford Town Hall Saturday night as they generously supported several local nonprofits.

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor (center) with emcees Dennis House and Kara Sudlun. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The crowd partied like it was 1999 in West Hartford Saturday night, but donated like it was 2019, as about 250 guests attended the 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, presided over by Mayor Shari Cantor.

West Hartford’s signature fundraiser was originally scheduled for May but postponed to a September date due to unforeseen conflicts among committee members and potential guests as well as an unfavorable weather forecast, and attendees embraced the new date and showed up in force on a beautiful September evening for the first event of the gala season.

Guests – most in black tie but some in 1990s attire – began the evening by walking down the “red carpet” into Town Hall. The first stop was a reception in the auditorium where they sipped cocktails, sampled hors d’oeuvres based on themes from DORO’s restaurants, and bid on silent auction items.

At 8 p.m., guests moved into the “Grande Tent” where they were entertained with live music by Locomotion and performances by Jonny Cortes and the cast of Mama D’s Outrageous Romp, under the direction of Playhouse co-founder and co-artistic director, Darlene Zoller.

Mayor Shari Cantor thanked the guests for attending, as did representatives of the nonprofit beneficiaries – Suzanne Oslander from The Town That Cares Fund and Tracy Flater from Playhouse on Park.

Guests enjoyed a fabulous dinner of hand-harvested local organic greens, barrel-cut filet mignon and roasted sea bass, potato gratin, ginger glazed carrot and asparagus, and DORO chocolate terrine with chocolate crunch and seasonal berries, prepared by DORO Catering.

WFSB anchors Dennis House and Kara Sundlun served as emcees and Gary Katz handled the auctioneering duty as guests bid on lavish vacations in Africa, Mexico, and Vermont, a tasting for 10 at Zohara, a VIP experience at the Yard Goats, a catered backyard dinner, and a stop/time Dance Theater experience at Playhouse on Park.

Many guests participated in the “raise the paddle” auction, pledging funds to support the nonprofits. Funds raised will specifically benefit the West Hartford Food Pantry and Playhouse on Park’s Literature Alive program.

Before the evening ended, guests crowded the dance floor for several sets of energetic music by Locomotion.

Proceeds from Saturday’s fundraiser were not yet tabulated, but over the past two decades the Mayor’s Charity Ball has raised well over $1 million for local nonprofits.

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20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Emcees Dennis House and Kara Sundlun. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Emcees Dennis House and Kara Sundlun. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Suzanne Oslander from the Town That Cares Fund. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tracy Flater from Playhouse on Park. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Playhouse on Park co-founder and co-creative director Darlene Zoller. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Mayor Shari Cantor and her mom, Rose Granow. 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, Sept. 7, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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