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Gala Guests ‘Show Their Colors’ for Bridge Family Center on Snowy Night

From left: Cathy Woods, Martin Woods, Laura Giannone. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Snow did not prevent generous patrons from celebrating – and donating – in style at The Bridge Family Center’s 17th Annual Children’s Charity Ball.

From left: Tracey Wilson, Paula Stabnick, Sheila Litchfield. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Tracey Wilson, Paula Stabnick, Sheila Litchfield. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

Snow may have dampened the hemlines of ball gowns and tuxedo trousers but did nothing to dampen the spirit or generosity of those who attended The Bridge Family Center’s signature Children’s Charity Ball Saturday night, Jan. 23, 2016, at the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford.

All 365 tickets to the event were sold out in advance, and according to The Bridge’s Director of Community Services and Communications Judy Bierly, there were very few no-shows.

Attendees, who included West Hartford community and business leaders, enjoyed the always-elegant black tie gala in a space decked out in luxurious peacock-inspired colors of teal, bright green, and rich blues that provided a stark contrast to the winter wonderland of falling snow just outside. The theme of this year’s event was “Show Your True Colors,” based on the beauty and confidence of the peacock to spread its tail feathers and shine.

The event included a cocktail reception, sit-down dinner, live and silent auctions, and dancing to the live music of the Timmy Maia Band.

“It was a beautiful evening. Our theme, ‘Show Your True Colors,’ was carried through with our peacock decorations. The snow seemed to add an element of excitement. There was a very happy, positive atmosphere throughout the night,” said Bierly.

The live auction featured a stellar array of offerings, including impossible-to-get tickets to the acclaimed Broadway show “Hamilton” paired with an overnight stay at the brand new Hotel Indigo Lower East Side which sold for $3,400. A second pair of tickets without the hotel stay sold for $2,000. A home-cooked meal for 10 by celebrity chef Billy Grant sold for $3,200. A diamond necklace donated by Monarch Jewelers sold for $2,300.

Other live auction items included two tickets to the final day of The Masters, tickets to the opening day at Fenway Park, and a week in a private residence in Valros, France. Bierly said that the live auction raised approximately $30,000.

The “Changing Lives Challenge,” which was preceded by a video about four of the Bridge’s clients, raised at least $50,000 in pledges, Bierly estimated.

A final tally from this year’s event is not yet available, but last year’s gala raised more than $240,000 to support The Bridge Family Center’s work in the community. Bierly believes that the 2016 fundraiser surpassed that amount.

WFSB’s Scot Haney returned as emcee and auctioneer, and Matt Winter and Jane Lehman, Allstate Insurance Company, returned as Honorary Chairs for the 2016 Children’s Charity Ball. Matt is the president of The Allstate Corporation and chief executive officer of the Allstate Life Insurance Company. Jane is on the Bridge Board of Directors.

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Kara and Sean Flanagan. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Kara and Sean Flanagan. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Martin and Cathy Woods arrive. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Martin and Cathy Woods arrive. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Many guests arrived in snow boots and changed into their fancy shoes. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Many guests arrived in snow boots and changed into their fancy shoes. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Cathy Woods, Martin Woods, Laura Giannone. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Cathy Woods, Martin Woods, Laura Giannone. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Checking out the basket raffle. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Checking out the basket raffle. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The photographer ends up on the other side of the camera, at the insistence of several guests. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Sean Flanagan

The photographer ends up on the other side of the camera, at the insistence of several guests. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Sean Flanagan

Nancy and Bob Kennedy. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Nancy and Bob Kennedy. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Mark and Beth Ryan. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Mark and Beth Ryan. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Baskets for the basket raffle all had peacock-themed names like 'Strut Your Stuff.' 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Baskets for the basket raffle all had peacock-themed names like ‘Strut Your Stuff.’ 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

SIlent auction. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

SIlent auction. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tom and Denise Hall. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tom and Denise Hall. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Dee Newton and Liz Wilcox. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Dee Newton and Liz Wilcox. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Public Schools administrators. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Public Schools administrators. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Susan Healey and Nancy Coursey. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Susan Healey and Nancy Coursey. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Silent auction. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Silent auction. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Many guests came dressed in boots due to the snowstorm. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Many guests came dressed in boots due to the snowstorm. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tom and Shevon Hickey. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tom and Shevon Hickey. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Sue and Kevin Kickery. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Hickey

Sue and Kevin Kickery. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Hickey

17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Hickey

17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Hickey

Scot Haney auctions off a diamond necklace donated by Monarch Jewelers for $2,300. 17th annual Children's Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Hickey

Scot Haney auctions off a diamond necklace donated by Monarch Jewelers for $2,300. 17th annual Children’s Charity Ball, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Hickey

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