Paris Comes to DeSales for Spring

By Lauren Post
The Minstrel

Alumni, faculty, staff and donors attended the annual Dinner Dance took place Sat. Mar. 21 in Billera Hall at DeSales University. Photo provided by Brandy Barbera.
DeSales University hosts several events each year for the generous benefactors of the school. The largest of these events is the annual Dinner Dance, which was held Saturday, March 21.

This year’s Dinner Dance invited its attendants to cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet dinner, and a night of dancing in Billera Hall’s large gym, which was transformed to reflect the “elegance and romance of Paris in the 1950s.” The event was entitled “Paris in the Springtime … C’est Si Bon!”

All funds for this event are given each year to the DeSales financial aid program so that the money can be given to deserving students the following year. To this date, the annual Dinner Dance has raised over $2 million for scholarships and financial aid.

With over 700 guests in attendance, Brooke Schiavone, the executive director of annual giving at DeSales University, remarks, “The 2009 Dinner Dance was a huge success!”

While many faculty members, DeSales alumni, and community supporters attended the Dinner Dance, there were also many prominent figures present that evening, including local politicians and well known philanthropists in the Lehigh Valley.

Each year, the Dinner Dance honors gold, silver and bronze sponsors who are the leading sponsors for the event. Schiavone said, “Their donations, along with many others, help to make this event a success year after year.”

This year’s gold sponsors were Dick and Penny Spugnardi of the Diversified Lighting Association in Allentown. Mr. and Mrs. John Leone, along with Wachovia Bank, were the silver sponsors. Bob Schermerhorn, the Entertainment Services and Phoebe Floral Shop were the bronze sponsors of this year.

With the downturn of the economy this past year, many individuals would expect a decrease in the number of guests and donations given through the Dinner Dance. Schiavone remarks, “We have been blessed with renewed supporters and some new supporters this year who have helped our fundraising efforts.”

Donors in attendance at the event seemed very pleased. One member of the DeSales University Board of Trustees in attendance at the event said, “[The Dinner Dance] is a lot of fun and it’s for an outstanding cause.” Many other guests in attendance echoed this same response.

Several individuals put a massive amount of work into putting this incredible evening together. Diane Moeser, the director of special events at DeSales, planned and coordinated the entire event. Howard Yeakel of Phoebe Floral Shop, designed all of the floral arrangements. Will Neuert, associate professor of theatre at DeSales, designed the layout and decorations for the event, with the assistance of Jenna Snyder, a current student at DeSales.

Current students at DeSales also assisted with the event in many ways. Some students assisted in welcoming guests to “Paris” a la Billera Hall, while others took photos of the event, and even others performed a can-can number to set the tone for the evening.

Cat Adduci, sophomore dance major and performer at the event, recalls: “I was so surprised with how elegant the entire evening was. It was the perfect mix between a sophisticated, high class event and an enjoyable dance where different people could get together and just have fun.”

The evening’s dinner featured “La Salade Verte”—a French endive and chicory salad with Moutarde vinaigrette, a grilled filet au poivre and a crab stuffed sole with lemon caper beurre blane accompanied by piped herb duchess potato and haricots verts with caramelized onion for dinner, and crème brulee cheescake for dessert.

After dinner, guests danced the night away to Rich Posmontier Music, the music entertainment for the evening.

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