I was quite chuffed with how my make up turned out for the evening, and the guests were photographed as they arrived so I can’t wait to get that picture too!
The annual ball, which took place in the donated space of Montecasino‘s ballroom for the 8th year in a row, is one the biggest fundraisers for the association as well as one of the country’s premier charity events.
By popular demand, and due to her incredible passion for the cause, Ashley Hayden was once again the patron for the ball, and several artists performed throughout the night including two of the Goliath and Goliath comedians and Guide Dog Owner DJ Darkness with his Guide Dog Dolce standing patiently behind him, occasionally wagging his tail in time to the music!
As an added bonus, you can listen to his set from the ball on SoundCloud!
The hall looked amazing, it was like stepping into luxury.
The tables were arranged with the stage in the centre, so no-one felt like they were sitting in the back and everyone could see the performers and the screens along the walls. The performers had a bit of a challenge though – having to turn around during their presentations to be able to see everyone. Rich red and gold centre pieces, hanging chandeliers, masses of flowers and gilt edged plates transported the guests far away from their every day lives and spoilt them with incredible food and entertainment.
The starter was a smoked salmon and mascarpone gateaux with trout caviar and a black olive crostini, the main course was a rolled lamb loin with red pepper and pine nuts and a mignon of grilled beef with dauphinoise potatoes and caramelised butternut. And the dessert buffet…
My mouth is watering just thinking about the incredible meal we had!
Early in the evening the now traditional auction began – this year with a non-traditional twist.
The donated auction lots were things like a night at the Palazzo Hotel, an oil painting on canvas by Guide Dogs’ own Gail Glover, wine from Moreson’s Mss Molly range, furniture and jewellery and each guest was given a plastic card (like a credit card) with their name on it. There were several Lumi Bidding Handsets on each table and the bidding was done electronically and quietly, with the handset alerting you if someone outbid you, and the items with their newest bids were displayed on a big screen.
It was fantastic! It allowed far more time for entertainment and mingling and it was less intimidating than an auctioneer asking for bids.
And then there were puppies!
Finalists from the Miss Earth SA Pageant walked around the hall with the Golden Retriever puppies from the GDA’s “B” litter, collecting pledges for donations and sponsorships from the guests. Bryanston Veterinary Hospital donated R40K, Supa Quik gave R80K, and Montecasino pledged a whopping R150K!
I’m sure I’ve made you green with envy, so be sure not to miss next year’s ball!