Fire and ice theme adds sparkle to Phoenix Ball

Bonnie Bucy • Updated Jun 6, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The 34th Phoenix Ball on Saturday to benefit Cumberland University has come and gone, leaving memories of flickering flames, sparkling snowflakes and wonderful fun.

The entire interior of the Dallas Floyd Gymnasium on the Cumberland campus was wrapped in shimmering white fabric while icy blue lights reflected off it. High above in the center of the room, a snow-making machine blew a shower of artificial flakes every few minutes that glittered in the lights as they softly fluttered to the floor below.

See a full gallery of Phoenix Ball photos.

Tables accommodating 10 guests each sat ready to handle the 404 attendees. Centering each was a tall branch that sprouted several smaller limbs. These were painted a glistening white, hung with crystals and rhinestones representing ice cycles and “planted” in a tall cylinder covered in sparkly paper. The linens were silver as were the trays under each plate, and the dozens of pieces of silverware.  Between all that and several crystal glasses at each place setting, the lights couldn’t help but reflect, making everything seem to come alive.

The parade of the guests began at Baird Chapel where a bar was set up, hors d’oeuvres passed around and silent auction items made available for bidding. The party convened for dinner in the gym at 7:30 p.m. There followed a welcome and remarks by Cumberland president Paul Stumb. Stumb then introduced the Phoenix Ball committee chairs, and Scott Lawrence, former alumni board president, gave the invocation. 

The five-course dinner opened with firecracker shrimp with watermelon salsa. The second course consisted of fried-green tomatoes with creamy sriracha sauce. A roasted beet salad made up the third course. The main course was presented, featuring a fork-tender filet mignon with bacon cream sauce, sweet potato au gratin and roasted asparagus. Dessert included white chocolate cinnamon mousse with fresh berries on the side.

Following dinner, Stumb introduced Jackie and Chuck Cowden who will play host to the 2017 Patrons’ Party, “Fire & Ice in Paradise,” on June 23. He then introduced Ray Hubner with Compass Auctions and Real Estate who handled the live auction.

Music and dancing by the Downtown Band followed closing remarks from Stumb. The band was in full swing.

Please watch the Living section in Saturday’s Lebanon Democrat for further coverage and details on the beautiful gowns, the unique items available at auction, who was there and what they had to say. 


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