Monday, July 21, 2008

‘Best charity event’ lives up to title


Hundreds of young professionals, leading philanthropists and community leaders got black and blue for a good cause yesterday evening during the 16th Annual Black and Blue Ball, a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

More than 1,000 people partied down during the “black tie to blue jeans” event in the plaza of Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort, sampling food from local restaurants, bidding on auction items and hitting the dance floor to the funky sounds of The Family Stone Project.
Organizers hoped to raise upwards of $100,000 for the MDA yesterday evening during what has been voted “best charity event” nine years running in the Santa Barbara Independent Reader’s Poll.
“All the money stays in our community,” said Steve Golis, chairman of the Black and Blue Ball committee. “It doesn’t go anywhere else.”
Funds raised at the event will help purchase wheelchairs and leg braces, support free clinics and family support groups, and assist with research.
The local chapter of MDA will also hold summer camps for kids aged 6 to 21 afflicted by muscular dystrophy, a group of hereditary, muscle-destroying disorders. In 2006, MDA sponsored 89 camps nationwide for more than 4,200 campers.
Auction items up for grabs included a headshot photography session, two nights at the Canary Hotel with meals at the Wine Cask and Quantum Kitchen, and a ukulele signed by Jack Johnson.
Local bands Pryor Baird & the Deacons and Tequila Mockingbird opened for The Family Stone Project. Between the two opening acts, organizers released a flock of white doves, which rose from the plaza toward the shoreline in the fading sunlight.

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