With the arrival of the new year comes news from all types. Unfortunately, the first is the cancellation of an event that raises a heck of a lot of money.
Late last year Dallas Symphony Orchestra League President Anne Ligon and DSOL’s 2021 Presentation Ball Chair Mari Epperson announced that the formal presentation ball at the Meyerson on Saturday, February 13, would be postponed until Saturday, June 12.
It was a hard decision, but they had already soldiered through the year of canceling events leading up to the big fundraiser. They probably realized that the COVID-19 restrictions would still be firmly in place. And besides, the presentation of debutantes in white ball gowns and escorts in white tie and tails wouldn’t quite look right wearing masks … even designer masks.
According to Anne, “The Presentation Ball, which was first held in 1987, is the largest fundraiser for the DSOL, and we look forward to continuing to raise critical funds for essential programs for the DSO [Dallas Symphony Orchestra].”
But over the holidays, word was making the rounds that even the June date wasn’t all that viable. An even harder decision was just officially announced that “the 2021 Ball had to be cancelled.”
According to Mari, “The decision was not made lightly. Initially, the date was changed from the historical February date to June 12, 2021, as we hoped the pandemic would be under control and this memorable event could still be held with a few modifications. The DSO staff, DSO League leadership and the Ball Advisory Committee gathered to assess the situation and we were disappointed to reach this difficult conclusion… feeling that for the health and safety of our Debutantes, the Honor Guard, guests, staff, musicians and numerous vendors, it was best to not proceed with the 2021 Presentation Ball.”
However, there is good news arising from this decision. Mari reported that “all 2021 Debutantes (Nora Arnold, Audrey Hanna, London Boscamp, Abigail Brannon, Eliza Davis, Katherine Edwards, Virginia Fielder, Sophie Hung, Ashley Isenberg, Madigan Jacoby, Jessica Katzman, Claire Koonsman, Brett Landin, Story Langston, McKinley Lawson, Elizabeth Mocek, Kaitlin Murray, Abbey Perry, Rachel Pope, Mary Tarver Reid, Isabella Scott, Abby Stanford, Tory Wicklund, Annie Saustad, Annie Sawers, Ella Varel and Kelsey Wittmann) have been invited to participate in the 2022 Presentation Ball.”
That way the Debs and their families that had already signed up will be able to enjoy the full menu of activities.
Another earlier planned part of the 2021 Ball had been to be the honoring of Ball Founder/First Chair Tincy Miller, First Co-Chair Sharon McCullough and Barbara Averitt, “who have all worked with the Ball from the inception.”
Mari explained, “The vision and hard work of these ladies have made the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball a time-honored tradition that has touched thousands of lives and raised over $12 million for the Dallas Symphony’s Education and Outreach programs. Although the DSOL will not be able to honor these outstanding women on stage this year, we would like to recognize their leadership, vision and love for the arts community in Dallas – especially the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.”
So long story made short: The 35th Annual Presentation Ball originally scheduled for 2021 will take place inn 2022 due to the challenges presented by COVID-19.
* Photo credit: Gittings