Our fair city benefits greatly from the collective altruistic efforts of the many volunteers who give back to this community every year. We’re so grateful to everyone who shares their time and talents charitably. From all of us at StyleBlueprint, we say thank you.
We have long enjoyed highlighting the variety of ways Nashvillians give back, and today, as we enjoy the afterglow of the 50th anniversary of the Swan Ball, with proceeds benefiting Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, we raise our glasses and say thanks to the scores of volunteers who’ve chaired or served on committees for this event or any of Nashville’s other parties, balls and galas.
We know it’s not all Chardonnay and cheese straws to pull one of these grand affairs off. And lest you roll your eyes at all of Nashville’s white and black tie soirees, these events are brought together with serious work predominantly on the backs of women who, time and time again, show the ability to manage a project and raise serious cash for the Nashville community. Through these events, Nashville as a whole is enriched with cultural exhibits and a thriving arts community.
Long considered considered the belle of all balls in Nashville, the Swan Ball is the gold standard for formal events in town. This past weekend’s 50th anniversary, complete with Aretha Franklin as the headliner, was the culmination of a long planning process and a tremendous amount of work leading up to the gala evening. Have you ever wondered how many months of planning such an event takes? How many parties lead up to the actual gala? How many committee meetings are needed and how many emails are exchanged? We did, and we have answers that might surprise you.
Answers from 2012 co-chairs Jacqueline Hutton and Sandra Lipman:
How many combined hours would you say the chairs put in?
We put in a combined 8- 10,000 hours, but that may be an underestimate.
How many emails were sent between each of you about the Swan Ball over the past year?
We estimate about 20,000.
How many phone calls?
At least 5,000. (Jacqueline says this with a wink, noting that Sandra handled the bulk of the emails and phone calls!)
How many meetings attended?
How many months did it take to plan?
It took a solid 16 months to plan this year’s Swan Ball. Next year’s chairs, Julie Walker and Amy Colton, have been working for a couple of months on next year’s ball already.
How many other parties that fall under the Swan Ball umbrella took place before the big event?
So, fifteen additional parties to plan and find outfits and be photograph-ready for?
Thank you Sandra and Jacqueline!
As a StyleBlueprint aside, although we don’t have an exact figure to share regarding the amount of money the Swan Ball nets for Cheekwood, unconfirmed reports place that figure around a million dollars, which we understand to be roughly 10 – 15% of Cheekwood’s annual budget. All this to say, please go to Cheekwood, buy a family membership and enjoy this beautiful treasure we have. Each dollar that comes in the door matters. For ways to enjoy Cheekwood, click here.
And now, here’s a look at the Swan Ball through the years and some of the volunteers who have made this event possible.
The following photos and captions are from The Banner, a now defunct local newspaper.
Photo’s of this year’s Swan Ball volunteers taken behind the scenes (all photos by Nan Evans).
Here is a look at this year’s party, which allows you to really soak in the fun that was had by all:
Thank you to all who make grand events like this happen time and time again in Nashville. A lot of work, a lot of fun, and a lot of good things for our community. Cheers!
For more photos of this year’s Swan Ball, see Nashville Fashion Events: click here.
For coverage in the Tennessean, click here.