Fundraiser | Holly Ball dazzles

Slideshow photos: Maddie Malan

Carnival in Rio was the theme for the 45th Cancer League Holly Ball held Friday, November 30, 2018 at the Claremont Country Club. More than two-hundred people arrived in feathered headdresses, bright colored gowns and decorated masks, which were de rigueur for this festive event.

Cancer League President Lynne Hosler and Kelly Wiesbrock enjoy cocktail hour. (photo credit: M.Faust)

Holly Ball is the signature fundraising event to support the fight against cancer in the Bay Area. More than $250,000 was raised at this year’s event benefitting research-based programs for all kinds of cancer from pediatrics to prostate cancer.

Holly Ball Chair Cynthia Karasik with Beth Weisbrock (photo credit: M.Faust)

Lynne Hosler, Cancer League President, said, “It’s wonderful to see old friends and meet new friends at this event each year, knowing they are all here to support cancer research.”

Bringing a touch of Latin to this year’s gala was a natural for event chair Cynthia Bolton Karasik, who boasts Latin roots herself and brought Latino flair and style to the evening. Revelers were greeted by Amor do Samba, a troupe of provocatively dressed Carnival dancers, twisting and gyrating to an explosive drum performance.

Slideshow photos: Margaret Faust

The evening began with a lavish cocktail party featuring a specialty cocktail, “Caipirinha Rosa,” and diners were treated to a Brazilian-themed dinner, followed by a live auction.

Auction items included a rental apartment in New York City, a 45-bottle instant wine cellar with no wine valued less than $50, a Lake Tahoe House in Dollar Point, and a sports package that included court-side tickets to Warriors, prime seats to A’s Game, signed jerseys from Warriors, Steph Curry and A’s, Matt Chapman.

Margaret Faust

“The Grubb Company has been a supporter of the Holly Ball for 10 years. It’s a legendary event for us and we absolutely adore it. We are ready to eat, drink, and dance!”- Dj Grubb, President of The Grubb Company, with his wife, Audrey. (photo credit: M.Faust)

The featured raffle prize this year was a pair of diamond-cut, white-sapphire earrings, designed by Russell Trusso, and donated by Neiman Marcus, Walnut Creek.

After the live auction, Amor Do Samba reappeared to escort diners to the lounge area for more drinks and dancing, featuring The East Wind Band.

Karasik summed up the evening saying, “Once the auction was over, and everything had gone off without a hitch, I heaved a sigh of relief and could finally relax and enjoy the celebration. It was so fun to see everyone having a good time and embrace the essence of the party.”


Photos by Margaret Faust and Maddie Malan; top slide show by M.Malan and lower by M.Faust

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