Desserts, a sweet time at Joffrey family dinner

December 12, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Candace Jordan


The Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet presented its 16th annual Nutcracker Family Dinner on Dec.8 at the Standard Club. Five hundred and seventy-five guests enjoyed a matinee of Robert Joffrey's take on Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" at the Auditorium Theatre before being whisked to the club in festive trolleys for a family-friendly event.

Activity stations offered face painting, customized graffiti T-shirts, holiday manicures, and cookie and cupcake decorating; Allegro Dance Boutique provided ballet pointe shoes for kids to decorate; and The Great Frankini, Frank Glab, dazzled children with magic tricks.

Holiday decor by Kehoe Designs transformed the club with fanciful candy sculptures and Magnolia Bakery cupcakes on tabletops. Pierre Lockett, Joffrey's director of community engagement, welcomed guests to a dinner that began with dessert in a nod to the event's "Land of Sweets" theme. Lockett introduced Ballet Master Gerard Charles and acknowledged "Nutcracker" dancers Jeraldine Mendoza and Alberto Velazquez. Children from "The Nutcracker" cast engaged the audience in a singalong that featured the "Jingle Bells Thank You Song," a tradition at the event.

After dinner, DJ Brad Blumenthal and Energy Productions had the crowd on the dance floor, and games and contests were held throughout the evening.

Co-chaired by Laura Kofoid and Carol Stone, the event raised more than $140,000 for the Joffrey Ballet's productions as well as for its community engagement programs. "The world knows the Joffrey for its incredible artistry and skill, but we also know its heart whose mission is to bring the discipline, skill, magic and opportunity of dance to everyone regardless of income," Kofoid said.

Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.

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