|Blue Jean Ball Raises $260,000 to End Hunger|
BALTIMORE — The chips have been counted and it’s official – the Maryland Food Bank’s vintage Vegas themed Blue Jean Ball was a smash success, netting more than $260,000 for hunger relief efforts. “It was our best Ball yet,” said Maryland Food Bank CEO, Deborah Flateman. “Thanks to sponsors like CSX, the Baltimore Sun and many others, we raised more funds than ever before and truly ignited the movement to end hunger in our state.”
The evening began at 7:00 p.m. as guests were greeted by glamorous showgirls and ushered into the Maryland Food Bank’s 93,000-square-foot warehouse – transformed for one night only into the swingin’ Copa Room at the Sands Hotel. More than 600 guests sipped on Manhattans and martinis, while feasting on supper club-style tapas provided by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. The spirits of Frank, Dino and Sammy were definitely in the air as guests danced to local big band Shades of Blue and enjoyed a Rat Pack lounge act. Shades of Blue was later joined for an impromptu performance of “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” by Maryland Food Bank CEO and accomplished jazz vocalist, Deborah Flateman. The performance brought many guests to their feet and prompted cries of “Encore!”
Between spins on the dancefloor, guests bid on 71 silent auction packages which included among others, passage for two on a Carrnival cruise to Turks & Caicos, VIP tickets to a Ravens practice session, and a diamond and ruby pendant from Nelson Coleman Jewelers. The big prize in the live auction was a once-in-a-lifetime luxury safari in Africa, with guides from the African Wildlife Foundation. The raffle, silent, and live auctions alone netted more than $72,000.
The evening would not have been complete without some late night gaming. The showgirls were on hand again to distribute funny money and candy cigars to the high rollers. Guests tried their luck at blackjack, poker, and roulette. The evening concluded at 11:30 p.m. with the last of the revelers forming a kickline on the dance floor as Shades of Blue belted out the Sinatra hit “New York, New York.”
The Blue Jean Ball’s success is welcome news for the Maryland Food Bank, which has seen its distribution double over the past few years, reaching an all-time high of 23.1 million pounds of food distributed to 600 soup kitchens, pantries and shelters last year. “We’ve unfortunately seen more and more middle class families struggling to make ends meet,” said Maryland Food Bank CEO Deborah Flateman. “The Blue Jean Ball is a great opportunity to put the issue of hunger front and center where it belongs.”
About the Maryland Food Bank
The Maryland Food Bank’s mission is to lead the movement and nurture the belief that together we can improve the lives of Marylanders by ending hunger. The Maryland Food Bank has facilities in Baltimore, Salisbury, and Hagerstown comprising more than 125,000-square-feet of warehouse, refrigerator, and freezer space. Last year, the Maryland Food Bank distributed more than 23 million pounds of food to a network of 600 soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters across the state.