By Wicker Van Orsdel
Last Friday, Capital Square was a jean-pool of glitz for the annual dazzling-denim benefit for Oakridge Neighborhood in Des Moines. This year’s honoree was Variety—The Children’s Charity. Guests showed up in their favorite jeans and jewels to enjoy great live jazz performed by the Jazz Disciples of Kansas City. They were so hot and played great music! There was a lot of understated bling going on (I’m glad I chose not to wear my tiara, as that would have been a bit ṻber-bedazzle for this crowd), but Liz Sharp was hands-down the most flashy of all!
The three ladies who were at the center of all the event planning were Oakridge Board President Becky Miles-Polka, Oakridge CEO Teree Caldwell-Johnson, and Erin Reynolds-White. The decorative drapings were at their billowy best thanks to Tracy Fuller and InnovativEvents. Clever Rosalie Gallagher also persuaded Rieman Music to donate all sorts of musical instruments to use as innovative centerpieces. Who needs flowers when you can blow a horn?
The guests sipped on wine or cocktails and savored sliders and cheese courtesy of Big City Burger. (It wasn’t a lot of food, but I couldn’t squeeze any more into my outfit.) There was plenty of bidding on the silent auction for stunning jewelry contributed exclusively for this event from the collections of many generous Des Moines donors. There were some beautiful pieces. (Tip: Bring a bunch of money.) That shy Stan Reynolds was emcee for the evening, and he gave the live auction a nice liftoff. There were some great packages, such as vacation destinations, local dinners, wine-tasting parties, and Rolex watches. One of the most coveted items was the Iowa-Iowa State football tickets, complete with bus and tailgate package. It went for big bucks. (I’m rethinking the tiara now.)
Until this event, I really did not know much about all the services Oakridge Neighborhood provides and the monumental difference they have made in our community. They have done an amazing job creating a wide range of programs and social services, such as helping young children gain early learning skills, school-age children succeed in the public school system, young adults prepare for the world of work, new immigrants assimilate into American culture and seniors to live in dignity and financial security. Now that’s worth our support!
Check out my photos to the right and click on the below link for more!