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35th Annual Phoenix Ball receives rave reviews

Jared Felkins • Updated Jun 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The 35th anniversary of the Phoenix Ball transformed the Dallas Floyd Gymnasium into Havana Nights and featured a sellout crowd of 450 patrons who soaked up the south-of-the-border fare. 

The annual black-tie gala Saturday night to raise money for Cumberland University featured various rum drinks, cigars for the crowd, a Cuban-inspired menu and ended with about 450 patrons dancing the night away to past-and-present top hits from the 12 South Band. 

“Although final financial numbers are still being tabulated, we anticipate the Phoenix Ball, along with its silent and live auctions, will generate more than $100,000 in net revenue for student scholarships,” said Rusty Richardson, vice president of development.  

The evening started with the traditional pre-event cocktail party as guests arrived to find photo opportunities with both Cumberland photographer Al Ashworth and local media. Inside Memorial Hall, guests were treated to an open bar filled with rum drinks galore, as well as other traditional cocktails and Cuban-inspired heavy hors d’oeuvres. More than 90 silent auction items snaked through Memorial Hall and Baird Chapel for guests to admire and bid on digitally. 

A new addition to Saturday night’s Phoenix Ball, guests were given armbands sponsored by Parks Realty that changed colors to alert them to various transitions – from the start of dinner to the end of auctions – throughout the evening. 

As guests gathered in the gym to start the main event, they found banana-leaf place settings and tropical fruit centerpieces with a large Havana lit sign above the stage. Cumberland president Paul Stumb and his wife, Cristy, welcomed guests prior to remarks from Phoenix Ball committee chairs Chris and Lauren Smith. 

Wilson Bank & Trust president John McDearman led the invocation before guests dined on a five-course Cuban-inspired meal of shrimp asopao and grits, tiny white-bean soup, cucumber chili salad, Cuban vaca frita – shredded steak over black beans and rice served with plantains – and, of course, rum cake for dessert. 

As guests dined, auctioneer Ray Hubner led the live auction that featured a live painting that encompassed the Phoenix Ball by artist Talon Bell; a New Year’s Eve private party for 100 guests at Venue 142 in Lebanon; a gold-and-diamond pendant necklace with a 72-carat Madeira Citrine centerpiece created by Shawn Smith, owner of the Jewelers; and a Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 shotgun. 

See a full gallery of photos from the 35th annual Phoenix Ball

Richardson said the live and silent auctions added more than $43,000 to the funds raised at the Phoenix Ball

Following closing remarks from the Stumbs, guests hit the dance floor, jammed to tunes from the 12 South Band and enjoyed late-night snacks courtesy of Zaxby’s.

Phoenix sponsors included ESa, Re-Max Exceptional Properties Debbie Melvin, Chris and Lauren Smith, Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon and Wilson Bank & Trust. 

The auction sponsor was Compass Auctions and Real Estate and Fleming Homes. Lebanon Wine and Spirits sponsored the bourbon bar and cigar lounge and provided the rum, along with Papa’s Pilar. Tab Kirkland, Htk Wealth Management was the entertainment sponsor, and Eric and Deanna Purcell were the palm sponsor. Beauty Boutique served as photo booth sponsor. PFP was the rumba sponsor. Wilson County Chevrolet Buick, GMC, Hyundai and Genesis sponsored save rides home. Parks Realty was the 35th anniversary sponsor, Zaxby’s was the late-night sponsor and Charlie Brooks with State Farm Insurance was the valet parking sponsor. 

Table sponsors included ALT Property Services, CedarStone Bank, Casey Monette with Capital Real Estate, Chartwells, Cristy and Paul Stumb, the city of Lebanon, First Tennessee, Home Instead Senior Care, L4, Music City Logistics, Quality Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, Sodexo, Southern Bank, Stewart Knowles Construction and THW Insurance and Westfield Insurance.

The 2018 Phoenix Ball attendees were:

Joe and Kathy Adams, Joyce Alcorn, Kyle Allen, Bernie and Marcia Ash, Patricia Asp, Andrew Atwood and Ashley Peterson, Igor Babilov, Nikita Babilov, Curt and Joy Baker, Scott and Jean Ellen Baker, Chris Barkley, Kelly Bass and Todd Logan, Rick and Necole Bell, Jenny Bennett, Jared and Kelly Benson, Wes and Randi Binkley, Bob and Pam Black, Cheryl Bockstruck, Andy and Jen Boles, Matt and Katie Boles, Paine and Maria Bone, Mitchell Bone, Suanne Bone, W.P. Bone, Jon and Melynda Bounds, Rep. Clark Boyd and Jada Boyd, Damon and Kathryn Bradford, Jay and Joey Jane Bradshaw, Kurt and Jeni Brinkman, Charlie Brooks and Paige Covell, Jacob and Rachel Brooks, Wendell and Christy Brown, John and Kim Bryan, Adam Buckheister and Kaitlin Vaughn, Bonnie Bucy, Kaylee Cantrell, Julie Carr, Rob and Helene Cash, Cynthia Cereceres Bickell, Claire Chaffin and Christy Dedeluk, Jacirah Clay, Randall and Peggy Clemons, Al and Regina Cobb, George and Sarah Coleman, Mark and Hilary Combs, Andy and Allison Cox, Philip and Darlene Craighead, Zack and Melissa Craighead, Kevin Croteau and Pam Harper, Councilor Chris and Amanda Crowell, Dr. Eric Cummings, Dr. Chuck and Kathyrn Daley, Troy and Stephanie Davis, Andre and Katie de Araujo Jorge, Allie Decker, David and Rachel Deffendall, Caleb and Kalyn Dennis, Kevin and Melissa Ferguson Dilley, Zack Doak and Lindsey, Jeremy and Emily Donegan, Lisa Dunlop, Sid Durham, Monica Eads, Daniel and Megan Easterly, Bobby and Allison Eastland Sr., Bryan and Jamie Eastland, Bobby and Shanona Eastland Jr., Paxton Elrod, Chris and Amber Erhart, Penny Erhart, Mark and Jessica Fain, Derek and Angie Faulkner, Jared and Mary Felkins, Mary Margaret Ferris and Allen Vance, Jordan and Amber Fleming, Eric Slayton and Kristin Fleming , Kevin and Tammy Fletcher, Dr. Mark and Kimberly Fugate, Dr. Chris and Torri Fuller, Daniela Galassi, Staci Galentine, Donnie Gallagher, Joe and Shelley Gardner, Gladys Garrett, Sabrina Garrett, Chris and Elizabeth Geisenhoffer, Trey and Erin Geisenhoffer, Jeremy and Genesis Goodman, Bill and Cathey Gracey, Susanna Grapps, Joe and Doris Gray, Russ Neal and Christi Griffin, David and Lanah Hale, Mike and Lisa Harlow, Jason and Debra Harp, Scott and Kirstin Harris, Heather Harville, Scott and Sarah Haston, Sam and Teresa Hatcher, Darrel and Deb Hill, Jay and Catherine Hinesley, Christian Hirt, Bryce Holmes, Sung and Molly Hong, Bill Williams and Fran Howard, Larry Hubbard and Denise Boman, Ray and Stephanie Hubner, Scott and Patricia Hunt, Amber Hurdle, Brittany Hurdle, Mayor Randal and Paula Hutto, Brad and Tasha Irby, Ed and Susie James, Scott and Denise Jasper, Ashley Johnson, Justin and Abbie Jordan, Mike and Katie Justice, Ashley Kambeitz, Judge Brody and Angel Kane, Jeff Kean and Laurie Weidner, Jody and Missy Kelley, David and Sally Kimble, Brian and Samantha Kirby, Dr. Neil and Susan Kirshner, Paul and Brenda Klepser, Jessie and Jessica Klinger, Robert Knight and Adienne Pintile, Stewart and Madelyn Knowles, Greg and Heather Landers, Frank and Shelia Lannom, Lexi Laucirica, Laney and Nova Lawrence, Jimmy and Maggie Lea, Judy Lea, Bob and Lucy Lee, Drs. Dwayne and Donna Lett, Eddie and Brandi Lovin, J.D. and Suzanna Lowery, Jack Lowery and Dona McClellan, Dan and Terri Mack, Bruce Major, Maddie Major, Gretchen Mast, Tim and NeeCee McClure, John and Kathy McDearman, Bob and Susan McDonald, Shawn and Joy McMurry, Scott and Donna McRae, Mark and Janet Medlin, Chet and Debbie Melvin, Eston and Kimbel Mengelberg, Ben Metz and Matt Smith, Joclyne Miller, Mike and Judy Miller, Kellie Mires, Sam and Nicole Mitchell, Rhodes and Casey Monette, Paul and Cindy Monroe, Mike and Stephanie Morgan, Ryan and Melissa Morris, Michael and Katy Moscardelli, Charlie and Debbie Moss, Jud and Bevin Nave, Dr. Paul and Elaine Nawiesniak, Taylor Nay, Bobby Nellums and Michael Limm White, Dr. James Newman and Paxton Elrod, John Newman and Jessica Susong, Randy and Lisa Newman, Bill Noffsinger, Lee and Jen Oliver, Derrick and Angel O’Neal, Candee Partee, Jana Pastors, Mark and Deborah Patton, Mason Pavan and Halle Raines, Chad and Jodi Pennington, Austin Peterson and Samantha Whitehead, Jeff and Shelley Peterson, Josh and Julie Phillips, Cary and Dr. Sarah Pierce, Matt and Betsy Pierucki, Sen. Mark Pody, Jeff and Amanda Poling, John and Traci Pope, Bill and Ann Porth, Jennifer Porth, Larry and Kristine Powell, Daryl and Jennifer Price, William and Rochelle Price, Eric and Deanna Purcell, Troy and Beth Putman, Gina Putman, Halle Raines, Lyndsey Raun, Jim and Lisa Reddick, Rusty and Kathy Richardson, Dustin and Jeri Ann Roberson, Tom and Kathleen Really Rollick, Daniel and Gina Roszkowski, Michael and Lea Rowe, Chris and Bethany Russell, Randy and Bonnie Ryan, Matt Sanders, Patricia Santilli, Heather Schmitt, Jake and Jenna Schultz, James and Judy Seckle, Jason and Marcie Selby, John Michael and Brittany Sewell, Joe and Tamrya Shade, Rebecca Shipp, Brooklyn Short, Stewart Shunk and Teresa Barton, Michael and Amanda Smith, Chris and Lauren Smith, Jennifer Smith, Shawn and Lindsay Smith, Michael Smith, Samuel Sort, Micah Spiers, Ryan and Karah Sprouse, Andy and Heather Stafford, Leslie Steele, Ryan and Krissa Stephens, Julia Stewart, Wanda Stewart, Sonny and Elysia Stover, Catherine Straube, Mark and Kathy Streets, Drs. Paul and Cristy Stumb, Ken and Cathey Sweeney, Tom and Megan Swink, Eric Thompson, Price and Sarah Thompson, Shane and Lisa Thorne, Mike and Trish Thornhill, Carlos Tirado, Adam and Lori Tomlinson, Charity Toombs, Jimmy and Lisa Tramel, Angelika Vee, Courtney Vick, James Vick, Bill and Caroline Walker, Marcella Wallace, Kersh and Judy Walters, Richard and Margaret Watson, Dayle Weslosky, Gary and Tammye Whitaker, Jay White, Payden and Kate White, Richard and Kim Whitener, Derek and Amber Wilson, Joey and Wanda Wilson, Jennifer Woodcock, Judge John and Melissa Wootten and Matthew and Sonya Wright.

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