Shelby's Social Diary
Rockin' down the highway with Cattle Baron's and Rodney Atkins
Who knew that country singer Rodney Atkins was such a cutie heartthrob? Just ask the 1,500 dress-up cowboys and cowgirls who filled the George Ranch Saturday night for the American Cancer Society's annual Cattle Baron's Ball.
After mingling with VIPs at the sunset pre-party, held under the oaks on the ranch out Richmond way, Atkins prepared for his rocking set that had the dance floor packed. No cowboy hat for this Tennessee boy. Atkins wore a baseball cap throughout the night, even when he got down to signing autographs for the ladies that were clearly swooning over his wholesome good looks and his feel-good lyrics.
He left the stage to mingle on the dance floor, pose for photos and sign autographs. The ladies offered up their boots and even body parts for the "RA" signature.
It was a great night for Nancy Ebanks and Shary Heins, who chaired the annual benefit put on by Victory, a volunteer arm of the American Cancer Society. They raked in $400,000 from the live auction and enough greenbacks from underwriters and donors to chalk up more than $1.7 million in gross revenues. In fact, Victory had $1 million committed before the invitations were mailed.
This wild and woolly party night is basically the same each year — pig races, casino gambling, Big Board auction action, the live auction and a bounty of irresistible eats. The theme is what sets one apart from the next. This year's theme, "Get Your Kicks on Route 66," took an updated turn away from the more traditional Wild West ambience. That would explain the giant Betty Boop statue greeting guests and the costumed Betty Boop and '50s-style pinup girls trolling the party scene.
Pappas Catering provided everything from quesadillas to carving stations to bars offering seafood-filled avocados to stands for mini-milk shakes in four flavors. Embracing the "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" theme, Pappas set up its various food stations in the front ends of vintage cars. The folks are still raving about the fab food and clever setup.
Linda and Jerry Fields (J.D. Fields & Co.) and Allie and Jay Fields continued the family tradition of providing mega support to Cattle Baron's. Joining the family affair were Greggory Fields Burk and Pat Burk.
Among the many contributing to the night's success were Victory president Susie Bender, ball advisors Laura Hand and Cynthia Urquhart, ball secretary MaryAnn Baxter, treasurer Dawn Sabo and assistant treasurer Cheryl Fee.