Valentine’s Day eve proved a love fest for the Naples Players when a star-studded cast of actors and about 250 supporters gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Tiburon Golf Resort for a “Starry Starry Night” of theatrical delights.
A spotlighted Guards Red 2010 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet rested in solitary splendor in the hotel’s chilly Court of Palms prior to its being picked up for a $20,000 one-year lease in the live auction of 10 items. Meanwhile, supporters partied in the ballroom foyer during the opening reception, where they were photographed with a lavishly costumed lineup of Naples Players.
A collection of 52 bottles of wine valued at $100-plus each that later drew $7,000 at auction was an attention-grabber as were cases of Bielka jewelry and an Escada 5-carat diamond necklace valued at $36,000, for which KitKat Girls were offering drawing tickets.
Patty Baker, event chairwoman, and coincidentally Katherine Pallas, were turned out in an identical bright red Tosca design, a tribute to the couture group offering its designs for a sophisticated Saks Fifth Avenue runway show during dinner. Committee members Delores Sorey and Mary Baron opted for scarlet as well. Dashing as a Canadian mountie, actor Bill Bridges, who claimed he had flown in following the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremonies, was outfitted by Dot Auchmoody, Naples Players resident costume designer.
Committee member Sandi Wilson not only heeded the suggestion of “sparkling cocktail attire” but matched the invitations themselves with a shimmering blue gown, silver stole and crystalline accents from ears to feet. Even “Star” auctioneer Jay Baker wore a sparkling, diamante-encrusted cravat.
The ballroom decor was the creation of volunteer Paul Sagherian Jr., including a pure white runway that complemented blue-clothed round tables with free-form centerpieces of white, silver, mirrors and small black-and-white photos.
Entertainment director Mary Anne McKerrow produced the ensuing series of diverse vignettes showcasing the talents of Naples Players members and featuring young Anna Prioletti.
Baker estimates about $300,000 in net proceeds were raised through the “Starry, Starry Night” initiative. Individual tickets were priced at $550. The income will be added to their five-year, $10 million fundraising campaign, which includes the endowment and capital fund dedicated to providing high-quality amateur theater and communitywide educational and enrichment opportunities and outreach programs.