YMCA's Sneaker Ball a rocking success

Participants literally put the best foot forward in tennis shoes of wild color, artistic embellishment or just plain high comfort factor at the 2011 Sneaker Ball. Robyn Murchison

Participants literally put the best foot forward in tennis shoes of wild color, artistic embellishment or just plain high comfort factor at the 2011 Sneaker Ball. Robyn Murchison

Left, Tom Anderson, Lisa Wilson, Chrisse Fickey -- and her laced-up high heel sneakers -- and Homa Jull show off their shoe styles for the 2011 YMCA of the Palms Sneaker Ball. Robyn Murchison

Left, Tom Anderson, Lisa Wilson, Chrisse Fickey -- and her laced-up high heel sneakers -- and Homa Jull show off their shoe styles for the 2011 YMCA of the Palms Sneaker Ball. Robyn Murchison

Left, Wesley Thompson, Amber Thompson, Neri Ciccarelli, Paul Ciccarelli and Chris Edwards enjoy the casual dress 2011 Sneaker Ball to benefit the YMCA of the Palms. Robyn Murchison

Left, Wesley Thompson, Amber Thompson, Neri Ciccarelli, Paul Ciccarelli and Chris Edwards enjoy the casual dress 2011 Sneaker Ball to benefit the YMCA of the Palms. Robyn Murchison

Following a year’s hiatus, the headquarters of the YMCA of the Palms on YMCA Road in North Naples had hardly opened its gym doors Jan. 15 for the resurrected Sneaker Ball when many of its 200 merrymakers sped onto the dance floor.

Gyrating to the sounds of the Fort Myers-based Robert Williamson Band beneath clusters of balloons and amidst tables centered with miniature, pompon-filled sneakers, they intermittently refreshed themselves at the wine and cocktail bars. Later on, a “Head or Tails” coin-toss prize competition segued from mob scene to a solitary winner.

The hors d’oeuvres table featured masses of shrimp and trays loaded with cured salmon, and more than a few sampled desserts that included chocolate-caramel and raspberry-lemon curd shots even before the dinner buffet had opened for business. All were inspirations of Ridgway Bay & Grill and Tony’s Off Third proprietors Sukie Honeycutt and Tony Ridgway.

Between jockeying for prime viewing of ball games projected onto large video games, patrons made beelines for live and silent auction item displays, frequently revisiting the latter to update bids as competition increased.

Casual attire was the evening’s uniform, although Chrisse Fickey sported red and white, stiletto-heeled patent sneakers and donned a Puma/Ferrari hiphop shirt atop a black lace mini-skirt. Wife Rhonda had searched the internet for matching, blinking, blue fiber optic sneaker laces for herself and husband Brandon Dowdy, YMCA CEO.

John and Margie Cuckler were star jitterbuggers. Mary Falcon, YMCA Zumba instructor, danced the night away in her official, pink Zumba sneaks.

“Zumba’s in my Cuban blood,” she breathlessly exclaimed. ”It’s part of my culture and I love it!”

Among parents in attendance, YMCA board treasurer Tim Mackay and Tricia enumerated their quadruplets: Kamryn who’s on the YMCA volleyball team and sister Ellie and brothers Austin and Brett who love basketball.

Gavel action on the part of auctioneer Jon Foege added up to $45,850 for seven live-auction items. According to Robin Murchison, director of organizational advancement, silent auction, sponsorship income and ticket sale proceeds at $150 per person increased the estimated total net funds raised to $93,000 that will benefit underprivileged children and families in the community.

Event co-chairs were Sharon and Charles Hallberg and Lorrie and Michael Lavery. Event founders and honorary chairs were Dot and Moe Kent.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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