Shout Out To The Pink Tie Ball 2019 Committee

February 2, 2019 will be the fifth year of joining forces with some of the most amazing women in Southwest Michigan to coordinate and manage one of the area’s elegant galas: Pink Tie Ball. These women have become such dear friends to me and one of my center Tribes. Our friendships flourished following one of our darkest days: the unexpected passing of our beloved leader and mentor. Since that time we continue to rely on one another’s strength to gain support for cancer research and care in our community. They are ladies I know I can turn to for advice, hugs, and lots of laughter.

With our event happening in a month’s time, I wanted to give a little shout out to these beautiful women. We have been working diligently to make Pink Tie Ball 2019 the best yet, and I am in awe of every single member of this committee. They deserve so much praise for all their hard work. And 2019’s event is sure to be just as amazing as they are because they’ve put so much of themselves into planning it…

The Pink Tie Ball began in 2015 and has transitioned throughout the past years. Members have come and gone, venues have changed, and beneficiaries have shifted. However, one key factor remains the same: the spirit of the Committee. The Committee continues to be a group of remarkable women focused on supporting the fighters, celebrating the survivors, and honoring the taken of all cancer variants within the Southwest Michigan community. These women came together not only for a worthy cause, but also to continue the legacy of the person who brought them all together: Denise Bohn.

Denise Bohn was the Development Director for Susan G. Komen Southwest Michigan. Beginning in 2015, Denise led the original Pink Tie Ball Committee through two years of growth which blossomed into an amazing event focused on raising breast health awareness and to provide education, screening, and diagnostics in our community. In 2017, the Committee chose to continue the event and dedicated their talents to keeping the Ball local and continuing Denise’s mission. We miss Denise terribly, but the opportunity to honor her with this gala urges us forward to keep fighting for all those effected by cancer in Southwest Michigan.

With the advice and encouragement of Susan G. Komen Michigan, the Pink Tie Ball Committee decided to become its own entity in 2018. Though our mission remains the same, our support and outreach has expanded past raising awareness of breast cancer to raising awareness and support for all forms of this cruel disease. Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide, and our community is no exception. For Pink Tie Ball 2019, it is our hope to support two amazing organizations, Susan G. Komen Michigan and Pennies From Heaven5, where funds raised will remain local.

It is the Pink Tie Ball Committee’s promise that 100% of funds raised at the 2019 Pink Tie Ball will go towards efforts to raise awareness of cancer and support cancer patients within Southwest Michigan. For Pink Tie Ball 2019, we are expanding our beneficiaries and plan to remain transparent with our friends and sponsors.

We have been working diligently with Susan G Komen of Michigan to ensure our PTB funds stay local in Southwest Michigan. In 2019, $5000 worth of funds raised will go towards creating 25 treatment bags including (but not limited to) the following: a jersey sweatshirt, a handmade blanket, a pillow, a stainless steel water bottle, a journal, adult coloring books, socks, a cookbook from an oncology dietitian, gas cards and a post-surgical fitted garment to wear home from the hospital after breast surgery. This treatment bag comes alongside screenings, diagnostics and education through Komen’s wide array of resources. Funds will also be used towards providing mammogram services for 25 patients located in Southwest Michigan.

$1000 of funds will be utilized for Pink Tie Ball event costs and expenses, as well as placed in preparation for 2020 Pink Tie Ball.

All remaining funds raised will be granted to our new partner, Pennies From Heaven5. Pennies From Heaven5 is a local non profit organization that offers financial assistance to young adults ages 21 to 30 for their living expenses and to provide comfort during their battles with cancer. Representatives from Pennies From Heaven5 have been working diligently with the Pink Tie Ball Committee to ensure this year’s event is the best Ball to date.

As with previous years, Pink Tie Ball will be an elegant evening full of food and drink, dancing, live entertainment, a silent auction and door prizes. Pat Moody will be Emcee for the night’s program, Jon Krugh of Center Line Music will have the dance floor poppin’, and Ben Pancoast will be returning with his always-popular Photo Booth. New to 2019, the evening entertainment will be a fashion show supporting those going through cancer treatments as well as celebrating those strong survivors among us. Studio I Boutique is the presenting sponsor for this “stylin’ against cancer” runway spectacular in this year’s program.

I am blessed to be a member of this 2019 Committee and have loved working beside so many others throughout the past five years. The Pink Tie Ball continues to grow in support and funds raised each year, and I am excited to see what we raise at this year’s gala. To my fellow Committee members, you are SO appreciated by so many and you are all such inspiration to me. Thank you for being my Tribe members, friends, and role models.

Much love,

Real Wedding: Rebecca + Walt

Okay, guys, I have been waiting since the beginning of November to bring this lovely couple to your reading space! Rebecca and Walt’s wedding was the most entertaining and most adorable one I had the pleasure of assisting with during my time at Shadowland. Not only were they the sweetest people to the staff, but their ideas and creativeness are ridiculous! Just take a look for yourself…

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Rebecca and Walt met in 2009 while out with their friends at Howl at the Moon in Chicago. At the time, Walt was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base and was in the midst of training. He originally hailed from North Carolina while Rebecca was a Chicago native. From that first chance meeting, the two were inseparable and many train trips were made between the base and the city. However, after only a few weeks Walt had to leave for San Diego for more training. Knowing there was a real connection, the couple decided to try long distance. Six months lately and still going strong, Walt made the decision to pack up a U-Haul and move to Chicago in order to be with Rebecca. Nearly six years later, they were married in beautiful St. Joseph and chose Shadowland Ballroom to be there reception venue. We feel truly honored to be a part of their love story!

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The ceremony was to be very simple and intimate. No programs, no readings, just a focus on the couple’s love. On the stage of the Bandshell, surrounded by all their loved ones, Rebecca and Walt opted to write their own vows and read them to one another. Fighting back the tears, the audience witnessed love becoming one as the newlyweds performed a tying of the knot ritual (fitting as the couple met while Walt was stationed near Chicago during his navy days) and sealed the deal with a kiss.

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Rebecca and Walt always knew they wanted a vintage themed wedding. However, their surprise and pleasure upon finding Shadowland Ballroom was just too perfect. After discovering the history behind the Silver Beach Amusement Park, the couple quickly fell in love with the idea of using such history to create an experience for their guests from beginning to end. With having a carousel right on site of their wedding, the couple reckoned they had no choice but to base their wedding’s theme on the history of the area.

From the very beginning, the couple made plans as to how their wedding day would evolve. Rebecca is an art teacher and was determined to have her hands in every aspect of the decor and theme, so their entire wedding was do-it-yourself.

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The bride and her parents shared many adventures antiquing and handpicking every bottle, jar, and soda pop crate used for centerpieces.  120 antique bottles were arranged by the couple, along with “gathered from the side of the road” textured and natural floral creations of Stella Event Design. The look was meant to be eclectic, as if they were remnants of a traveling carnival.

Speaking of travel, the couple utilized a vintage globe as a perfectly unique guestbook. But the special touches did not stop with these details though! Each table at the reception was named after an old-time carnival ride and held a “Did You Know?” card with a few fun facts on the rides’ histories.

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To make their guests’ experience even more authentic, the couple spent several hours building their own ticket booth. As guests entered the boardwalk, they encountered this booth and received their ticket, which directed them to their correct table and seat. Unable to let the crafting end there, Walt also designed a vintage push ice cream cart (equipped with a kissing bell) as a card holder. It was a huge hit among guests!

The creative couple also thought outside decor when it came down to details for their wedding. Guests were transported back to their childhood days with fresh popped popcorn and hand-spun cotton candy inside the Silver Beach Carousel. The bar was tastefully donned the name “The Drink Show” where attendees could wonder upon the couple’s signature cocktails: The Bearded Lady or Midge’s Apple Cider Champagne. Even the desserts kept to the theme as various flavored pies dotted the Pie Stand, just as if one were walking through a country fair.

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The fun continued all night long as the couple and their family and friends danced the night away. There was a few minutes when a late-night hot dog bar interrupted the dance moves. As the bride hails from Chicago and the groom from North Carolina, it seemed only fitting that the bar’s toppings paid homage to the couple’s hometowns. Guests were able to make their own Chicago or Carolina dogs and wrap them in retro hot dog foils. owens4

Rebecca and Walt’s wedding exemplified their ultimate goal: to share their love with their family and friends in an entertaining and unique way. As their loved ones were from two very different parts of the country, their wedding was a special occasion to bring these two parts and make them into one. It was a great celebration! Thank you for sharing your special day with all of us here at Shadowland! last