Some might remember seeing beautiful pictures of the original 1966 Black and White Ball. Held in New York City and hosted by the writer Truman Capote, the ball was made memorable by 540 guests wearing only black or white.
Fifty-two years later, on the evening of June 21, the first annual Women in White fundraising event was held at LB Distillery in Saskatoon. It was a very elegant “evening of wishes granted,” with 100 female attendees wearing only white and sitting at four long tables beautifully decorated with white flowers. The lead sponsor of the night was Porsche of Saskatchewan.
Rhonda Vogelgesang, Women in White event founder and co-head of the committee, was inspired by Vancouver’s Dîner En Blanc event to try an all-white theme. Rhonda is also the owner of Saskatoon’s SongBird Skin Studio. Amazingly, this inaugural Women in White was promoted primarily through Facebook and word of mouth.
“I always said when I retire I’ll dedicate myself to supporting the Children’s Wish Foundation, but then I asked myself what am I waiting for?” says Rhonda. The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is dedicated to granting wishes to Canadian children between the ages of three and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
The Women in White event’s co-head of the committee is Sheila Bohlmann, who is described by her friends as someone “with a really big heart” and a commitment to her community. Women in White attendee Lorraine Gulka knows both Rhonda and Sheila personally and was happy to support the evening’s wonderful cause. “This event is different from anything else in the city,” says Lorraine.
Award-winning singer/songwriter Lisa Moen and her band provided rousing entertainment for the evening. Lisa was named the Saskatchewan Country Music Association’s 2018 Country Music Person of the Year. There was also a Magical Mirror Photobooth, along with a silent auction and a 50/50 draw. Tasty appetizers and desserts were provided by PickNic’s Catering.
Attending with a group of girlfriends, Kirsten Remarchuk appreciated the “welcoming, glamourous and glittery” feel of the event space and looks forward to future Women in White events in Saskatoon.
During the evening, Wish mom Brittani spoke to the crowd about her daughter Summer’s remarkable experience with the Children’s Wish Foundation. Summer had 17 surgeries by the age of 12 and wished for a Barbie Cruise Vacation with her family. In her touching speech, Summer’s mother described how the cruise experience changed her daughter’s life forever.
Post-event, Rhonda notes: “It was spectacular for our first Women in White and several people told me they will be bringing 20 friends to the event next year. We are thrilled to have raised $6,036. The 2019 event will absolutely be bigger!”
In Saskatchewan, the Children’s Wish Foundation grants approximately 50 wishes a year for children with a life-threatening illness. More information can be found at www.childrenswish.ca.
By Elizabeth Ireland