It may seem early to start thinking about an event that will take place a year from now, but that's what it takes to pull off a ball of the magnitude and scale of the James K. Polk's biennial Memorial Ball. The 2012 and 2014 balls each raised close to $130,000 for the James K. Polk Home, which uses the proceeds to fund its operation for a two-year period.
Nearly 40 people are volunteering their vision, time and skills to make the 2016 ball a success. Mrs. Liz Lovell and Mrs. Charlotte Battles (pictured above) are the co-chairs of the event to be held on September 24, 2016, at the historic Haynes Haven house in Spring Hill, which is owned by General Motors and currently closed to the public.
"Charlotte and I are truly excited about the team that is working on the upcoming ball," said Mrs. Lovell. "Our goal is to create a 'simply elegant' evening that will be a wonderful fundraising event both for the Polk home and the guests that attend," she added.
Above from left: Meredith Sands, Lucy McEwen, Liz Molder and Peggy Richardson. Seated in back: Milly Landers. Standing: Kristen Parker.
Their 'simply elegant' vision will be achieved in conjunction with the Flowers Committee who will essentially set the overall tone for the whole evening with their selections of a color scheme and centerpieces. The committee tasked with creating the evening's atmosphere includes Mrs. Beth Sands, Molly Holloway and Suzanne Hall. Mrs. Anne Cain and Connie Hardin will decorate the Haynes Haven mansion, which will be open for tours the evening of the ball.
An equally important and crucial component of the event is the Silent Auction, which along with ticket sales, is largely responsible for the event's overall fundraising efforts and results. Mrs. Courtney Goodman and Liz Molder are spearheading the 2016 auction and will recruit a team to assist in procuring auction items and facilitating the evening's set up and sales of the goods.
Above: Pam Holloway and Suzanne Hall at the kickoff meeting for the 2016 Polk Ball.
The event's steering committee serves as a backup to the volunteers by providing guidance and input during the planning phases. This committee includes Mrs. Julia West, who graciously hosted the kickoff meeting at her lovely home, and Mrs. Peggy Richardson, Edie Sutter, Emily McKnight, Carole Kilgore and Alison Gengelbach.
Mrs. Holly Dobbs and Beth Kelley are co-chairing publicity for the event, while Mrs. Jaryn Abdallah, who works at the Polk Home, is helping with social media.
The Polk Memorial Ball is one of Maury County's most elegant and premiere events, with an attendance of 475 people in 2014. The only requirement to receive an invitation to the ball is to be a member of the James K. Polk Memorial Association, which supports the preservation and operation of the home of the only surviving residence of the United State's 11th President, James K. Polk.
Membership of the Association is open to the public. Contact the James K. Polk Home to join at (931) 388-2354.
Above: Mrs. Juli Beck and Tricia Beck at the kickoff meeting at Julia West's home.