More than 450 people turned out last weekend in their formal regalia for Maury County's premiere event, the James K. Polk Memorial Ball. Held at Haynes Haven in Spring Hill, guests at this 16th biennial event were treated to a tour of the home, dinner, a live auction, silent auction and dancing.
The Polk Memorial Ball is the grand dame of the Polk Association’s fundraisers. The event is held at historic homes throughout the county and put on by the Polk Memorial Association. Every year a different theme is given to each ball. This year’s motif was “Simply Elegant" and was co-chaired by Mrs. Charlotte Battle and Liz Lovell.
The event was made possible thanks to the efforts of more than 70 volunteers who dedicated their time, efforts and creativity, along with the businesses and individuals who sponsored the event.
The setting for the event was the exquisite Haynes Haven Italianate-style mansion in Spring Hill, currently owned by General Motors (GM). More can be read about the mansion by clicking HERE. While the ROTC from Central High School helped with parking, members of the Jackson College cadets served as docents. They escorted people into the house where guests enjoyed champagne, piano music and stunning floral arrangements created by the Volunteer Flower Club. The house flowers and decor were co-chaired by Mrs. Anne Cain and Connie Hardin. Mrs. Beth Sands served as chairman for the ball decor and beautiful flower arrangements created by Shady Characters Garden Club.
After the tour, guests moved to the dinner tent and auction area where they were able to sample whisky provided by Tenn South Distillery or choose a beverage from several bar stations. The ball’s Silent Auction items were displayed for bidding in the GM Visitor’s Center, the barn which originally housed Haynes Peacock, the Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse of the World. The barn became a gathering spot for attendees as they placed their bids on trips, sporting events, furniture, art and experiences. Mrs. Courtney Goodman and Liz Molder served as co-chairs of the auctions.
Dinner was provided by Dani Kates Catering out of Nashville and featured black Angus filet bernaise medallions and chicken remoulade. White and red dinner wines included Amber Falls Winery's "Sarah's Choice" riesling and the Polk wine "President's Choice." A dessert of flourless chocolate fudge cake and salted caramel ice cream topped off the delicious meal.
This year's Polk Ball was the first time a live auction was introduced and conducted – and lively it was. Held immediately following dinner, the live auction was conducted by the 2015 TN State Auctioneer Champion, Dr. Justin Rhinehart of Compass Auction & Real. Among the items up for bid were a rocking chair made from the Courthouse Oak trees, a Green Egg Grille package, a Colonel Littleton briefcase, a trip to San Francisco and Sonoma, and a limited edition firearm.
One of the highlights of the live auction, however, was a puppy due in October sired by a standard poodle. The puppy was auctioned off not once ... but twice! The winning bidder donated the puppy back to be auctioned for a second time, nearly doubling the original bid.
As the auction concluded, guests took to the dance floor to enjoy music provided by the ever-popular Jimmy Church Band. Before long the dance floor was full, as people enjoyed the conclusion of the 16th annual Polk Ball, another successful ball for the Polk Memorial Association, the guests, event sponsors and of course chiefly for the James K. Polk Home.
The Polk Memorial Association has been gathering for 87 years since 1929. It boasts approximately 700 members who help raise funds toward the operation, maintenance, preservation and restoration of the Polk Home. Since its first ball was held in 1986 to the ball in 2014, the events have raised a combined net revenue of approximately $1,146,000. Figures have not been released yet for this year's ball and auctions.
To see the rest of the photos and to purchase yours, please click HERE.
To learn more about the James K. Polk Home and find out how you can help support one of Maury County's most important historical sites, please click HERE.