|By G. Michael Dobbs|
SPRINGFIELD – This year’s City of Bright Nights Ball will be sponsored by MGM, furthering the relationship it has developed with the Spirit of Springfield.
The 18th annual event is an important fundraiser for the nonprofit organization and its events such as Bright Nights and the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, among others, Judith Matt, president of the organization, explained.
Matt introduced the chair of this year’s ball as well as the gala’s theme at a press conference on Oct 15. This year’s ball will take place Nov. 16 at the Springfield Sheraton.
President and CEO of Sisters of Providence Health System Daniel Moen, last year’s chair, said it was “one of the biggest honors” he has received.
“We’re fortunate to have such wonderful chair people, she said, before she introduced Kelley Tucky, vice president of Community & Public Affairs (Eastern Region) for MGM, this year’s chair.
Tucky said she was also honored to be the chair of “the historic and storied event.”
She noted that she is a relative newcomer to Springfield having arrived here just 18 months ago.
“I hope this is a partnership [between the Spirit of Springfield and MGM] that will benefit Springfield for many years to come,” Tucky said.
Matt noted that MGM has sponsored several Spirit of Springfield events and Matt said the gaming company donated $70,000 to help support events. Funds from the ball help pay for the holiday illumination downtown.
This year’s ball has the theme of “Under the Sea” and Andrew Jensen of XJ2 Productions said each table would have an underwater theme complete with a jellyfish design above each table. There will be fishing nets on the walls of the Springfield Sheraton ballroom and a blue lighting design to underscore the effect of being underwater. Jensen added there would be moving lights projected on the ceiling to give the effect of waves.
Matt said that two-thirds of the tickets are sold at this point, so people interested in going this year should visit spiritofspringfield.org or call 733-3800.
The ball is supported by Baystate Health, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, The Colvest Ltd., Hampden County Physicians, Health New England, MassMutual, Mercy Medical Center, New England Business Machine, NAI Plotkin, PeoplesBank, ProPark America, Sheraton Springfield, and students from Western New England University.
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