Amidst holiday music and snow flurries, the Board of Visitors Ryan House White Christmas gala warmed hearts, celebrated the music of the ’40s and raised funds Dec. 2 at the Arizona Biltmore.
White Christmas is the signature fundraiser for Ryan House, a world-class facility in downtown Phoenix providing pediatric respite and hospice care for children and their families facing life-limiting or end-of-life journeys.
More than 200 guests were transported back to the year 1947 in a nightclub setting, celebrating the music of the era and commemorating the song “White Christmas,” written by Irving Berlin at the Arizona Biltmore in the 1940s. The intimate party in the Gold Room featured dinner, live entertainment by Phoenix Theatre and dancing to music by the Affinity Orchestra under the direction of Jim May. Following dinner, guests were invited to enjoy port and cigars on the Gold Room Terrace. Petals created the elegant white centerpieces of hydrangeas roses and tulips accented with evergreen and pinecones that topped the silver tablecloths.
Leslie Propstra, chairman of the board of Ryan House, welcomed guests, and Sydney Fox, immediate past chairman of the Board of Visitors, and Ginnie Schmitt, Ryan House Board of Directors member, co-chaired the evening. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona was the Marque sponsor.
The Board of Visitors Ryan House is the only facility of its kind in the Southwest and one of two in the nation. Proceeds from White Christmas 2016 will support the organization’s Volunteer Programs, which train hundreds of volunteers from Care Team roles and community advocacy to administrative and Speakers Bureau duties.
PHOTOS BY KAY ESKRIDGE