The entrance to the club screamed “frat party.” Guests walked in to find an elegant wedding reception in the foyer and a giant tailgate party in the club room.
The main stage area in the ballroom was draped in white and silver fabric that changed colors, thanks to some clever lighting by Wendy Kitchen (in charge of decorating) and her partying passel of assistants.
Queen of this year’s ball, Michelle Love, was accompanied by her husband, Chuck Love, and their children — Gracie, 14, and Mac, 11. Michelle was radiant (and royal) in a purple, one-shouldered, long evening gown. Special guests of the queen included her mother, Pamela, and her husband, Jere Van Etten.
Prior to the ball, the Green Olive — upstairs at Classic on Noble — was the setting for the Queen’s Dinner. Her majesty and guests enjoyed shrimp and grits, stuffed chicken, rice, veggies, Classic’s signature strawberry and spinach salad, and bite-sized assorted desserts.
Anniston’s own party animal Amado Ortiz was master of ceremonies. According to those in attendance, he did an excellent job of bringing life and laughter to the party.
The skits — each reflecting a different kind of party — were headed up by skit leaders Kim Billings, Donna Callan, Karen Connell, Wendy Kitchen, Amy Staples and Jennifer Tucker. Jennifer Farrell selected the songs and groups for the skits.
In “Sweet Sixteen,” Vaughan Benkwith, Carolyne Marsh, Diana White, Amy Askew and Jennifer Tucker — all super-cute in cardigans and tulle skirts — danced to “Happy Birthday, Sweet 16.”
Next, prom queens Allison Ortiz, Anna Marie Moorer, Donna Callan, Alyson Orth, Cindy Cater and Kim Athon kicked off their Sunday shoes (and replaced them with tap shoes) as they performed to the song “Footloose.”
Walking out to “Pomp and Circumstance,” graduates Kim Billings, Sondra Pomroy, Deborah Ann Wakefield, Joy Steed, Kendall Howell and Lisa Smith surprised the audience, ripping off their robes to reveal cut off shorts, neon shirts and neon shoes as the music changed to “Celebrate,” which they certainly did.
The next group went all “Animal House” on the crowd, dancing to “Shout” in their leggings, T-shirts and leg warmers. Skit members were Karen Connell, Wendy Draper, Jennifer Downey, Alyson Mims, Carol Hagan and Kim Flannagan. A little bit louder now …
Country girls Wendy Kitchen, Laura McWillams, Jennifer Farrell, Layne Allen, JJ Nichols and Sheri Ballard “shook it” for the audience, wearing cowboy boots and hats, and using coolers for props.
Remember the YouTube video of the wedding party dancing down the aisle to “Forever”? Amy Staples, Treacy Hunter, Julie Hansek, Rhonda Johnson and Sandy Rothwell executed their own (perfectly choreographed) version, crashing the party and partying it up.
In a surprise Maskers twist, this year’s skit lineup was followed by a sustainer members’ skit. “Over the Hill” skit members Lisa Rast, Pam Dawson, Sherlyn Jackson, Robin Cooper, Wynelle Ballard, Linda Harvey and Delores Booth “hobbled” in to the song “Stayin’ Alive,” using wheelchairs and walkers, garnering applause and laughter, and rounding out the evening’s performances in grand style.
This year’s ball chairperson was Amy Staples, and Sheri Ballard and Julie Hansek were in charge of invitations and programs.
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Save the Date
“Tastes of Home,” the popular benefit for Habitat for Humanity, is a gathering of local restaurants that donate their signature dishes for you to enjoy. This year’s event will be July 28 at the Tyler Center. Call Amanda Parris at 256-237-3700 for more information.