Top Row, From Left: Michelle and Barry Hirsch; a display in the VIP Speakeasy Lounge; staff from TapSnap take photos of guests before electronically adding in fun backgrounds; Mike Daisley, one of the event's original founders, with Olivia Fortson.
Bottom Row, From Left: As winner of the costume contest, this guest received a $250 gift from the Kendra Scott jewelry store at SouthPark mall; Taura Napier; Phil Poe; a flirty flapper with some of the fabulous silent auction items.
This year's Great Gatsby Gala, a fundraiser for the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National MS Society, was such a success it exceeded its fundraising goal. That's an amazing feat for an event that's in its 28th year. Some galas lose steam over time, but this one keeps getting bigger and better. A secret to its popularity is its age diversity. There are fun groups of supporters who have been coming to it for years mixed in with a new wave of young people who love the theme and dressing up in 1920s-inspired attire.
Other factors are its winning formula of having both a live band (Russ Wilson and His Famous Orchestra) playing swing music and a DJ pumping up the crowd with modern hits. Plus, guests love sampling the amazing food from some of Charlotte's best restaurants including Tapas 51, Loft & Cellar, Heirloom, Pei Wei, The Cellar, Fig Tree, Fork!, Mimosa Grill, Upstream, Harper's, Babalu and Dogwood. The emcee, WBTV anchor Brigida Mack, added a lot of excitement to the evening. She also modeled the raffle prize - a necklace from Diamonds Direct.
Many people are there to support their friends, family or co-workers who have Multiple Sclerosis (there are 18,000 living with the unpredictable disease in the region covered by the Chapter, which includes all of South Carolina and 97 counties in North Carolina). When you combine a worthy cause with a great party, you end up with a lively evening that would have made both Jay Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald proud.