THE NUTCRACKER BALL

Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

The Nutcracker Ball is a Charlotte tradition founded 30 years ago by a group of families who wanted to create a formal holiday dinner event that would be fun for both parents and children while also raising funds for a worthy cause.

Each year the host committee selects a beneficiary. The 2018 recipient is the Bruce Irons Camp Fund.

Held at Charlotte Country Club, the evening included classical and contemporary holiday works by dancers from Open Door Studios, a seated dinner, DJ, and dancing.

JAZZY HOLIDAY GALA

Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

Each year the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture hosts the Jazzy Holiday Gala. It honors the work of individuals and organizations working to impact and uplift the community through arts, history and culture.

Guests at the black-tie gala help support the programs that provide access for all to African-American arts, history and culture. This year’s honorees were retired educator Dorothy Counts-Scoggins; Northwest School of the Arts; and actress Karyn Parsons.

Along with networking, the evening included artistic performances, dinner and cocktails.

GOOD FRIENDS HOLIDAY LUNCHEON

Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

Good Friends Charlotte, an all-female nonprofit, raised more than $500,000 for Charlotte’s neediest during its 32nd Annual Holiday Luncheon. The donations were from the 1,800 guests who filled a ballroom of the Charlotte Convention Center as well as corporate sponsorships including $75,000 from presenting sponsor Wells Fargo Foundation.

Speakers including Sonja Gantt, executive director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation, helped encourage donors to give by telling stories about those who had been helped by Good Friends.

Good Friends works with 80 nonprofit agencies to identify and help families and individuals who need assistance with everything from rent and utilities to emergency needs. To join Good Friends, go to goodfriendscharlotte.org.

LEGENDS OF MUSIC COSTUME PARTY

Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

Every guest was a star at the Legends of Music Costume Party held at Duke Mansion to raise funds for the historic site’s Preservation Society.

Partygoers dressed as their favorite music legends from any musical era and rocked out to tunes from Hey DJ! There was also a Rat Pack Lounge for karaoke, over-sized outdoor games on the lawn and a silent auction.

Executive Chef Harrison Booth created a clever menu of food and drinks including Cheeseburger in Paradise Sliders, a Yellow Submarine Sandwich Station and We Got The Beet Salad. His fun desserts were Elvis’ Peanut Butter Banana Cake, Microphone Cake Pops and colorful cookies that looked like vinyl records and music notes.

GREAT GATSBY GALA

Daniel Coston Photography

Guests at the 30th annual Great Gatsby Gala were transported back to the Roaring 20s during the benefit for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Greater Carolina's Chapter's mission of creating a world free of MS. Held at the Hilton Charlotte Center City, it featured a live orchestra, swing dancing, a costume contest judged by Dressed owner Bernadette Maulion, a silent auction, and heavy hors d'oeuvres and desserts from some of Charlotte's most celebrated restaurants. Details: www.nationalmssociety.org.