Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Fun-raisers: 600 jazzed for arts education benefit

By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kathy Wade, Jennifer Mooney, and Steve Dobbins attended the "Enjoy the Arts" party, where Dion Warwick performed.
(Dick Swaim photo)
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Kathy Wade wasn't kidding: "Honey, we're going to blow off the rooftop," she said early into Saturday's Crown Jewels of Jazz gala at Music Hall Ballroom.

The annual fund-raiser benefiting Learning Through Art traditionally features food, drink, mixin', minglin' and world class music - this year delivered by Dionne Warwick, who, by the way, made a lot of friends at a patrons party Friday at Tiffany's when she said, "You're clapping for me? I can't believe the Oscar Robertson is here."

A wildly diverse crowd of about 600 showed for the $150 gala (another 250 or so came later for the concert only), where they munched beef tenderloin from Chef Paul Sturkey, sipped wine and talked about their favorite Warwick hits.

Oh, and dressed like a million bucks because this one has the reputation of being one of the best-dressed parties of the year. Which is to say black tie for the gents - lots of African prints on bow ties and vests - and weekend jewels and ball gowns for the women. Again, lots of bright African prints - black and gold dominated - and tons of head wraps.

Warwick probably got the biggest round of applause, but Time Warner Cable, sponsoring the gala for the eighth year, got a big one, too. So did this year's honorees, Cincinnatians selected for their work in the arts and for helping to build a global community. This year's honorees were the Robert S. Duncanson Society of the Taft Museum of Art and Enjoy the Arts and Start.

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