The stage was set for a perfect evening under the stars to honor Terre Jones, President and CEO, of the Wolf Trap Foundation on the stage of the Filene Center, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Situated in the bedroom community of Vienna VA, Wolf Trap is a first class destination for world class entertainment and the performing arts. The theme of this year’s ball “Celebrating 17 Years of Leadership, Innovation, and Vision” epitomized Terre Jones’ commitment to continuing the legacy of Wolf Trap’s founder, Catherine Filene Shouse, positioning the Foundation as a premier organization dedicated to the integration of performing arts, education, technology, and environmental sustainability. Proceeds from the event benefited Wolf Trap’s renowned Education Programs, which serve more than 75,000 children, parents, teachers, and aspiring artists each year in the Washington Metropolitan region and across the country. Host Sponsor for the 2012 Wolf Trap Ball was Exxon Mobil Corporation. The Boeing Company served as Platinum Sponsor. Diamond Sponsors included Booz Allen Hamilton, The Collis Warner Foundation, National Counseling Group, Inc., Boofie and Joe Gorman, Walter M. Oliver, Raytheon Company, USAA and The W. Russell and Norma Ramsey Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of the patrons and benefactors of Wolf Trap, this year’s ball raised a record amount, $1,030,000 toward the furtherance of these educational programs.
From the moment you entered the park and approached center stage, you knew you were in for a real treat. You could not help but think that on this very stage, some of the most celebrated and creative artists in the world performed here during the 2012 summer season. What a surreal thought to realize that you were retracing the steps of these great artists as they prepared to inspire and awe. My mind immediately hearkened back to an evening earlier this summer where I was fortunate to see the incomparable Bonnie Raitt and her equally captivating stage partner, Mavis Staples, for a body rocking, hip shaking concert experience. Where else but at Wolf Trap can you have people from age 6 to 60 rocking out, having a good time, and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, all while enjoying the best in entertainment? It truly is a unique experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the nation and we are fortunate to have this jewel, this natural treasure in our own back yard.
The mood was festive and the party started as soon as guests arrived. In a nod to Mr. Jones, the DJ played tunes that could be found on his playlist and the songs ranged in mood from Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together to Sly and the Family Stone’s Dance to the Music. Design Cuisine treated guests to a lovely cocktail reception, with gorgeous small plates and bites designed to whet our appetites for the feast that surely awaited us later in the evening. Duck Confit Tacos with Asian Pear Salsa, Heirloom Tomato Tartlettes and Caramelized Vidalia Onion Flan and Kansas City BBQ Sliders were just a few of the delicious offerings. Signature cocktails included a West Coast Margarita and East Coast Gin and Tonic.
The program began with opening comments and “thank yous” from the co-chairs of the 2012 Wolf Trap Ball, Alan J. Kelly and Boofie O’Gorman. Honorary Co-Hosts Congressman Gerald (Gerry) E. Connolly, (VA-11), Congressman James (Jim) Moran, (VA-8), and Congressman Frank R. Wolf (VA-10) addressed those gathered and shared how much Wolf Trap means to them and on a personal note, how much their friendship with Terre Jones and his wife Polly meant to them. It was an especially poignant moment, in light of the heightened political tensions being felt on both sides of the aisle. Noel (Paul) Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary led the audience in a musical toast to Mr. and Mrs. Jones, which was quite a challenge for him as we weren’t quite talented enough to be singing along with such a great performer, but to his credit he gave us all a gold star and an “A” for effort. It was a very uplifting toast and exemplified the high regard in which Terre and Polly Jones are held. Mr. Jones and his wife Polly also addressed the audience and thanked them for the wonderful send off to their retirement in New Mexico. During his remarks, Mr. Jones reiterated his love for Wolf Trap and the people who made it such a special place in which to work. Finally, during the closing remarks of co-chairs Kelly and O’Gorman, they announced the formation of the Terre and Polly Jones Endowed Fund for Artistic Initiatives to honor Terre’s 17 years of outstanding service and to support Wolf Trap’s commissioning and presentation of new works in the performing arts.
Dinner was a feast for the eyes as well as the body and did not disappoint or hit one false note. Starting with the Sorrel Jelly with Osetra Caviar, a salty with a hint of sweetness custard, to the Maine Lobster Fricassee with Herbed Potato Dumplings to the fork tender California Smoked Bison Tenderloin, every bite was exquisite. As a self described “foodie”, I was in heaven and felt as if I were dining in a five-star restaurant. The centerpieces by Karin’s Florist and the fine table setting and linens added an elegant ambiance to create a stunning dining experience. It was simply fantastic and one of the most memorable meals I’ve had all year.
After dinner, guests danced to the musical sounds of Marquise and the band kept everyone on the dance floor the entire night. In fact, some guests couldn’t wait for dinner service to end and hit the dance floor to show off their moves before dessert was served. Once the dancing bug hit, very few people remained at their tables and the dance floor was packed with everyone dancing and having a good time well into the evening. Perhaps the best dancer on the floor was the honoree himself, Terre Jones, who was so amazing and energetic that he got his own spot on the stage where he delighted his fellow ball attendees with moves to rival those found on So You Think You Can Dance. It was a fantastic night and one that won’t be soon forgotten.