Finally the moment arrived and the guests began to arrive at the main entrance to the historic train station of Jacksonville, c. 1920′s, built in the classical style. A Scottish band piped in every guest from 6-8 pm as lights shot color up the columns and the great fountain sprayed the night air below a gorgeous moon–not all controlled by the decorations committee!
Inside the Grand Court entry to the train station, leading to the loading platforms and new convention center additions a set of lights turned the whitewashed walls between actual windows into Gothic stained glass windows as the early guests–major supporters–mingled with cocktails, crabcakes, fish and chips (crazy but perfect!), Haggis, etc.
Over 1,200 people are expected to dine in four massive, spectacularly decorated dining rooms, each having paid a minimum of 500.00 to attend, many having donated 10,000.00 to 50,000.00 to attend.
Ellen Cavert founded the show 36 years ago, having first founded The Women’s Board, all designed to build financial support for Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The photo below this shows Ellen and her husband Tillman seated at the show entrance to welcome each arriving guest! Their devotion and the devotion of Wayne and Kitty Davis have been transformative in the success of the hospital and of this event.
Here our dear friend Joseph Hayes, long time Columbus, Ohio dealer, born and raised in Ireland, shows everyone how to dance a proper Irish Jig in front of the live Irish band performing all evening. Joseph has also been known to dance a proper jig on restaurant table tops, with or without music!