The Rosens, the Nugents and other monied guests walked like Egyptians at the Fandango gala
Wannabe Cleopatras, pharaohs and sultans took over the Ritz-Carlton on Saturday night, causing the doorman to do a double-take as guests arrived for the annual Fandango fundraiser in support of Bridgepoint Health. This year’s theme was “On the Nile,” and the 450 guests were encouraged to shake things up by dressing with Egyptian “flair.” To our surprise, many did, and in place of the typical stuffy attire befitting a society affair, we saw snake-adorned crowns, towering gold and black nemes headdresses, kohl-lined eyes, jewel-encrusted baubles, flowing robes and sequined loin cloths (often worn on top of tuxedos). Among the monied guests were Catherine and David Nugent, W. Bruce C. Bailey, Shangri-La’s Alex Filiatrault, Evelyn and Harry Rosen, dapper duo Andy Body and Alan Hanlon and politicos Jerry Grafstein, Mike Harris, Paula Fletcher and David Shiner.
Outside the ballroom, the crowd roared with laughter as costumed guests made their grand entrances. Nooks were adorned with draped muslin, heavy lanterns, hookahs and bowls of pomegranates to keep on theme, and guests nibbled on falafel and fresh watermelon. The massive silent auction stretched along both sides of the room and featured vintage wines, spa getaways, fine jewellery, shopping experiences and a framed print of Cher wearing a cowboy hat (because, um, why not?).
Guest were lured into the ballroom-cum-bazaar by a train of brightly dressed belly dancers—they weaved through the room as waiters brought out the Middle Eastern-themed menu of fattoush, pilaf and basboosa. Host Ken Shaw joked, “If tomorrow is Mother’s Day, then today is mummies day.” (Oh, lordy.) The event raised over $600,000 (not including a generous $300,000 donation from Steve Hudson of Element Financial Corporation) toward Bridgepoint’s mission to meet the challenges of complex chronic disease. We are sad to report that the Bangles did not hit the stage after dinner (but that didn’t stop guests from putting on their dancing shoes).