Sunday, November 11, 2001

The Witches Ball 2001

The Witches' Ball 2001

As you may have heard by now, the Witches Ball was a rousing success. Over 600 people attended and a splendid, fun loving group they were, too. Everyone was friendly and kind hearted and it made us proud to see you all gathered together and enjoying yourselves.

The Dj this year was brilliant. He played the songs our people had requested and every type of music you can imagine. The dancers were all very happy and the three level dance floor was jumping all night long. My thanks go out to Corvid, our Chief Bard and to Chuck, our Dj for making the music selection so very special. We’ve asked Chuck to serve as our Musical Magician again next year and I’m delighted to announce that he said “Yes”.

The different Belly Dancers who entertained us at 7 PM and then at 9 were amazing to see. My thanks go out to Jamaica Sinclair; her elegant, magickal dancing opened the ball for us, and to the ladies from United We Dance for their outstanding performance prior to the Award Ceremony.

Best of all to my eyes, were the fabulous costumes worn by our attendees. The various Courts of Faerie were well represented, as was Ancient Egypt, Mythic Greece and many lands I wot not of. Surprisingly, neither of the fairy catchers were successful.

The pictures will be up on the website soon, so you can see for yourselves. Many of these photos come to us courtesy of our official Witches Ball photographers Their booth was a huge hit – I saw people lining up to have their pictures taken all night long.

(Please note: We have been careful to put up pictures of folks when we
a) Have their permission or
b) If you can only see their costumes and can’t tell who they are.
If you had your picture taken there that night and you will allow us to to post it on the web, please write to us care of and let us know that. And if you want your name mentioned, we recommend that you use your Craft Name.)

The Vendor Room was also very popular. Our 13 Vendors
brought a variety of treasures and the large room was very busy as folks checked out the food, costumes, jewelry, clothing and gifts for sale there. The Food Vendor was very well received and they have been invited to return again next year.

There was plenty of seating this year so attendees could sit and watch the crowd whenever they got tired of dancing or shopping. We had chairs and tables set up inside the ballroom itself, in the large Vendor Room, in the hallways (an excellent spot for people watching) and out doors on the back terrace. The night was perfect, clear and cool, without being too cold and it was a pleasure to sit out there and watch the stars when we got hot from too much dancing.

The presentation of the Gaia’s Guardian Award to this year’s winner:
was great fun. Deborah Noel and her dog, Sheeba, had a splendid time and they send their love and thanks to you all. Deborah has now received her plaque and I now have my husband back. (Inside joke, folks: You had to be there).

My special thanks go out to our Decorating Committee who made it all look lovely and to our great volunteers who helped up put it all up and take it all down again when it was over. Our FCE volunteers worked wonders during Set Up and Break Down and they did it with great humor and patience. I would also like those attendees who lingered after the ball and lent a hand – your help was very much appreciated.

Word has gone out all over the California as folks talk and write about the good time they had. YOU folks have made it a success and you can be very proud of yourselves.(Now I'm getting all fla-klempt. ....Talk amongst yourselves. Here, I'll give you a topic....”Responsible Pagans are not a myth, nor is the phrase an oxymoron”.......Discuss).

People came to the ball from all over California (including San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Marin, Santa Rosa and L.A.). They also came in from Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. The crowd itself was a wonderful mix of Pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, New Age Folks, Secular Humanists and a host of other Paths, Traditions, "Fill in the Blank" and "None of the Above" types. All these people worked together and danced together in harmony and joy. When you think about it, that works out to Tolerance 1 - Prejudice 0 and, again, say I, you made us proud.
Azeraeis asks me to give his special thanks to all those who helped out in the Vendor Area during Set Up and Break Down. Our Vendors had a great experience at the ball and they were very happy to have all the cheerful help from our volunteers. Many of them have already signed on for next year. I would personally like to thank Molly and Uncle Jon at Hearthstone Circle for acting as our Money Fairies all night long. As many of your know, Jon designed and constructed all the arches for the splendid Owl Arch and our scenic Backdrop and he also Chaired our Lighting Team. This Team did an amazing job with some very antiquated equipment. My thanks go out to Hawke, Sean, Captain Lightning and Jon for their hard work and creative “field modifications”.

Molly, Jon’s partner, was our Second in Command on the Decorating Committee and she did much behind the scenes these last 6 months to give us the “Froudian” look you saw that night. Molly and Jon also worked the Ball all night long. As a result, we have decided to award Molly and Jon our MVP (Most Valuable Pagan) Award for this year. Hazzah!

To my immense delight, Molly has agreed to be the Chair of the Decorating Committee next year. I can’t wait to see what she and her Team come up with.

The Fair Jennifer (of Purple Dragon House) and her Team from our Decorating Committee also deserves special mention for the design and decoration of the Froudian Owl Arch that greeted our attendees as they entered the hall. I would also like to thank Robert Tharp and the stylish members of FLARE for taking such good care of our people that night. These were the 17th Century pirates who roamed the halls that evening. (My personal favorite was the handsome lad wearing the pirate scarf over the Mickey Mouse ears.) FLARE made all our attendees feel very safe and welcome. Besides being such a classy bunch, they are also generous. FLARE alone raised $600 for the Humane Society from among its members - all of whom worked the ball, for free, as well. We love you guys and gals! Come back next year - your Green Room will be waiting for you.

Thank are also due to Brian and Wendy Froud for donating the print that we used in our raffle and the signed print that we used in our Silent Auction that evening. Both prints were gorgeous and they added very nicely to the amount that we will give to the Humane Society this year. The raffle alone raised over $300 and folks went home with some fine prizes, a cat candle lamp, a puzzle and a Witches Brew coffee cup. The last three were donated by Snapdragon Gifts (1)

Our sincere regards also go out to the folks from the Santa Clara Humane Society who staffed their information booth at this year’s ball.

We greatly admire the work you folks do and it is an honor to have you join us. It was especially nice to see our good friend, Officer Christine Franco, there with her fella. As many of you remember, Christine was our Gaia’s Guardian Award Winner last year. She was at the Humane Society booth (looking maaarvelous) and she and Monica (our Witches Ball Director) were the two lovely ladies who conducted our raffle on stage that night.

Thanks also go out to Lee Ann, our Ticket Queen, and to Fernalia, our Volunteer Coordinator. These ladies are as capable as they are wise and it is a pleasure to work with them both.

Last but not least, I have to say a few words about our Full Circle Council. Monica, Corvid, Azeraeis (and Captain Lightning, our Web Wizard) have worked long and hard for over a year to make the Witches Ball and our other events happen. Neither the Ball nor Full Circle Events would be what it is today if it weren’t for their creativity, their dedication and their many skills. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to work (and play) with. So here’s to you folks and to a new year that is rich and full and a lot easier on all of us.

As we speak, Azeraeis and I are still working on the final, yearly budget and collecting money from those 12 stores that were kind enough to sell tickets to the Ball. We hope to have the Full Circle budget ready in time for the December newsletter (as per usual). We will also make our donation to the Humane Society at that time and this, too, will be announced in that newsletter.