New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Feature News

HoCC’s 2011 Chrysanthemum Ball Fundraiser to Sparkle

There are still tickets left, but you better hurry. The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s (HoCC) 2011 Chrysanthemum Ball looks to be the event of the season.

It is put on by the New Britain General Campus Auxiliary which is 112 years old. There are 26 members on the board which meets once a month.

“The Chrysanthemum Ball started in 1940 and it was an every other year ball and at some point became an annual ball,” said Judy Garro, co-chair of the event.

“It’s one of our two larger fundraising events,” said Carmela Williams, co-chair of the event. “It is community driven.”

The Ball has grown and averages about 450 people. Tickets are $150 per person.

“This year we made a major pledge of $1 million towards the new cancer center,” said Williams.

It is a five year commitment. Several events will be held to reach that amount in the course of five years.

The cancer center will be coming offsite as part of HoCC in the future.

“The Chrysanthemum Ball was not always named the Chrysanthemum Ball. They had all different names,” said Garro. “The names were very sweet.”

The Ball will be held the first Saturday of November which is Nov. 5 this year. It will be at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington from 6 to 11:40 p.m. Music will be by the Silver Streaks Band of Norwalk.

One of the highlights is a Silent Auction.

“We do solicit for the items,” said Williams. “Some items are pretty large.”

Items include trips such as a weekend in Florida, jewelry, art work, Italian inlaid furniture, China, a private tour of the New Britain Museum of American Art and much more.

“In this hard economic time, it’s hard to keep going back to the well, but people have been very generous,” said Garro. “The prizes are special.”

“Our board members have great relationships with the community,” said Williams. “We are really excited. We have been able to give $100,000 sometimes after a ball.”

The last $1 million pledge went to the cardiac unit.

In the past year, the group raised $83,000 for their annual golf tournament and hopes to raise $100,000 from the ball.

A new feature this year will be Vino Bella. For a $20 ticket you get a bottle of wine and a chance to win a $1,000. Wines came from liquor stores all over the area.

“It really is a community event. There are attendees from all over,” said Nancy Martin HoCC senior public relations specialist. “Even other hospitals come down.”

This year there will be honorary chairs of Joy and Angelo Tomasso.

“What better people could you choose,” said Garro. “He built the Tomasso Tower which houses maternity and other things in the hospital. He is a give back guy.”

“He is a figure in the community that has given back and helped many people in business,” said Williams. “He is a major benefactor of the hospital. He has a positive influence in the community.”

Tickets are $150 per person and include dinner and dancing. Leave a name and call back number. Proceeds will support the hospital’s Cancer Center. For information or tickets, please call 860-224-5502.

“It’s a gala affair,” said Williams. “Hospital employees, people from the community, doctors, dignitaries, politicians and more come. It is the community event of the year.”