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Legacy Ball was a mesmerizing evening

  A very interactive evening was enjoyed by nearly 200 persons at last Saturday evening’s fifth annual Legacy Ball.

  The Ball, held as a major fundraiser for the Frankenmuth Community Foundation, was held at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth in its Main Dining Room. Steve List, the foundation’s executive director, was the evening’s master of ceremonies.

  Hypnotist, magician and comedian Jeff Jay and his wife and assistant Donna Bright mesmerized the crowd and more specifically, held over a dozen attendees under a hypnotic state on stage for nearly one hour.

  “I think the audience was fully engaged and entertained by him and the individuals that were under his hypnosis,” Legacy Ball Committee member Kristi Krafft-Bellsky said. “I think the audience particularly enjoyed watching the hypnotized subjects that believed they were four years old.

  The evening began with a silent auction, with goods and services from the Frankenmuth area on the auction block. Many of the items went at or above the valued price, with the attendees’ generosity helping the Foundation. The silent auction raised approximately $10,000.

  Live auction items included vacations to Orlando, Florida, Harbor Springs, Michigan as well as a special tour of the Frankenmuth Historical Association’s Lager Mill Museum and an autographed football by Michigan State University football Head Coach Mark Dantonio.

  The football, which was part of playing card raffle, was a foreshadowing event for the Ball. Coach Dantonio will be the 2016 Legacy Ball guest speaker. The Ball Committee is currently planning the ball’s date.

  Musical group and artists Empty Canvas returned to provide entertainment for the audience. In addition to their own unique style of music, they created a painting of the Holzbruecke at Christmas, using a magical look at the majestic wooden bridge. Artist/musician Mike McMath had members of the audience come forward to assist in brushing paint on the canvas.

  The painting was the final auction item of the evening, Freeland’s Bill and Pam Loiacano the winning bidders at $2,100.

  “Pam and I would like to thank the Frankenmuth Community Foundation and its board for working so diligently throughout the year, making sure the foundation is on solid footing,” Loiacano said. “You can certainly see the great things that the foundation does and we should be proud of its accomplishments.”

  During the cocktail hour, Jeff Jay strolled throughout the restaurant, performing various magic and slight of hand card and fire tricks to amaze the gathering.

  The meal itself was worth the price of the evening as Zehnder’s Executive Chef John Zehnder recreated a menu that was first served June 22, 1919. The meal was designed to celebrate Bess and Harry Houdini’s 25th wedding anniversary where 200 of their closest friends dined in the Hotel Alexandria in Los Angeles, California.

  Four of that past evening 10 courses were served, highlighted by a petite beef tenderloin filet demi glace wrapped in hickory smoked bacon and breast of chicken Virginienne.

  Jay did steal the show for that hour as those under his hypnotic state performed various acts, including one thinking he was Elvis Presley, another Kelly Clarkson, and another a laugher policeman. Jay had the entire stage dancing and singing to the “YMCA.”

  “Several audience members even stood up and danced along with the hypnotized subjects,” Krafft-Bellsky added.

  The fifth annual Legacy Ball presenting sponsors were the Frankenmuth Credit Union and Frankenmuth Insurance Company.

  The foundation’s mission is to honor the past, focus on the present and plan for the future.

  In the past year, foundation grants were awarded to the Frankenmuth High School engineering program, Wickson District Library’s 𠇁,000 Books Before Kindergarten” initiative, creation of pass-through accounts to assist the Frankenmuth Farmers Market and the FCF Recreation Initiatives Fund as they embark on fundraising campaigns, a Camp Hope grant through the FCF’s Youth Advisory Council and the foundation awarded scholarships from 19 scholarship funds to FHS graduates.

  The foundation’s Board of Governors include President Jon Webb and members Joe Cramer, Julie Gafkay, Tim Hildner, Nancy Haskin, Sue Piesko, W. Don Zehnder, Bob Zeilinger and Scott Zimmer.

  The Legacy Ball Committee includes Dave Bellsky, Kristi Krafft-Bellsky, Wayne Cormier, Joe Cramer, Vicki DeGrace, Renee Elliott, Lisa Bourdon-Krause, List, Sharril McNally, Pam Mossner, Scott Wenzel and Shellie Wenzel.


(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News