June 19, 2016
BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Ostrich plumes, champagne saucers, and floating gardenias set an evocative tone for the Ascot Ball on June 11, taking guests back 95 years to the English-Speaking Union’s founding. Things felt considerably more current, however, when the Stanley Paul Orchestra kicked things off with Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” sending junior board members in their twenties and the evening’s 95-year-old honoree, Dottie Pattishall, alike rushing to the dance floor.
Vivacious redhead Courtney Pitt, ESU President, welcomed the crowd, along with radiant Benefit ChairKipper Lance. OBE recipient Doe Thornburgh gave a toast to the Queen on her official 90th birthday that day. Auctioneer Kevin Sullivan led a lively paddle raise, benefitting the Chicago Branch’s Teachers Abroad program, the ESU’s signature Shakespeare competition and Folger Library digital Shakespeare tool kits for teachers.
Dottie’s daughter Lyssa Piette, Linda and Mark Heister, Vickie and Bill Hood, Susan Gohl and Jonathan Grabill. Cookie Cohen, Mamie Walton, Travis Yonn, Biba and Peter Roesch, Emily Nielsen, J.P. Beall, Laura and Loren Ekstrom, Karen Zupko, Don Hermann, Kim and Steven Theiss, Scott Spasojevich, Laura and Chris Nielsen, Merle Gross, Joe and Mary Clare Starshak, Victoria and Joe Arnold, Katalina Groh, Scott Bobek, Myra and John Reilly, Paula and Jim Kiefer, and Sally and Andre King were among the celebrators piped into the ballroom by a bagpiper. Jon Jannott and Ed Schimmelpfenig stuck close to the theme and spirit of the evening, sporting kilts to rival any piper’s.