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For six years the folks at Nemours have put on quite a show, hosting an extravagant soirée in a tent on the grounds of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Rockland. On June 1 the show went on at the Queen, the historic theater on Market Street in the heart of Wilmington. And what a show it was, darlings, with a fabulously attired, spirited cast of more than 700 supporters who paid $275 a pop to raise money for A.I.’s new Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Construction at the hospital is why planners found another place to party.
Guests floated through four hip themed spaces with free-flowing bars and stations for grazing—think hamburger sliders, green salads and tortellini—and a variety of mini-desserts. The theater was designated Dance, a place where Motown-inspired Eturnity Band urged revelers to shake. The balcony, designated Gaze, was set up as an intimate lounge with a view of the action below. The airy Olympia Room was the place to Mingle, while the street-level lounge invited guests to Relax. “We think our guests will enjoy having a variety of experiences all in one place, from dancing to having a quiet conversation,” said Nemours spokeswoman Ellen Songle.
There was no doubt that this special evening was all about Nemours. Larger-than-life wooden silhouettes of Alfred du Pont and his bride, Jessie Ball du Pont, were hauled over from the Nemours Mansion. There were colorful posters of doctors and nurses caring for their patients.
Taking the party indoors yielded at least one benefit: the ability to control the temperature. Kevin Churchill, Nemours dapper CEO, summed it up: “It’s a little bit cooler than usual this year.”
For the first time Gabby can recall, two gals get her nod for Best Dressed two years in a row. Willowy Marianne Lockwood of Newark turned heads in a mauve Christian Siriano strapless floor-length sheath with feathers at the bodice. Her friend, Nemours colleague Kim Aloi of Wilmington, was a knockout in a silver-sequined bodice and floaty white skirt from Lady’s Image in Wilmington.
Dr. Jennifer Vanderbeck and her husband, Scott, kept track of who dressed the fastest. As it turned out, Jennifer slipped into her purple satin gown more quickly than Scott donned his tux. “All those studs, those cuff links, are very time consuming,” he explained.