Naples, Bonita chefs charm Cinderellas, princes at Glass Slipper Ball

A happy quartet of diners and dancers enjoy the Glass Slipper Ball.

Photo by Dawn Larison

A happy quartet of diners and dancers enjoy the Glass Slipper Ball.

A happy quartet of diners and dancers enjoy the Glass Slipper Ball.

Photo by Dawn Larison

A happy quartet of diners and dancers enjoy the Glass Slipper Ball.

Dawn Larison (3)
Dramatic dance was the order of the evening after dining.

Photo by Dawn Larison

Dawn Larison (3) Dramatic dance was the order of the evening after dining.

The winning chefs: Jeremy Houston of the Capital Grille, best chef; Justin Schaffer of Irresistable Confections, best dessert; and Osmany Acosta of 1st Street Deli, best appetizer.

The winning chefs: Jeremy Houston of the Capital Grille, best chef; Justin Schaffer of Irresistable Confections, best dessert; and Osmany Acosta of 1st Street Deli, best appetizer.

Nearly 300 discerning diners snapped up $125 tickets to the fourth annual Glass Slipper Ball staged by the Zonta Club of Bonita Springs at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Estero on Nov. 10.

Partying commenced on an outside terrace flanked by an enormous, belching, breathing Immokalee Seminole Casino hot air balloon and a cash bar. But cool breezes kept many inside the ballroom foyer where they circulated around the silent auction items on display. Rocky Patel was on-site to roll custom cigars, to be smoked, graciously, out of doors..

While Prince Charmings appeared in everything from sports jackets to black tie — even one in white tie and tails — Cinderellas mostly adhered to the cocktail attire dictate. The glitzy Casino Zig Zag Girls added pizazz to the mix. Swaying to a hot rumba with fiance Sal Lacagnina in black Nehru jacket with purple vest and tie, Gina Israeloff chose a multihued, satin strapless cocoon dress with long mermaid skirt.

A huge hit on the dance floor, sprightly senior Dolly Scott, proprietor of Dolly's Produce Patch and Eatery in Bonita partnered with Fred Astaire Dance Studio owner/instructor Brian Oakes. Her sleek aqua gown with a translucent, sexy back was created by Deborah Pendarvis' Designs Inspired.

When ballroom doors were flung open, a parade of 20 chefs from prominent area restaurants along with other talented local chefs and caterers were cheered in and presented with wooden souvenir spoons as they entered followed by the hungry crowd. The understated décor featured dramatic floral centerpieces provided by Angel Blooms, Whole Foods Market, Encore Floral and Driftwood Garden Center.

Fabulous food was the order of the evening and had everyone continually chowing down on an array of savories and sweets when not dancing.

The winning Chef Awards were presented to Capital Grille Chef Jeremy Houston for his Kona-crusted filet mignon and lobster mac and cheese; Justin Schaeffer of Irresistible Confections for warm Cabernet sipping chocolate and assorted truffles; and to Seminole Casino 1st Street Deli Chef Osmany "Ozzy" Acosta for his Paradise Flambé station and Kona coffee presentation.

The Fort Myers-based Derek Trenholm Band with vocalist Heather Brooks performed the evening long except during brief program breaks and the live auction conducted by Auctioneer Thomas Gilchrist of American Fundraising Auctions.

Seven coveted, live auction items, including four travel adventures, garnered a total of $31,425. A unique Zonta Treasure Chest also drew handsome bids.

"You can't beat the food or the group's great support of area women in need of assistance," declared emcee Stacey Deffenbaugh, NBC-2 news anchor who has served for three years.

Jennifer Benton, Chief Executive Officer of the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center serving Lee, Hendry and Glades counties, was honored as Woman of the Year.

Ball co-chairwomen Maggie Kyle Petraits and Ann Musselman on behalf of President Patty Gift provided a net figure in event proceeds of a little over $10,000. Those funds will be granted to women's charities in Lee and Collier counties that focus on battling violence against women, enhancing their educational opportunities at all ages and helping them receive quality health care.

© 2012 gonaples.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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