Gala For A Good Cause - Black & White Ball Is Jan. 21

It’s all black and white, fabulous and fun


The Black & White Ball sponsored by the Mogollon Health Alliance is a fantastic opportunity to get dressed up and go out for an evening of dinner and dancing. The annual event raises money for the community programs of MHA, as well as the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

The Black & White Ball sponsored by the Mogollon Health Alliance is a fantastic opportunity to get dressed up and go out for an evening of dinner and dancing. The annual event raises money for the community programs of MHA, as well as the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

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Payson Mayor Kenny Evans addresses the crowd during last year’s Black & White Ball.

Love the costumes on Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey? Have a zoot suit or flapper dress in your dream wardrobe that you are just dying to wear? Need to pull out that fabulous formal wear for some air? Or do you still have some styling garb from the height of the counter culture era of Haight-Ashbury.

If it’s black and white, then you have the perfect place to wear it for a night on the town — the Annual Black & White Ball sponsored by the Mogollon Health Alliance (MHA). The theme this year is “San Francisco 1906 to 2012.”

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photo courtesy Mogollon Health Alliance

John and Nancy Landino float across the floor to the great sounds from Sonoran Swing.

Get ready to step out and step lively Saturday, Jan. 21 at the event center of the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino. The MHA Black & White Ball gets under way at 5 p.m. when the doors open. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. and features a choice of prime rib and Princess chicken (made with a mushroom and wine sauce) or upon request, a vegetarian entrée. There will be delicious side dishes and a scrumptious dessert — a tuxedo cake, one of the specialties of the casino’s restaurant staff, plus a no-host bar and dinner music as well.

Dance music by the Sonoran Swing Band will be offered from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Expect to hear the big band sound of such popular tunes as “In the Mood,” “How High the Moon,” “String of Pearls,” “Star Dust,” Moonlight Serenade,” “Satin Doll,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” “Fever,” and of course, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

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photo courtesy Mogollon Health Alliance

Gary Cordell and Mary Gilbert are the vocalists for the 21-piece band that has been together for almost 19 years.

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photo courtesy Mogollon Health Alliance

The Sonoran Swing Band will provide the dance music at the Black & White Ball, Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Mazatzal Casino.

Sonoran Swing is a 21-piece band with two vocalists — Gary Cordell and Mary Gilbert — who bring back the sounds of the big band era. The group has been together for almost 19 years, starting as the Motorola Dance Band and performing at numerous benefits as part of the company’s community service activities. When Motorola sold to General Dynamics, the service policy was discontinued and the band members struck out on their own, according to Cordell, who makes his home in Payson.

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photo courtesy Mogollon Health Alliance

The annual event raises money for the community programs of MHA, as well as the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

The group plays more dances than concerts because people like to dance to the big band music, as past participants in the community’s annual Black & White Ball can attest — Sonoran Swing has provided the music for the event for about seven years.

Awards at the 2012 Black & White Ball will be given for Best Dancers and Best Dressed Couple. There will also be drawing for elegant prizes — which are being kept a secret. There will also be a silent auction, for which donations are still being accepted.

Bids on silent auction items close at 8:30, with winners of the items announced at that time.

Tickets are $200 per person or $1,500 for a table of eight. Purchase tickets by Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the MHA office, (928) 472-2588.

Proceeds from the ball benefit the community programs of MHA, including the Health and Care Fair, Women’s Wellness Forum, MHAX III Cardiac Rehabilitation, scholarships, non-medical assistance to dialysis patients and more.

Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the programs of the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

“It is going to be a fabulous and fun event,” promises Sanja Long, MHA administrative assistant.

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