For the last 8 years I have had the enormous honor (and undertaking) of transforming the Embassy Suites Hotel ballroom into another country or place for the Dazzling Diamond Ball to benefit Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Every year it takes mountains of help. Corinne Smith of Panacea Event Floral Design has been with me for all 8 years and has thrilled Hospice and me with her beautiful floral work. This year the theme was Pirate’s Cove at Treasure Island! What do you really need to pull off an epic theme like this? Pirates… lots of them. 21 awesome friends who share a pirate passion that is almost as strong as their passion for life, love and the pursuit of the perfect party, all traveled up from L. A. with a 30′ moving truck full of set pieces, authentic furniture, set dressing, props and outrageous costumes. With their backbreaking work and talents and persistance we truly transformed the space into another place and time. Also this year I was fortunate to work with Zack Hubbard with Kramer Entertainment and Lighting who provided amazing lighting (the moon was borrowed from BGA) and Sophie Murdock with Mike Larson Photography documented the whole soiree with these fine photos. Guests were greeted at the door by pirates (well, pirates more harass than greet but all in fun) and offered shots of a rum punch made with dark rum, passion fruit, fresh lime and nutmeg syrup. They then made there way to the Drunken Parrot Tavern and the “stockroom” where live auction items were on display including Marshalls Jewelers dazzling diamond, the gorgeous “captain’s passion”. A stunning Sapphire and Diamond Pendant.

They then made their way to the booty room where ancient treasure chests spilled out the evening’s silent auction items of jewelry, art and fine wine. A ships bell gathered guests outside the ballroom. When the doors were opened they found a moonlit cove, hundreds of twinkling lanterns, 80 tropical palms donated by Diane Meade of West Covina Nursery, a 40 candle ship’s-wheel chandelier, rich silk table linens, adorned with wrought iron candelabra centerpieces with black ostrich plumes and deep purple orchids, gold coins and a fully choreographed sword fight underway. When the fight was over the doors revealed an Egyptian goddess that belly danced with a lit candelabra on her head! All that before the salad was served…. A hearty embrace to all my mateys for making my vision come to life. A treasure ya are for sure!