Clockwise, from left: Janet Killian, Pat Forrester, Maria Hess and Priscilla Rakestraw.

Clockwise, from left: Janet Killian, Pat Forrester, Maria Hess and Priscilla Rakestraw.

The results are in! This year’s “It’s Showtime: An Evening of Entertainment,” was a tremendous success, and not just financially. As always, the glittery annual fundraiser for Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation was a feast for the senses:

Sense of Humor

Old friends renewed acquaintances and made new friends among the more than 300 attendees, and the most frequent things “overheard” were laughter and exclamations of delight. The four women pictured (left), all extremely successful and venerated in their respective professions, showed each other the typical affection and excitement of being in the same room at the same time for a worthy cause. Priscilla Rakestraw (right) was, along with Beebe Coker, one of the honorary event chairs for the evening.

Sense of Place

The Deerfield Country Club provided a beautiful and elegant setting for the night’s festivities, whose large and bright ballroom held a bandstand and dance floor, dozens of tables for silent auction items, more than 30, 10-guest dining tables and an ample supply of fine food and drink. Everyone wore their shiny best for the occasion, including the committee members, all of whom “clean up” really well!

Sense of Taste

It was the kind of buffet dinner you could return to time and again with a new, clean plate. Chef-sliced beef, an assortment of vegetables, beautiful desserts and any carb you could possibly eat were plentiful and delicious. Many folks, including this humble blog writer, returned for seconds and thirds knowing full well she was overindulging. Did we mention that the banquet staff was also roaming the room with delectable hors d’oeuvres? Stomachs growl in remembrance.

Senses of Hearing and Sight

The music and entertainment were, as usual, fantastic. The Shaun Dougherty Jazz Trio provided the perfect musical background to complement tours of the silent auction items and provide a mellow background for pleasant conversations. We enjoyed songs from The Deltones, the University of Delaware a capella group and A Broad’s Way, two talented women providing a cute take on our favorite show tunes. The Juggling Hoffmans were hilarious, as usual, and the Starlite Dancers showed us what “tearing up the dance floor” should look like.

Sense of Compassion

Stories from Fresh Start Scholars Bonita Penn and Shannon Watson reminded all of us why the work of the Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation is vitally important. We’re changing women’s lives, and in turn, our scholars are changing the lives of everyone they touch in their educational journeys and careers: their children, their families and their communities.

Sense of Accomplishment

The Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation’s annual fundraising event raised more than $50,000, which is more than 85 percent of its 2015-2016 scholarship budget. Wow! Since its inception in 1996, we have awarded more than $640,000 in scholarships to 159 women. Through the support of our members, business leaders, community and friends, we have been able to continue as an all volunteer organization with no paid staff. Further, we designate 97 cents of every dollar raised to scholarships.

Sense of Longing

There’s so much more we want to do, so many more women in need of our help who are longing to fulfill their goals, skills and dreams. Thanks to all of you for your generous dedication and support. We are longing to see you next year!