From the Associates Council: What’s in a Name?

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Last year’s second annual spring fundraiser was “A Gatsby Affair,” and the David Rubenstein Atrium transformed into the terrace of Jay Gatsby’s mansion. Some of our most enthusiastic guests dressed in flapper outfits and fashion of the Roaring Twenties, and everything from the raffle tiers to the cocktails fell in line with the theme.

When we sat down to choose this year’s theme, we thought about what made Gatsby such a good pick. A lot of us on the committee liked the idea of a literary reference, but we also wanted to tie the event back to children. After many rounds of discussion and fruitless attempts to recall the classic novels we read in high school, we landed on children’s literature as a long-term motif for the spring party. This of course meant reaching even further back into our English class memories, but we eventually came up with a list of favorite books.

Books are a very personal thing, so it was hard to agree on the best one. Plus, we wanted the story to have a festive quality (Oliver Twist just wouldn’t do). We decided to table the issue and revisit it at the next meeting.

But then, just a few days later, a few committee members read that Pantone had selected Emerald as the color of the year, and suggested that we turn the Wizard of Oz idea from our book brainstorm into an “Emerald City” theme.

This worked on so many levels. For one, the Wizard of Oz is a story virtually everyone knows, and the fact that it’s both a book and a movie makes for great marketing and creative around the event. Second, the David Rubenstein Atrium is decorated with a mixture of greenery and cityscapes. Third, the green-ness of the theme would align well with our beneficiary Go!Healthy’s mission of healthy eating. Overall, it was exactly the kind of whimsical, colorful, lively theme a party on a May evening demands.

The response to the “Emerald City” theme has been wonderful so far--but I can’t give away all the decorating plans just yet. I will say that Sephora has agreed to send makeup artists to the party to add a splash of emerald to our guests’ looks. And I just found the perfect emerald dress.

We hope you’ll join us--in theme or just in your Wednesday finest--on May 8. Buy tickets now at

--Giuliana Vetrano, Co-chair, Spring Event Committee