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The decadent Mardi Gras mask-shaped cookies and sticky-iced King Cake flew in the face of Lenten self-denial at the 5th Annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Ball on Saturday night. Although the whole Fat Tuesday themed affair took place a week and a half after this year's Mardi Gras, it was thematic decor void of connotation that effectively transformed the Omar Shrine Temple, a relatively stark venue, into a very pretty party.


Billowing swaths of opaque gauze pinned to the rafters softened the austerity of a styrofoam ceiling. A custom lighting scheme relegated the cinderblock walls to the dark, while illuminating the central bar and silent auction tables. Masks painted in bright shades of purple and gold glinted amid piles of plastic beads in every imaginable color. 


The invitation specified black tie optional, and while most gentlemen donned evening wear, the women wore a hit parade of jewel tones—not much black in sight. Long, short, feathered, and hot pink, the dresses were a delicious visual feast (repeat: it was a very pretty party).


There was, however, a serious mission at hand: to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation. Like so many others, my life has been profoundly impacted by leukemia, so it was encouraging to see a great turnout for this event. Unlike so many other charity events covered by the Fete Set, this night was populated by fresh faces—Mt. Pleasant residents perhaps?


The silent auction featured some not-so-common items, including a week in a Key West conch house and an original Bulls Bay Bed Swing, and the winning bids helped contribute to the more than $100,000 that is given to patients to help cover transportation and treatment-related expenses.