The Flagler Museum hosted the 2017 Bal Poudré and Soirée Poudré on Friday, February 17th. The evening began with cocktails in the Grand Hall, and continued with a sumptuous dinner in the Grand Ballroom.
Bal Poudré Co-chair Jean Doyen de Montaillou said, "The Flagler Museum is a jewel of American history and a premier center of education for all. We are so pleased to be raising funds to support the Museum’s education programs for children.”
Bal Poudré guests then continued from the Grand Ballroom to the Museum’s Flagler Kenan Pavilion to join the Soirée Poudré, a new tradition that began in 2015. Co-chairs for the Soirée Poudré were Elisabeth and Adam Munder. Hosted by the Whitehall Society, the Museum’s next generation of friends and supporters, guests enjoyed cocktails, entertainment, and dancing. The Flagler Kenan Pavilion, built to house Henry Flagler's Railcar No. 91, was designed in the style of a 19th-century railway palace. A black and white photo booth and caricature artists offered keepsake mementos for party guests. A lounge area staged with vintage furniture, hidden behind billowing, floor-to-ceiling curtains gave the illusion of a cool speakeasy. The crowning piece of travel-inspired furniture was the one-of-a-kind ticket booth bar, where bartenders served Southsides and other Gilded Age-inspired cocktails.
The evening was a great success with proceeds from the event benefitting the Flagler Museum's education programs for children.
Bals Poudré are literally powdered wig balls, and were popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, both in America and in England. For example, in England, the Countess of Warwick loved to host Bals Poudré. In America, Bals Poudré were an interesting fusion of America’s fascination with Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and America’s hero worship of George and Martha Washington. Bals Poudré were typically hosted around the time of George Washington’s birthday, in late February or early March, which coincided perfectly with the end of the Season in Palm Beach. On March 3, 1903, the first Bal Poudré in Palm Beach was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Flagler in Whitehall’s Grand Ballroom. It was described in a newspaper account of the time as, “One of the most sumptuous social affairs ever attempted south of Washington.” From that first Bal Poudré at Whitehall in 1903 sprang all of the galas hosted each year for which Palm Beach has become so well known.
The February 17, 2017 Bal Poudré was a spectacular event in support of the Flagler Museum’s education programs. A very special thank you to all our Event Co-Chairs and our 2017 Bal Poudré Sponsors, including:
2017 Bal Poudré Co-Chairs Kamie Lightburn Jean Doyen de Montaillou and Michael A. Kovner
2017 Soirée Poudré Co-Chairs Elisabeth and Adam Munder
Corporate Sponsorship provided by:
Bal Poudré Host Committee Members Mary-Randolph Ballinger Holly Johnson Bartlett CeCe Black William Bransford Blundin Paula and Bob Butler Patricia and John Chadwick Mary Davidson Lucy and Nat Day Mark F. Gilbertson Roe Green and Michael Di Sio Audrey and Martin Gruss Myrna Haft Peter Heydon Jo Ann Hoffman Ann and Charlie Johnson Kyle Kahriman Marianna and George Kaufman Eleanora Kennedy Richard Lightburn Christina and Ben Macfarland Susan Malloy Nicole and Trip Mestanas Muffy and Donald Miller Tamara and Richard Morgenstern Mario Nievara Nancy and Michael Peacock Amanda Polk Natalie Pray Beth Smoker Priest Ellen and John Reid Annette Rickel and John Leone Deborah and Chuck Royce Leezy Sculley Lesly Stockard Smith Elizabeth Stribling and Guy Robinson Nicky Taylor Jane and William Told, Jr. Meredith Townsend and William Blind Christopher Walker Laura and Shakir Wissa
Benefactor Sponsors Paula and Bob Butler Jean Doyen de Montaillou and Michael Kovner Samuel J. and Connie M. Frankino Foundation Ann and Charlie Johnson Kamie and Richard Lightburn
Patron Sponsors Lynn and Robert Hanke Thomas S. Kenan, III Betsy K. Matthews George G. Matthews Jean and William Matthews Deborah and Chuck Royce
Premier Sponsors William Bransford Blundin Janet and John Cafaro Brantley and Peter Knowles, II Nancy and Ellis Parker Natalie Pray Annette Rickel and John Leone Kathryn and Leo Vecellio, Jr.