Courtney Laves-Mearini and Grace Pindel

The first snowfall of the season coincided beautifully and fittingly with the 10th annual Sugarplum Fairy Tea benefitting the City of Ballet of Cleveland.
About 100 guests (including mothers, daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters) were delighted by an intimate afternoon of fairies, princesses and ballerinas for the annual event, presented at the Cleveland Skating Club in Shaker Heights and put on hold last year due to the pandemic.
“Our goal is to give everyone a wonderful time and provide normalcy for the children,” Courtney Laves-Mearini, artistic and creative director of the City Ballet of Cleveland, said. As for the first snowfall coinciding with the day of the benefit, Ms. Laves-Mearini added, “we usher in the magic.”
Guests enjoyed tea and hot cocoa with festive sweets, provided by the Skating Club, as well as crafts and a raffle. A trio of violinists provided a lovely backdrop of music for the afternoon event.
Highlights included young girls dancing with the ballerinas themselves, including the Sugarplum Fairy, Grace Pindel, whose parents Dave and Heather served as co-

Dave and Heather Pindel

chairs of the event this year. Youngsters also enjoyed photo opportunities with the Sugarplum Fairy and other “Nutcracker” favorites.
Funds raised that afternoon support the Uniquely Cleveland Nutcracker’s Outreach Program.
The City Ballet is presenting the Uniquely Cleveland Nutcracker just in time for the holidays on Dec. 18-19 at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts. The show will be presented in person, virtually and through video on demand.
A nonprofit dance company, City Ballet of Cleveland is dedicated to returning classic ballet to Northeast Ohio. Through the years, the company has enjoyed being the recipient of a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and from the Ohio Arts Council. STORY AND

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