Nicholas Miller, Lucia Robbins and Scarlet Seitz

Britt and Ellie Bodager

The season’s first snowfall fittingly marked the eighth annual Sugarplum Fairy Tea benefitting the City of Ballet of Cleveland.
Presented for the first time at Shaker Country Club, the sold-out event drew 200 guests.
As part of the delightful afternoon attended by many mothers, daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, company dancers performed three pieces, including those from the Nutcracker. They included Spain, The Shepherdess and The Sugarplum Fairy variation by the ballet’s Sugarplum Fairy Olivia Mann. Ms. Mann posed in photographs throughout the afternoon with the children in attendance.
Tea, coffee, hot cocoa and a variety of desserts, including cookies,

Courtney Laves-Mearini and Olivia Mian

brownies, cupcakes and cake pops were served, with the club adorned with pink decor, providing the perfect atmosphere filled with fairies, princesses and ballerinas.
Guests took part in a variety of holiday arts and crafts and a raffle, as well as enjoyed a trio of violinists, who provided a lovely backdrop of music.
Highlights of the afternoon included young girls dancing with the ballerinas themselves, with 15 dancers on hand.
The target fundraising goal for the afternoon of $2,000 was exceeded, organizers said, with money used to help fund future programming. The ballet also seeks to establish additional outreach programs, add more performances, build new costumes and hire guest artists to help strengthen the company’s success.
Chairing the benefit were Lisa Gangi and Omar Mian, along with Naomi Hollander and Heather Young, all of whom worked alongside numerous volunteers.
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 PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUE REID