A benefit ball: Friends honor a creative spirit by making her vision real

March 2015 Posted in Community
Under the Chandelier,
an ASAP benefit and tribute
to Susan Goschie Denny

Saturday, March 14, 6 p.m., Silverton Elks Lodge
Tickets: $50, contact:
UnderTheChandelierASAP@gmail.com

By Kristine Thomas

Her friends could have let her idea fade away. Except, that’s not their style of friendship.

They know what they are planning is probably not exactly how Susan Goschie Denny envisioned it should be, but they are doing their absolute best to fulfill her vision of having a “fancy ball” to benefit ASAP, After School Activities Program in Silverton.

And they know they have one important detail absolutely correct – the chandelier.

“Under the Chandelier Ball – A Tribute to Susan Goschie Denny” begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 14 at the Silverton Elks Lodge, 300 High St. Tickets are $50 a person. There is a limit of 128 guests.

The committee members are Sue Roessler, Connie Hinsdale, Rosi Desantis Green, Laura Wanker, Marlene Wellin, Ron Thompson, Howard Hinsdale, Beth Davisson, Randy Stockdale and Laura Anderson.

The event honors Denny, who died April 23, 2014, and her idea to have a ball to benefit ASAP.

Her friends remember Denny as someone who cherished her community, her friends and her family. And someone who would lend a hand whenever and wherever needed. That’s why they are working to make her idea a reality.

From the way they laughed and chatted about this and that, one would think Roessler and Hinsdale have been friends for many years. Although they knew of each other, their friendship blossomed while planning the fundraiser.

Roessler met Denny at a “porch party” where she explained what ASAP did and shared stories of how it benefitted middle school students.

“After the presentation, Susan came up to me and said she likes to do things over the top,” Roessler said. “She told me she wanted to do something to benefit ASAP and we agreed in 2013 that we would meet after the holidays to plan the ball.”

Hinsdale recalls talking with Denny about ASAP shortly after Roessler’s presentation.

“Susan was so impressed with what she had learned about ASAP program that she wanted to do something to help the program. We were sitting at the wine bar and she looked across at the Wolf Building and said to me, ‘Wouldn’t that be a great place for a formal ball,’ ” Hinsdale recalled.

Remembering Denny’s vision, they asked her family if it would be OK to have a ball in her honor and received their blessing.

“It’s going to be a great event. She’d be happy that we actually went ahead and did it,” Hinsdale wrote on a friend’s Facebook page.

The goal is to raise $43,000 for the program as well as honor Denny’s memory. “Our goal is to live up to the elegant, giving and creative spirit that we all knew and loved about Susan,” the flier says.

ASAP Silverton Director Josh Burgeson said it never ceases to amaze him how much the community embraces the program and continually provides support.

The Under the Chandelier Ball is an important fundraiser for ASAP, Burgeson said, “not only for the fact that we are trying to gain long-term funding ­- instead of being funded on a year-to-year basis – and have specific aspects of our program that need financial support, but also raising awareness and notoriety for our program.”

Burgeson said ASAP for middle school students provides academic support, tutoring, healthy food, and activities through the effort of staff and community volunteers.

“We are seeking to expand our program in a variety of ways and are excited to see what the future holds for ASAP,” he said.

Roessler loves how committee members are talking about how they will have more time to plan the event for 2016, and how it is just another example of how the Silverton comes together to support important programs.

Roessler and Hinsdale believe Denny has a hand in the planning. All the details that she wanted will be part of the ball – fancy dresses, great food, lively music for dancing and the chandelier.

Most importantly, it will be a gathering of friends – people who either knew Denny or want to do something to support ASAP, Roessler said, as well as a fun evening for people to attend dressed up or dressed causal.

“It feels like everything has fallen into place so easily and so quickly,” Roessler said. “She must be overseeing this party. I think Susan would love that her friends are meeting at the wine bar once a week to make her dream come true while meeting and developing  deeper friendships on her behalf.”

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