Piano music played into the muggy evening and evening gowns swept the makeshift floor at the Eastern Flank Battle Park during Saturday’s 44th annual Heritage Ball.
The ball is the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County’s signature fundraising event, and the oldest continuous running black-tie ball in Williamson County.
Pat Petty, a lifelong Franklin resident who often acts as Santa Claus at Christmas-time, said he and his wife, Dianne, who hand-writes the event’s invitations, are long-time attendees.
“We like to socialize,” Petty said as his wife flitted from friend to friend.
As did the nearly 750 patrons of the event, who were greeted as they entered the white tent by local high school students who served as hosts and hostesses. Once inside, guests spent the evening sipping wine and cocktails from Gray’s on Main while maneuvering between each other before settling into to their tables for dinner and dessert. Though there was no official theme for the gala, greenery shrouded lighting fixtures and overflowed from table decorations, making the room feel like a rustic forest.
Deann Hebert, an artist based in Franklin, stood on a small stage and painted a canvas of what she saw in the room, which later went up for auction. Other auction items included a stay in a gated community on the Baja Peninsula for six nights, a trip for two to Las Vegas to see Cher perform, golf packages and art from local galleries.
Edward Campbell and his wife, Brenda served as king and queen of the evening in honor of their volunteerism with the Heritage Foundation, donning crowns and sashes which designated their titles. Campbell and his wife are realtors, and he is running for Ward One alderman this fall.
Those attending also included congressman Marsha Blackburn, house speaker Beth Harwell, who is running for governor, Mayors Ken Moore and Rogers Anderson, and Mary Pearce, the Heritage Foundation director who retired this spring after 30 years of helming the organization.
After dinner and a fast-paced live auction, guests took to the dance floor while being entertained by a jazz band playing hits by Stevie Wonder and the Four Tops that continued late into the night.
The Heritage Foundation’s mission is to protect and preserve the architectural, cultural and historical heritage of Franklin and Williamson County while promoting revitalization within the frame of historic preservation.