It’s been a few weeks since the Ben Franklin Ball and Gallery of Superb Printing, but I believe people are still talking about it. Why, you ask? Because it was different this year. The most common thing still being talked about has been coming from yours truly, “Man! I can’t believe I won the 50/50!” How many years have my folks been going to this thing, and never have they won the 50/50 raffle. Dad thought he did last year…he even went all the way up to the stage and handed the guy the ticket before he realized he didn’t win. Oops! But hey, there was more to the evening than that.
We had the event on a cloudy, winter’s day at The Fieldcrest down in North Canton, Ohio, rather than it’s usual spot up in Akron. It was definitely a nice change of scenery, and the bonus? People could stay the night without having to drive anywhere after the festivities. All we had to do was walk down the hill to the Inn.
The ball is hosted by the Northeast Ohio Craftsmen Club (NEOCC), and it’s mainly an award ceremony for print and design companies in the club who have submitted their work. These companies send in pieces that they think are their best works of the year, and the pieces are judged. This year, the judges were Marty Timmermin of Myers Industries, Michael Gorfido of Digital Color International and Anthony Tupta of Hewlett Packard. They judged from several categories in both print and design, and they picked what they thought was the best of each. They gave the pieces either a gold award, silver award or the bronze award.
Then from the many pieces that received a gold, the judges picked the 10 best for the judges gallery, and one for Best of Show for Print and Best of Show Creative. There are also the awards for Person of the Year (voted on by previous presidents), and this year there was an award for the Distinguished Service in Education. Of the 13 companies that entered, each and every one of them won some sort of award.
The silent auction raised an awesome amount of money (somewhere close to $3,000) for the scholarship fund. I got to participate in the auction this year as I was finally able to attend the ball (usually I have to work my retail job), and man, I had so much fun with that. My dad loves the Pantone mugs, so I was bidding on a package that had a French press, some Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee (which is yummy, if you haven’t tried it), and a Pantone mug. I almost got outbid at the last minute, but I made sure to get my darn mug! Ha! And I added the French Press to my collection of coffee machines I already have (an espresso machine/milk steamer and a café frappé machine). I’ll need a big kitchen in my apartment. I should have saved my 50/50 bucks for that!
All in all, the event was really a lot of fun. The food was great (I had melt-in-your-mouth beef…oh goodness…so good), the wait staff was friendly, the bartender kept the drinks flowing, and everyone had a great time.
My mom and I helped Dad plan the event this year. And I think we can all safely say, even though it had a great turn out and was really a lot of fun, we’re all glad it’s over. I think I got a small taste of what it’s like to plan a wedding. I can wait a little longer to plan that.