The Wolf Trap 2004 Ball was designed around the theme “Jewels of India” and brought out philanthropists from the world’s two largest democracies to celebrate a commitment to the arts and education.
The ball is an annual tradition that has been held for the past 33 years as a fund-raiser for Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Nearly 1,000 guests attended the event dressed in either formal wear or in traditional Indian clothing.
Amrita Singh, dressed in a green and gold sari, said, “It’s nice to see India being honored this way. Everything looks lovely. It makes me very proud to be here and see so many people here.”
Dr. Brian Silver, a classical Indian musician, played the sitar during the cocktail hour with a tabla player. “Being at an event like this gives great exposure to the music,” said Silver.
Filene Center stage was transformed into a Rajastani paradise for the gala. Areas of the stage usually reserved as the backstage respite area for performers were opened up to make room for the nearly 100 tables that were decorated in reds, oranges and gold for the evening.
The new ambassador of India to the United States, His Excellency Renendra Sen, hosted the event, which focused on the customs and traditions of India.
Other diplomatic attendees included U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-11th) and his wife, state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites (R-34th); U.S. Rep. James Moran (D-8th) and his wife; state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32th) and Dr. Hunt Howell; state Sen. Jay O’Brien (R-39th) and his wife; state Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-35th); Michael Powell; Ambassador and Mrs. Bianchi of Brazil; Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine; Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta; and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash.
Co-chairs for the ball were Mark Lowham and Joseph Ruzzo. Lowham is a dentist in McLean. The couple are active in the local community and in raising money for the arts. “We are honored to be invited to chair this evening and look forward to an extraordinary evening,” said Lowham. When Ruzzo’s name was selected by Lowham as the winner of the raffle for airline tickets, Lowham said, “He’s quite lucky. You should touch him on his way out.” Another drawing was held to pick a new winner.
The proceeds of the evening, more than $500,000, will directly benefit Wolf Trap’s educational programs, including its opera company and Institute for Early Learning through the Arts.