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Moonshine Ball

Benefiting The Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger  | Photos by Baxter Buck 

It was truly a stellar event, with stars from the ranks of the performing arts elite gathering to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Landing on the Moon. Pat Kerr Tigrett chaired the Moonshine Ball and was joined by honorary co-chairmen Priscilla Presley, Senator Marsha Blackburn and Tennessee Entertainment Commissioner Bob Raines. Angel Cropper, Carla and Dr. Paul McCombs, and LaRawn Rhea were Moonshine Ball co-chairmen. Corporate Sponsors included Graceland, B. B. King’s Blues Club, The Ayers Foundation, Carla and Dr. Paul McCombs and Tigrett.

“The evening was in honor of ‘America’s Favorite Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin,’ and served as a benefit honoring our brave veterans who provide our freedom, and our policemen and policewomen in blue who help keep us safe, 24/7,” explained Tigrett. “We were also honoring Tennessee, where America’s music was born.”

As guests stepped onto the entry plaza of the Graceland Entertainment Center, they could tell they were in for a very special evening. Just inside the front doors, billowing clouds of white balloons lent a festive air to tables that were laden with silent auction items. There were many types of musical memorabilia, up for bid, as well as jewelry, Malco movie tickets, dining gift certificates, and tickets to a favorite perennial event, the Jingle Bell Ball. There were also ball caps personalized with “Bluff City Law,” a VIP package to Raiford’s Disco and several pieces of original art by Michael P. Maness.

Actor Morgan Freeman and musician Steve Cropper were two of the luminaries in the evening’s crowd. Well-known local community leaders included Jack and Leighanne Soden, Boo Mitchell, Jerry Phillips, Kevin Kane, Steve Ehrhart, Lucy Woodson, Bob Berry, Randa Rosenblum, and former mayors Mark Luttrell and Bill Morris.

As the party started, guests mingled and made their way to find their assigned tables. Dinner was served buffet-style with dishes from B. B. King’s Club, Central BBQ, Lafayette’s Music Room, Rizzo’s, Sekisui, The Cupboard, and Westy’s. Dinstuhl’s provided sweets for dessert.

While dining, party-goers enjoyed star-studded entertainment. First was Al Green’s Full Gospel Tabernacle Choir and Band, followed by Southern Halo, Wendy Moten and Jason D. Williams. Alston Meeks performed in the VIP Jungle Room piano bar. It all added up to a truly “out of this world” evening. Proceeds from the Moonshine Ball will benefit The Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum. 

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