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Beline Obeid

Roaring '20s come alive at War Memorial

April 10, 2014
Get a glimpse of the Roaring Twenties by attending the Great Gatsby Gala Saturday, April 26, at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.

Staged in the Alger House, built during that era, attendees will dine, dance to the music of the 18-piece Rhythm Society Orchestra and watch vignettes performed by Grosse Pointe Theatre members. Dressed in '20s style costumes, characters from F. Scott Fitzgerald's book, including Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, will be brought to life by theatre members.

The evening begins with guests having their photos taken with two Ford automobiles from that era, a convertible and a rumble seat models before being greeted by War Memorial president Charles Burke and the music of a jazz quartet. Champagne is served beginning at 7 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. A dessert table allows guests to select a sweet and mingle before dancing in the ballroom, decorated in art deco style, with lots of feathers, said Valerie Moran, event co-chairwoman.

The evening is capped off on the terrace where cigars can be smoked and scotch will be served. And a surprise, she added.

"The Alger House lends itself to that era. The back of the house from the ("Great Gatbsy") movie and this house could be neighbors," Moran said. "It's going to be fun."

The evening's proceeds are to be used to restore the living and dining rooms' ceilings. The molded plaster ceilings resemble wood with a rose motif. The intricate work, done at night, must be painted by hand, she explained.

"It will be as beautiful as it once was," Moran said. "This will be a great evening and preserve a house."

Some 200 tickets are available. Patron tickets cost $250 and include the VIP reception, live music, hors d'oeuvres, dinner and dancing. Gatsby-inspired attire is encouraged. Black tie is optional.

Friends tickets cost $125 and include dinner, dancing and valet parking.

The Italian Renaissance mansion was once the home of Russell Alger III and his family.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the War Memorial at (313) 881-7511. Corporate and individual sponsorships, starting at $1,000, are also available. For more information, call Kathy Schutter at (313) 881-7511.

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