It was a glamorous evening for a necessary but not-always-glamorous cause: women's global initiatives.
The glittering Glass Slipper Ball, which offered up some of the best gourmet food sampling in town and dancing to Gentle Rain, focused on victims of human trafficking, educational opportunities for socioeconomically challenged women, the Liberia Fistula Program, violence against women and the elimination of pediatric HIV.
A sold-out guest list of almost 400 raised thousands of dollars for the different causes on Jan. 25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton.
Glass Slipper co-founders Laura Stamp and Debra Dion Krischke described their efforts as working "to provide a stunning platform for increasing visibility and funding to small but effective women's initiatives providing education opportunities for women and girls and keeping them safe and healthy."
Emcee Kimberly Price of FOX21 News introduced honoree Sarah Hamilton, the Pikes Peak Zonta KPWE Scholarship recipient, who is a nontraditional female student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Sharing the honors was her mentor from the Zonta Club, Sharon Roggy.
All around the DoubleTree ballroom, area chefs were setting out unusual and tempting treats for guests to sample as cooking teams chatted up their establishments.
As they noshed, guests voted for their favorites. The winners were:
Best Overall Chef: KT Trombley, Bella Panini, blackened tenderloin with green chili beurre blanc.
Best Appetizer: Matthew Schee, Craftwood Inn, agave glazed pork belly with pickled peaches, spiced peanuts and cardamom creme fra?he.
Best Dessert: Andrew Darrigan, Motif Jazz Bistro and The Food Designers, who unveiled the "Spracee Brulee," a flaming creme brulee lollipop that will be served at Motif.
Trombley's Best Overall prize was to donate $1,000 to one of the event beneficiaries.
Vying for wildest teams of the evening were Jake and Telly's Greek Enthusiasm and the Taste of the Wild group from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo with its praline bacon liquid nitrogen ice cream on salted pretzel spoon with 291 Whiskey caramel, brown butter powder and chocolate slipper.
Other participating food purveyors: 2South Wine Bar; Aragon Dining Facility, Peterson Air Force Base; Blue Sage Cafe; Cravings; DoubleTree by Hilton; Hotel Elegant? Garden of the Gods Club; Jun Japanese Restaurant; La Rosa Southwestern Dining; MacKenzie's Chop House; The Margarita at Pine Creek; The Melting Pot; moZaic Restaurant; The Old School Bakery; Pikes Peak Community College Culinary Arts Program; Serranos Coffee Co.; and Tapateria.
Major sponsors were Brian and Susan Maecker, The Brian Maecker Team RE/MAX Advantage. Longtime supporter Dirk Stamp, The Wine Seller, coordinated wine reps for a tasting to coordinate with food prepared by the chefs.