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Food and drink: The $45 admission got you hors d’oeuvres—chicken empanadas, smoked salmon on pumpernickel rounds, beef satay, and wild-mushroom crostini, among other bites—and a cash bar, where sodas were $3 and mixed drinks $7. The beverage of choice seemed to be glasses of red and white wine at $6 each.
Scene: Partygoers arrived in fits and spurts at first, but by 10 the City Tavern Club had filled up. In the main ballroom, guests were greeted by local cover band Dibs on Shotgun, but the dozen or so people chatting in small circles near the back made you wonder where the real party was; turns out it was upstairs.
On the third floor, another cover band, E3, was having much more success. The three-man band wailed to classics like “Low Rider” and “Tequila.” The space was packed. A handful of people danced, but most were content to sip drinks, mingle, and catch up with friends.
A short toast at around 10:30 reminded everyone why they had come: to raise funds for Luke’s Wings and the injured veterans the organization helps. Former army officer Matthew Davis gave a short speech, recounting his time stationed in Rwanda, his weeklong coma at Walter Reed after suffering a severe head injury, and his months of therapy learning how to talk again. Davis went on to earn his master’s degree in business administration. He said, “I’m living proof that full recovery is possible”—to which he received rousing applause from the crowd and a hug from Miss United Kingdom.
Bold-faced names: 2 out of 5
Swankiness: 2 out of 5
Exclusivity: 1 out of 5
Food and drink: 2 out of 5
Total score: 7 out of 20