I'll Bite

Why does the Salvation Army set pretty tables?

The winning table, “An Evening in Wonderland,” includes details like topsy-turvy glassware and a fantastical centerpiece.
The winning table, “An Evening in Wonderland,” includes details like topsy-turvy glassware and a fantastical centerpiece. Kathleen Purvis

I grabbed my clipboard and stepped up as a judge of the annual Festival of Tables on Friday at the Sheraton Hotel. It was certainly fewer calories than judging Taste of the Nation two nights before.

The Festival of Tables has been going on for 27 years. Everyone from individuals to local designers dresses up a table, from simple linen and plates to fantastic creations that rise up in the air. This year, judges had about 30 tables to pick through and consider, including color, scale of design, theme and “the WOW factor.”

The winner in the professional category: Beth Redlich Mattos, Creative Events Charlotte, “An Evening in Wonderland.” The winner in the individual category: “Chic Chinoiserie” by Valeria Kokenes and Martha Jurgensen.

The whole thing, including a lunch and a silent auction, raises money for the Center of the Hope and the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Charlotte. Lunch speaker was Rabbi Judith Schindler, who summed up the event and all the good work the Salvation Army does around here:

“We set tables so all mothers can set tables.”

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