Members and guests of the Cancer League's 39th Holly Ball experienced a magical evening Dec. 7 at the Winter Palace.

The Claremont Country Club was transformed into a winter wonderland. As guests entered, they were greeted by Cancer League President Karen Ellis. Guests enjoyed the sound of music and laughter amid the lit snow-dusted trees and cascading chandeliers. The elegant ambience continued with the addition of an ice lounge where guests enjoyed caviar hors de oeuvres, wines generously donated by Wente Vineyards and a vodka bar. Guests danced to the music of Lovefool.

As the cocktail hour came to an end, guests entered the dining room where columns were lit with sparkling lights and tables were decorated in white sequin linens complemented by glittering centerpieces and a dusting of snow.

Ellis welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support of the Cancer League and its efforts in the fight against cancer. She spoke of the tireless energy Holly Ball Chairwoman Marla Putterman devoted to the event.

"Marla had a vision, and it is so incredible to see all of the hard work and hours put into this event come to fruition," Ellis said.

As guests enjoyed fine wines provided by Cameron Hughes Wines and a meal suitable for dining at the Winter Palace, Putterman thanked Ellis for the introduction and the guests for their attendance. She also expressed her gratitude to the membership for their support and assistance with the event.

A raffle with prizes including fine wines, sapphire and diamond earrings and consultation for holiday decorating with floral designer Ron Morgan began the crowd stirring. This was followed by an auction that was energetic, fun, fast and furious. Auctioning of items such as a private beauty party, generously donated by Neiman Marcus; a winter wonderland getaway to Sun Valley, Idaho, courtesy of Kathy Hull and Bill Grisvold; an adventure in Machu Picchu, Peru, donated by Boundless Journeys; a private viewing of the America's Cup race, generously donated by Rick Vankoll, and a three-night stay in New York donated by member and supporter Jeannie and Dan Christopoulos were just a few of the items. The auction was a success, raising significant funds toward the fight against cancer.

The Cancer League Inc., with an active membership of 50 East Bay women, raises funds for accredited Bay Area nonprofit organizations in support of the fight against cancer in such areas as early detection, education, patient care, services and research. Please visit the Cancer League Inc. website at www.thecancerleague.org.

-- Sarah Abel