Jessica & Richard Bell attend the Bootlegger’s Ball. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

The Willamette Heritage Center (WHC) transformed Oct. 22 into the Heritage Hideaway for its Bootlegger’s Ball. This 20s-themed gala was a fundraiser to support the nonprofit museum that sits on Mission Street. WHC features historic homes, a research library and archive, a textile learning center, shops and event space.

Guests entered the event through a tent designed like a 20s style lobby or living room and were greeted by Executive Director Michelle Cordova and Development Director Helen Shafran. Richard, Debra and daughter Kerry Pine visited on an antique sofa. However, if approved by the doorman, you’d head to the private hideaway where the fun began.

Debra, Richard and Kerry Pine attend the Bootlegger’s Ball. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Attendees embraced the prohibition theme by dressing like flappers or in pinstripe suits and suspenders. No one seemed to be worried about a raid because the beverages were flowing from both Divine Distillers and Gilgamesh Brewing, and mixologist Ethan Plumb was creating some tasty drinks.

Local historian John Ritter attended with his wife Linda Ritter. John chatted about hosting underground tours of the city.

Upstairs in the Spinning Room, dinner began, served by Sassy Onion. Our table hosts were Jim and Becky Sterup; joined by Jean and Howard Bauman; Yolanda and Jerry Frampton. Howard Bauman is on the board for the Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health. 

Kathy Bowers and Caprice Rose of Candalaria Elementary School talked about bringing children to the center each year.

The Heritage Center Service award was given to the Oregon Quilt Documentation Project. Twenty-nine volunteers contribute to this group. They created a one-of-a-kind quilt with every square representing a different artist.

The Capitol History Gateway Program received the Education Award for their outstanding events like Cherry Blossom Days and Hispanic Heritage Day. They’ve also created a new virtual tour of the Capitol Building available on their website.

Tom Golden, Jr. was on hand to accept the Enterprise Award on behalf of his family business, Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service. He is one of the three generations that have supported the center.

WHC Curator Kylie Pine took supporters on a journey starting in 1914, when Salem was dry, and throughout a time where the city traded hops and had a brewery on Commercial and Trade streets. We heard about the history of the loganberry and tried different mocktail recipes at our tables.

Executive Committee President Jeff Walton and his wife Kris Walton kicked off the dancing to the Gail Gage Band and they all cut a rug.

The Willamette Heritage Center is a nonprofit resulting from a merger of the Mission Mill Museum and the Marion County Historical Society.

Susan Westphal and Dawn Witbeck volunteer at the Bootlegger’s Ball. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Guests attend the Willamette Heritage Center’s Bootlegger’s Ball. (Courtesy Liz McIntire/Willamette Heritage Center)

Ricard, Debra and Kerry Pine attend the Willamette Heritage Center’s Bootlegger’s Ball. (Courtesy Liz McIntire/Willamette Heritage Center)

Caprice Rose and Kathy Bowers attend the Willamette Heritage Center’s Bootlegger’s Ball. (Courtesy Liz McIntire/Willamette Heritage Center)

Executive Director Michelle Cordova recognizes Tom Golden, Jr. with the Heritage Enterprise Award he Willamette Heritage Center’s Bootlegger’s Ball. Bootlegger’s Ball. (Courtesy Liz McIntire/Willamette Heritage Center)

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing a regular column for Salem Reporter. Tell her about your upcoming event at[email protected] or follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Out-and-About-with-Mary-Louise-VanNatta-646148848755085/