The 2020 Swan Ball — the long-running white-tie charity fundraiser for Cheekwood Estate and Gardens — has been canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Originally slated for Saturday, June 6, the 58th annual event was to be chaired by Anne Maradik and Jane Anne Pilkinton and feature a performance by Idina Menzel. "In light of the rapidly evolving current events, the decision has been made to cancel Swan Ball 2020," the co-chairs told Nfocus. "After careful consideration, we determined that canceling, rather than postponing, would allow us to most efficiently move critical funds to Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, which are needed now more than ever."
The Swan Ball Auction Party, originally scheduled for May 14, 2020, at the Belle Meade Country Club, has also been canceled, but Anne and Jane Anne are looking at alternatives for the Swan Ball Patrons Party. The intimate black-tie dinner, typically held in the days leading up to the white-tie event, will be postponed until the fall. An exact date has not yet been announced.
In a letter sent to Swan Ball Committee members on March 27, Anne and Jane Anne expressed a hope to retain many of this year's confirmed sponsors, as well as donations from guests. "Swan Ball is more than an annual one-night, white-tie event," the co-chairs told Nfocus. "It represents a 58-year legacy of philanthropy and partnership from many individuals and organizations who come together in support of Nashville’s beloved Cheekwood. Though we will not have the actual evening of Swan Ball itself in 2020, we are encouraged that Swan Ball can still hopefully fulfill its mission in spirit this year — ensuring Cheekwood remains a place of beauty and solace for years to come." Individuals interested in making a donation to Cheekwood can do so through the Swan Ball's website.
Plans are already underway for the 2021 Swan Ball, which will be chaired by Mary Catherine McClellan and Janette Smith. "The 2021 chairs are already in place and have begun working, and we are so excited for them to witness, as we have all year, the incredible, collaborative generosity of this community on behalf of Swan Ball," say Anne and Jane Anne. "We look forward to helping them in whatever way we can."