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Bright Nights Ball to welcome Year of the Dragon

Date: 9/5/2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD — The annual City of Bright Nights Ball will have a Chinese theme "Year of the Dragon" when it welcomes guests at the Springfield Sheraton on Nov. 10.

Spirit of Springfield President Judith Matt revealed the theme and the chair of the event at a press event conducted Aug. 30 at Deliso Center at Mercy Medical Center.

Douglas Moen, Mercy Medical Center's president and CEO, will serve as the chair, a role that clearly he enjoys.

Noting his gratitude for being selected, Moen said with a smile, "I thought I had to be here 10 or 11 years [before being selected as the chair of the event]."

Past chairs have included Mark R. Tolosky, president and CEO for Baystate Health, who served in 2008 for "Moon Over Morocco;" Roger Crandall, president and CEO for MassMutual Financial Group, in 2009 for the "Winter Garden Gala;" Steve Bryant, president of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, in 2010 for "Dance by the Shimmery Shore;" and in 2011 the "Champagne Galaxy Ball" was chaired by Peter Straley, president of Health New England.

Moen said, "I'm in such good company."

He added, "The dragon is the symbol of good fortune and I think we have many positive things happening in Springfield and the area."

Matt noted that 22 of the 40 tables of seats for the event have already been sold and congratulated Moen for having a success already. About 400 people usually attend.

Andrew Jensen, president of JX2 Productions, said that dragons would dominate the deco with several 75-foot long dragons suspended from the ceiling.

The ball is one of the principal fundraisers for the Spirit of Springfield, which presents the city's Fourth of July fireworks, the Tower Square parade of the Big Balloons, the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast and Bright Nights in Forest Park, among other events.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said the city was "blessed" by having such corporate citizens.

For more information about the City of Bright Nights Ball, go to or call the Spirit of Springfield at 733-3800.