The Wonderland Ball
Presented by Young Patronesses of the Opera
Patricia Scerpella, Violeta Cepeda, Barbara Waters, Nicole Unternaehrer & Michele Reese

More than 250 opera lovers and philanthropists walked through the looking glass with the Young Patronesses of the Opera for their 63rd annual gala, “The Wonderland Ball” at the Four Seasons Hotel.

After entering through a 12 foot tall story book, guests were met by living flowers and a towering queen of hearts on stilts and were treated to cocktails donated by Bacardi as they bid on exquisite silent auction items, including over 200 items with luxury vacations including a Mediterranean voyage onboard Sea Dream Yacht Club Cruises, a luxury trip to Peru, a 5-star river cruise through Vietnam and Cambodia, just to name a few.

As they made their way to the ballroom, they went down the rabbit hole or entered through the queen’s gate to their tables which were adorned with candelabras wrapped with florals or branches dripping in purple orchids. Guests were also greeted by the mad hatter who made his way through the maze of tables on stilts. The fantastical décor was imagined by gala chairs Violeta Cepeda, Michele Reese, Patricia Scerpella, Barbara Waters, Nicole Unternaehrer, and YPO President Lise-Marie Wertanzl, and was brought to life by Fantasy Designers.

After Wertanzl thanked the events top benefactors, Swanee and Paul DiMare, Trish and Dan Bell, The Wilder Foundation, and The Dunspaugh Dalton Foundation, a special surprise operatic performance by KahLee Productions wowed the crowd with the renditions of several popular arias set to techno music. The whimsically attired group then danced the night away to the sounds of the Drew T Band.

The funds raised for the gala support YPO’s opera educational programs that reach more than 20,000 school children every year in South Florida. The event’s gracious benefactors included Swanee and Paul DiMare, Trish and Dan Bell, The Wilder Foundation, and The Dunspaugh Dalton Foundation. For more information on YPO visit

Young Patronesses of the Opera would like to thank its sponsors: Trish and Dan Bell, Swanee and Paul DiMarie, the Wilder Foundation, Dunspaugh Dalton Foundation, Bacardi, USAExcelAg, Corp. USA, Sterling Journeys, Celebrity Cruises, Jennie Lou and Benjamine Reid, Victory Cruise Lines, Dr. Brandt Skincare, Aqua Expeditions, SeaDream Yacht Club, Peru Empire, Property Markets Group, Gerard Bertrand Wines, Selecta Magazine, Holland America Line, Abercrombie & Kent, Royal Caribbean International, Belmond Hotels, Burberry, Figenza Vodka, Hilton, MSC Cruises, Polestar Labs, South Luxury Guide, Atemporal, Inkaterra Hotels, The Agatston Center for Private Medicine, The Ritz-Carlton, Titilaka, Maurice’s Jewelers, and Press Concepts.

Dan & Trish Bell, Swanee DiMare, Rita & Dan Wilder, & Lise-Marie Wertanzl

Lesli Brown, Bronwyn Miller, Julian Chang, Patricia Scerpella
and Michele Reese

Paula Barrera Scheer, Anthony Broad and Michele Reese

Pat Mederos, Holly Evans, Gail Pinon, Barbara Reese, Debbie Campbell, Lisa Wheeler,
Rene Gross and Julie Todaro

Dan & Trish Bell

Dietmar & Lise-Marie Wertanz

Susan & Jeff Feldman

Sanela Ebbeskov & Morten Jankovic, Jim Barreiro de Leon, Dietmar Wertanzl,
Paula Barbara Scheer and Stephen Scheer

Stacy Briggle, Leslie Lott, Holly Freyre and Tom Briggle

Ashley & Robert Thornburg

Barbara & Michele Reese

Charlotte Seidel, Cary Mathieson, Jo Peterson, Julie Todaro, Amal Solh, Susan Feldman and Renee Gross

Trish Bell, Joyce Dickerson and Rita Wilder

Dennis & Debbie Campbell

Violeta & Jorge Cepeda

Lesli Brown, Bronwyn Miller, Julian Chang, Swanee DiMare, Patricia Scerpella and Michele Reese

Jennie & Ben Reid

Dietmar Wertanzl, Barbara Reese and Hans Ladermeij

Linda & Pat McEnany

Lisa Wheeler, Lise-Marie Wertanzl, Barbara Waters and Carla Ligia

Patricia Scerpella, Nuria Lawson, Robert Comperatone and Lori Thomas

Rett Scheslow and
Marianne Kircher

Gianni Lacapra and Sara Mesa

Patricia Scerpella, Nicole Unternaehrer, Violeta Cepeda, Lise-Marie Wertanzl, Barbara Waters and Michele Reese

Ballroom at the Four Seasons

Queen of Hearts with Tony Hill

Jessica Gonzalez

Opera Performance

Sanela Ebbeskov Jankovic and
Francesca Dagata

Queen of Hearts