December 1, 2023

Nutcracker Ball

Join us for the 56th annual gala!

Friday, December 1, 2023
The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center

Celebrate the holiday season at Kansas City Ballet Guild’s annual gala, the Nutcracker Ball. The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, a partner organization of Kansas City Ballet, will provide a delightful setting for the Ball, along with delicious cuisine, special presentations by Kansas City Ballet School Students, and after-dinner dancing with music by local band Kokomo.

Proceeds from the Nutcracker Ball provide essential support for our Kansas City Ballet, a nationally recognized company. Your gift enables our dancers to perform classical and contemporary ballets by gifted national and international choreographers.

Have questions? Contact Jo Anne Dondlinger.

Benefactor Sponsorships

Ball Honorary Chairmen
Susan Lordi Marker and Dennis Marker

Ball Chairman
Jo Anne Dondlinger


Become a Benefactor Today!

Benefactor levels start at $750 and go up to $65,000. Please download this form to see all levels and benefits.

As a Nutcracker Ball benefactor, you are also invited to enjoy a fabulous cocktail party at The American Restaurant on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

All Ball benefactor levels will receive recognition in the Ball invitation and program book as well as in Kansas City Ballet program books and website.

Benefactor levels of $5,000 and greater also receive membership benefits for The Bolender Society with exclusive invitations to special events.

The benefactor level may include corporate matching funds.

Benefactor Sponsorships

2023 Nutcracker Ball Chairman Jo Anne Dondlinger pictured with Kansas City Ballet Guild President Cyndi James. Photo by Strauss Peyton.

Benefactor Levels

For More Information

Contact Ball Chairmen Jo Anne Dondlinger at 816.381.6942 or

Presented by Kansas City Ballet Guild

The Kansas City Ballet Guild was formed in 1961 by a group of KCB dancers’ parents to promote interest in and provide financial assistance to the company. Since then, the Guild has been integral to the success of the professional, world-class Kansas City Ballet. More than 170 members strong, these men and women enjoy special educational programming, exclusive access to company dancers, and have a lot of fun! Their activities also raise significant necessary funds for the company’s repertory, its community and educational programs, and the KCB archives.

Learn More

Kansas City Ballet Board of Directors Chairman Julia Irene Kauffman, 2021 Ball Co-Chairman Karen Yungmeyer, Kansas City Ballet Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley, and 2021 Nutcracker Ball Co-Chairman Tempe Ostergren Elsberry.

Nutcracker Ball 2022 Benefactors

Contributors as of November 21, 2022. We regret any errors or omissions.

Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation

Greg and Barbara Storm

Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation

Elsberry Family Foundation – Anne and Howard Elsberry
Sue Ann and Richard Fagerberg
Joan Horan
Hunkeler Family Foundation – Dr. John and Mary Hunkeler
Mr. and Mrs. Clifford W. Illig
Jackson and Gamble Family/Microsoft
Dr. Roger and Sandra Jackson
Kao Family Foundation
Ms. Leslie A. Pfriem
Angela and John Walker

Mr. and Mrs. Lowry F. Anderson, Jr.
AssuredPartners Capital, Inc.
Peggy and Andrew Beal
Evelyn R. Craft Belger and C. Richard Belger
Dr. Stephen and Susan Bubb
Commerce Bank – Kansas City
Vicki and Mark Dickerson
JoAnne and Bill Dondlinger
Tony and Carol Feiock
Melissa Ford and UMKC Foundation
Hallmark Corporate Foundation
Husch Blackwell LLP
JE Dunn Construction
Ewing Marion Kauffman 
Dana M. Koehn and Sanofi
George H. Langworthy, Sr.
Lathrop GPM LLC/
Paula and Jack Rowe
Lockton Companies Inc
Edward P. Milbank
Susan and Glen Sands
Mark Sappington and David McGee
Suzanne Shank
Christopher and Lisa Sirridge
Richard J. Stern Foundation 
for the Arts
Jane and Matthew Webster with Karen and Douglas Downing
Dr. John and Karen Yungmeyer

Aetna Inc.
Vicki and Bruce Baxter
Claire and Joe Brand
Blue Cross and Blue Shield 
of Kansas City
Carol Blum and Steven Wilson
CIGNA Healthcare of 
Edie and Randy Downing
Marilyn A.W. Gaar
Linda Lighton and Lynn Adkins
Gregory Malter and Julia Kim-Malter
Dennis Marker and Susan Lordi Marker
Ms. CiCi Rojas and Mr. Oscar Monterroso
Juliette Singer and Ian Spinks
Sun Life Financial
United Healthcare

Anna and John Allen
Sarah Bent and 
Craig Thompson
Peter and Lynne Brown
Dr. Robert and Pamela
Vince and Julie Clark
Lucy and Fred 
DeBruce Foundation/Paul & Linda DeBruce
Steve and Cathy Doyal
Terry and Peggy Dunn
The Reverend and Mrs. William Fasel
George and Frances Gerritz
Lisa and Steven Glassman
Cindy Hampton
David & Beth Harris
Shirley and Barnett C. Helzberg, Jr.
Henry and Mary Beth Hershey
Lisa Merrill Hickok
Robert and Cindy Hisle
Cynthia James
Dr. Karen M. Jordan
William and Regina Kort
Bill Lindsay and Jan Foletta
Bobbie Mathes
P. Alan McDermott
Siobhan McLaughlin Lesley
Matthew and Rachel 
Merlo/Google Fiber
Jackie and John Middelkamp
James Miller and 
Ursula Terrasi
Dr. Robert and 
Kay Moffat
Rev. Jean and Dr. Daniel Murphy
Mr. and Mrs. George V. Neill, Jr.
Barbara and David Nicely
John and Linda 
Bill and Carolyn Parkerson
Dr. Amy Patel and Mr. Joseph Rathermel
Drs. Charles and Susan Porter
Mr. Brian Puckett and Ms. Dawn W. Wolff
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co.
Jill Ingram Reynolds
Gigi and Gary Rose
John Rufenacht and Richard Lara
Mr. Howard Rothwell and Ms. Kathy Stepp
Lisa and Charles Schellhorn
Mrs. Michael Siragusa, Mrs. Felicia Bondi, and Mrs. Pauline Henne
Thomas and Sharon Soetaert

Barbara Spilker and Mary Spilker Peavey
Suhor Family Foundation
Sven and Julie Sykes
US Bank
Dr. and Mrs. Charles Van Way III
Myron and Nicole Wang
Brian Weith and Michele Hamlett-Weith

Mr. Jeff Whitman
Mr. Tom Whittaker and Dr. Loren Whittaker
The Reverend Canon Ryan and Mrs. Christina Wiksell
Dr. Michael J. Wurm 
and Cindy Wurm

Anonymous in Memory of Wayne Farmer
Melinda L. Beal
Charles Bruffy
Melanie Fenske
Mary Leonida
Patricia Macdonald
Barbara Nash

Kenny Johnson Photography
The Independent
Innovative Lighting & Design, LLC
Strauss Peyton Photography
2 Friends Printing
Vintegrity Wine and Spirits
The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
XS Lighting

Pirouette Award

The Kansas City Ballet Guild proudly presents the Annual Pirouette Award to a person or persons who have contributed extraordinary amounts of time, talent, and energy in a voluntary capacity to benefit the Kansas City Ballet and the performing arts community.

1983 R. Crosby Kemper, Jr
1984 Richard Harriman
1985 Patricia McIlrath
1986 Jeannette Nichols
1987 James Costin
1988 Russell Patterson
1989 Paul H. Henson
1990 Todd Bolender
1991 Jay McShann
1992 George E. Powell, Jr.
1993 Muriel I. Kauffman
1994 Mr. & Mrs. Henry W. Bloch
1995 Hallmark Cards, Inc.

1996 Patricia Judd
1997 Anonymous
1998 Estelle Ellis
1999 Valentine Radford
2000 Mr. & Mrs. Donald Sanders
2001 Julia Irene Kauffman
2002 Mr. & Mrs. Landon Rowland
2003 DeVette Ashley
2004 J. Scott Francis
2005 Mr. and Mrs. W. Anthony Feiock
2006 Rick Poccia / M&I Bank
2007 Vicki Baxter
2008 Wendy Powell

2009 Shirley Helzberg
2010 Dr. and Mrs. Michael D. Frost
2011 Mr. William H. Dunn, Sr.
2012 Sally Wood (in memoriam)
2013 G. Mark Sappington
2014 James Jordon
2015 Barbara Storm
2016 Lisa Merrill Hickok
2017 Elizabeth Hard Simms
2018 Frank Byrne
2019 Sue Ann Fagerberg
2020 Bank of America
2021 Dr. John D. Hunkeler
2022 Barbara Nash

Nutcracker Ball 2022

The Kansas City Ballet Guild’s 55th annual fundraiser gala was held on December 3rd at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. Angela and John Walker served as the co-chairmen. Barbara and Greg Storm served as the honorary chairmen.

Melissa Ford, Guild President, and Jeffrey J. Bentley, Kansas City Ballet Executive Director, presented the annual Pirouette Award to Barbara Nash. The Guild also recognized Mr. Bentley’s contributions in his 25th and final season as the Ballet’s Executive Director.

In addition to a cocktail reception, dinner and dancing, benefactors and guests enjoyed a beautiful thank you video from Kansas City Ballet company dancers, academy students, and community engagement program students, as well as a video collage of recent Kansas City Ballet performances.

Photography by Kenny Johnson