All posts by Chris Lindsay

Dedication on Sept. 21 at 1:00PM

WHAT Grand opening of Cumberland Heights’ Spring Hill Outpatient Recovery Center
WHEN Friday, Sept. 21
Noon to 2:00PM
1:00PM – Remarks and dedication
WHERE 220 Town Center Pkwy, Suite 205
Spring Hill, TN 37174
WHO Cumberland Heights Board of Directors

Cumberland Heights CEO Jay Crosson

 

ABOUT CUMBERLAND HEIGHTS’ OUTPATIENT PROGRAMS With the addition of Spring Hill, Cumberland Heights will have 11 outpatient recovery centers across the state.

“Outpatients recovery programs are flexible to meet the needs of professionals and busy parents working through drug and alcohol addiction issues,” said Cumberland Heights CEO Jay Crosson. “We’re excited about the opportunity to serve Spring Hill and the great team serving patients directly in the community.”

Cumberland Heights admission counselors are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-6464

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Sept. 6, 2018Cumberland Heights is pleased to announce the hiring of Nick Hayes, M.S., LMFTA (TX), LCDC (TX) as Director of Clinical Research and Outcomes and Greg Snodgrass as Regional Outreach Coordinator.

Nick Hayes - Cumberland Heights, Director of Clinical Research and Outcomes
Nick Hayes – Director of Clinical Research and Outcomes
Hayes will focus on efficacious treatment protocols, predictive analytics, feedback-informed treatment procedures and collaborations with institutions of higher education for all of Cumberland Heights, including inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

As Regional Outreach Coordinator, Snodgrass will serve as the liaison between Cumberland Heights and a variety of referral sources to ensure seamless and timely admissions as well as treatment and continuing care services for patients and families seeking help with addiction.

Greg Snodgrass, Regional Outreach Coordinator
Greg Snodgrass, Regional Outreach Coordinator
“Nick and Greg have skills that reinforce why Cumberland Heights has consistently remained a nationally renowned treatment center for more than 50 years,” said CEO Jay Crosson. “The research overseen by Nick is critical to demonstrating the effectiveness of our treatment programs and sustaining – and growing – our authority in the industry. Likewise, Greg’s ability to build referral networks ensures that we are reaching patients and families who need help recovering life from the grips of drug and alcohol addiction.”

Hayes holds dual licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist-Associate (LMFTA-TX) as well as a Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC-TX). He has advanced training in quantitative methods, neuro-analysis and systems theory.

Hayes is a doctoral student within the Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy Graduate Program at Texas Tech University, where he has also served as a student member in university’s Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities for the past seven years. He had worked with the Cumberland Heights Foundation while pursuing his degree.

Like many of Cumberland Heights’ staff, Snodgrass is living in recovery. He is actively involved in 12-step programs and sponsors men in recovery.

Snodgrass completed treatment 14 years ago and has since dedicated his life to helping others struggling with addiction. He received a scholarship to return to higher education at the Collegiate Recovery at Texas Tech University. He was then responsible for the five-year design and implementation of the Collegiate Recovery at the University of Alabama and served as director of the program.

He also served as National Director of Corporate Relations and Sponsorship for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, where he oversaw the fundraising, donor relations and organizational growth for the association.  Most recently, he worked as a sober companion for Rick Parrish and Jamie Eater at Sober Escorts Inc. and John West of The Guest House in Ocala, Fla.

Snodgrass spends his free time with his wife and daughter traveling to horse shows across the southeast with their thoroughbreds, Harley and Pickles.


About Cumberland Heights

Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. As a non-profit organization, Cumberland Heights is committed to the approximately 2,500 men, women and adolescents it serves every year and the communities where its facilities are located. The organization has followed the teachings of the 12 Steps since its founding in 1966.

Original Article By: Stephanie Langston, WKRN News Channel 2, Nashville
Posted: Aug 02, 2018 05:55 PM CDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A family is sharing their story of heartache after losing their son to addiction. Now, they are doing what they can to raise awareness about the crisis.

It was a battle the Witthauer’s faced for years. They told News 2 despite numerous rehab facilities, the disease was too powerful for their son Greg. “I lost my brother to this disease, but losing my child was much worse,” Karen Witthauer said with tears in her eyes.

At the age of 13, her son Greg had his first taste of drugs. “They smoked marijuana on the beach and then it was head to the ground from there.”

His use increased, and after being dismissed from the soccer team for a drug offense he entered rehab at 15. But he soon relapsed. “He was trying to find something that he could control that would make him feel better. The whole progression, he went through cocaine and from opiates to pills to heroin,” Greg’s father Mark told News 2.

The struggle didn’t get any easier. Several rehabs later and some legal issues finally gave Greg some clean time, almost two years.

“He was working, and he was doing really really well. He bought a car and his job was stable and he was really proud of himself, you could tell,” said Karen. However, a back injury landed Greg a Lortab prescription and he was back using fulltime. “He only had 10. He gave him a prescription for 10 and that was all it took,” stated Karen.

The Witthauer’s said he was never able to put together a long stretch of sobriety again. This time he spent three months in a Florida rehab. “and he was gone within two weeks,” said his mom.

Greg was found in his car near Percy Priest. He had overdosed on heroin likely laced with meth.

“We knew in our hearts that he had probably overdosed somewhere but even though you still get that phone call and it’s like the whole world just starts spinning around,” explained his father. Today Karen wears a bracelet that reads “always have heart,” the same tattoo her son had across his chest. “Even though he had the disease of addiction, I was very proud of my child, very proud of the man that he was, I was proud of his heart, of how he treated people.”

In his sober time, they said Greg wanted to help others struggling with addiction. Now they hope to carry on his mission.

The Witthauer’s started a fundraiser called always have a heart in their son’s honor that goes to support those in treatment.

On August 12, they are hosting a forum, Breaking the silence: Addressing Youth Substance Abuse. It will be at Our Savior Lutheran Church.

nFocus Nashville: Reaching New Heights welcomes golfer Laura Baugh

Original Author: Holly Hoffman | Photographer: Daniel Meigs

Anyone who was not familiar with Laura Baugh will certainly never forget her after Reaching New Heights. The engaging professional golfer and author of Out of the Rough: An Intimate Portrait of Laura Baugh and Her Sobering Journey shared her courageous story of recovery to a packed room at the annual luncheon, which benefits the Women’s Program at Cumberland Heights.

Reaching New Heights welcomes golfer Laura BaughCo-chairs Monica McDougall and Sally Nesbitt welcomed a crowd of familiar faces to Hillwood Country Club before the presentation of the Sheila Keeble Award. “I love getting to brag on my friend!” proclaimed Louise Mandrell as she handed the award to Janice Lovvorn, who has been involved with the organization for 22 years.

Opening with “I’m Laura, and I’m definitely an alcoholic,” the guest speaker had the audience immersed in her tale that was honest, grim and, at times, amusing. Always a golfer, Laura was three years old when she won the first of five national pee-wee championships. She burst onto the national scene when she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion at 16 in 1971 and was named LPGA Rookie of the Year in 1973. At age 24, she had her first drink, and then “for years, I was always pregnant or drinking,” said the mother of seven children. It wasn’t until she nearly died from internal bleeding caused by heavy drinking that Laura was determined to quit. Now celebrating 22 years of sobriety, she zealously embraces her life, family and health.

Since becoming sober, Laura has developed into a new kind of champion. She supports programs for abused women and for women in recovery. Her love of golf remains steadfast, and she helped establish the U.S. Senior Women’s Open with the inaugural championship to be played this July. After delivering such inspiring words at Reaching New Heights, Laura has a contingent of Nashville fans rooting for her in more ways than one.

Original Article By: Kelly Fisher, The Tennessean | Published: April 27, 2018

On Thursday, April 26, Cumberland Heights broke ground on ARCH Academy, an addiction treatment center for teen boys slated to open in summer 2019. (Photo: Kelly Fisher, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee)
On Thursday, April 26, Cumberland Heights broke ground on ARCH Academy, an addiction treatment center for teen boys slated to open in summer 2019. (Photo: Kelly Fisher, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee)

Cumberland Heights, a nonprofit addiction treatment organization, broke ground on its second campus in Cheatham County on Thursday afternoon.

The upcoming facility will be used for addiction recovery in teen boys aged 14 through 18.

The 67-acre site in Pegram, once home to a bed and breakfast, will become ARCH Academy, or Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights , at 1062 Highway 70.Cumberland Heights also treats drug and alcohol addiction in adult men and women on its campus at 8283 River Road Pike in Nashville.The total cost of the project is estimated at $8.1 million, including the purchase of the property, construction, renovation, infrastructure and other costs, according to information from Cumberland Heights.

Cumberland Heights Chief Executive Officer Jay Crosson said with three new builds and three renovations of current structures on the Cheatham site, the goal is to open the ARCH Academy by summer 2019.

In its first year, the new campus is expected to serve 84 teens, according to information from Cumberland Heights.

The site will include two residence halls, a dining facility, a private high school and more. The campus and adolescent program staff will offer 12-step recovery, clinical therapy and other services.

ARCH Academy Rendering - Residence Hall 2
Rendering of the New ARCH Academy Residence Hall
The location is also an “ideal environment” for hiking, mountain biking and trail rides, as well as engaging in fishing, pottery, service work and more in Pegram, a Cumberland Heights news release states.

“When you work with adolescents, they don’t respond to typical therapy, sitting across from them and just talking; you have to engage them,” Adolescent Program Director Dean Porterfield said. “You have to get them thinking, and this environment’s going to be perfect for that…It’s exciting. (It’ll) save lives.”

Crosson said the plan to open the new facility has been in the works since 2015 with plans to use it for the adolescent program, which initially launched in 1985. Since then, he said that teens accounted for approximately 10 percent of the Cumberland Heights population.

The new location will allow a length of stay of 60 days to six months; the current adolescent program only lasts up to 30 days with some extended care options, according to Cumberland Heights’ website.

ARCH Academy will also increase capacity to 30 teens from about 17 at its main campus.

Crosson said he wanted to be “good neighbors” to Cheatham, and Porterfield expressed interest in community involvement, noting that service is emphasized to those in the program.

“We want to be part of the community, (and) we want to be a resource for the community,” Porterfield said. “We also want to do our part to prevent adolescents from needing to come here, if we can do that.

“We’re just as much about prevention as we are (about) treating the kids that unfortunately have suffered from the disease of addiction.”

Matt Norton, an alumnus of Cumberland Heights, drove from Atlanta to Pegram to be part of the groundbreaking Thursday.

“I don’t think I’d be breathing if it wasn’t for Cumberland Heights and Dean (Porterfield),” he said. “I’m grateful for this place and I think the things that they’re doing is remarkable.”

Norton was 16 when he arrived at Cumberland Heights in 2012 to confront his addiction. He recalled first using drugs at 12 years old, and the problem continued until he overdosed in October 2012.

After that, he agreed to seek treatment.

“When I was at Cumberland Heights, I was really able to find myself as a person,” Norton said. “They equipped me with the tools to do the right things when I got out in order to be a part of society and not only be sober, but be a better man.”

Norton completed the program at Cumberland Heights and returned home, graduated high school, got accepted into college and landed a job.

He said he owes all of that to his treatment at Cumberland Heights. He’s hopeful that the staff and the new campus will change lives for others struggling with addiction.

“Without it, many young people (might not) be here,” Porterfield said of the adolescent program and ARCH Academy. “I think it’s important that we have a place to be able to just pull them away from the day-to-day stressors, and help them to get to know themselves and set them on a track…There’s nothing better. We save lives.”

Original Article By: Nashville Post Posted On: 04/20/2018
Cumberland Heights to build ARCH Academy in Pegram

Cumberland Heights officials led by CEO Jay Crosson will next week formally launch construction work on another facility for adolescents in alcohol and drug addiction recovery. The nonprofit will break ground Thursday in Pegram — just west of Bellevue — on ARCH Academy, a 30-bed center located on 67 acres off Highway 70.

The facility will provide therapy and programming for between 60 days and six months for adolescent boys and is expected to open in the Summer of 2019. The center, which includes a licensed high school, was designed by a team from Orcutt Winslow — the former Street Dixon Rick — that was led by Steve Rick.

Have a look at the design rendering of the 67 acre campus to be completed in Summer of 2019

ARCH Academy Rendering

PEGRAM, Tenn. (WKRN) – Jay Crosson has a big vision.

He’s CEO of Cumberland Heights, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Nashville.

Next summer, the nonprofit plans to turn a 67-acre plot of land into a recovery center for teen boys called ARCH Academy.

“They’re progressing into substances that can kill them really quick,” Crosson said. “We really need that intervention to break that cycle of addiction.”

ARCH Academy will offer a six-month recovery program for boys ages 14 to 18 battling addiction.

“We want these kids to graduate high school,” he said. “We want them to go to college.”

Up to 30 teens will live on campus which will be designed will three residence halls, a school, dining hall, and counseling room where they’ll work with therapists like Dean Porterfield.

“Anxiety, depression, trauma, we treat the whole child,” said Porterfield, director of adolescent services for Cumberland Heights.

Porterfield says about 57 percent of the teens they treat are addicted to marijuana. 10 percent are addicted to cocaine, five percent to heroin or opiates, and about 29 percent to a mix of drugs.

“It’s not uncommon for that teenager’s first experience to be at 10, 12, 13 years old,” Porterfield said.

The goal of the new center is to go more in-depth with teens, offering six months of help instead of the current program which is one to two months long.

“If we can get a longer length of stay, we can get a more solid recovery,” Crosson said.

The nonprofit will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the teen center on Thursday, April 26.

They hope to have it up and running by summer 2019.


Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Marvin Ventrell - NAATP Executive Director - National Association of  Addiction Treatment Providers
Marvin Ventrell
Executive Director
National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers

23 Million Americans suffer from addiction. An estimated 10% get the specialized care they need. Compare this to diabetes where an estimated 87% receive specialized care. Addiction is a disease and addiction treatment is a health care service. It is plain to see we have a serious health care gap between addiction treatment and need, and the need is great.

Unlike most healthcare, government funding is the primary source of payment for addiction care and that funding is woefully inadequate. Private insurance doesn’t adequately close the gap. It pays about 40% of medical care generally but only about 10% of addiction care. While parity law and addiction as an essential healthcare benefit have the potential to close that gap, we are not there yet.

Accessing appropriate treatment, therefore, is a considerable challenge. We who work in the field know what appropriate treatment, for the appropriate level of care, looks like, and where to find it. However, identifying treatment that is both high quality and attainable is a serious problem for both the typical consumer and even the payer.

good healthcare is never easy but for most conditions, consumers follow a sensible path. We seek the advice of trusted professionals who work in the field. We inquire with those who have experienced the condition. We ask our primary healthcare provider for a referral. We contact our insurer to find out what services are covered.

Consumers searching for addiction care frequently do not follow this path and are prone to falling into a web of marketing deception. Rather than focusing on appropriate health care criteria, the consumer can be lured toward flashy amenities, false promises, and economic bargains. These are not sensible healthcare selection criteria. It is alarming to think that a lifesaving healthcare selection would be influenced by luxury accommodations and whether the facility has a pool or is near the beach.

NAATP - National Association of  Addiction Treatment Providers

Addiction treatment is confusing and misunderstood to the consumer. We even have a confusing name for it: rehab. (The term rehab is both inaccurate and minimizes the gravity of the disease. It is time we stopped using it.) Further, the consumer or the consumer’s loved ones are typically operating in crisis and are vulnerable to deception.

So, the consumer turns to the internet. The landscape for finding treatment is dominated by the internet, which is dominated by Google, which is itself a function of marketing and the aggregation of consumer identity and behavior. The system is not built to help the consumer find the best care. It is built to help the advertiser direct the consumer.

The internet is frequently the source of manipulation and deception conducted by a minority of treatment providers and treatment brokers. Google AdWords can be dominated by unscrupulous marketers. Numerous other predatory web practices are designed to deceive the consumer. The AdWords game became so dangerous to the consumer that Google agreed to suspend that source of considerable income for the time being. NAATP is currently working with Google to develop a plan to reintroduce AdWords, accompanied by certain safeguards against deceptive practices.

Online treatment directories to the rescue! Not so fast. Such private directories can be of limited value to the consumer and can be misleading. They may be merely disguised advertising tools for one or more treatment centers or treatment brokers. Despite listing many other programs, frequently without permission, and presenting as independent resources, they still direct the consumer to call a specific 800 number where “caring professionals” are available. These directories are not, as some have suggested, analogous to the phonebook yellow pages, nor are they the Yelp of treatment. The buying and selling of patient leads can also be facilitated by online directories (remember, this is an identity aggregation system), a practice prohibited by the NAATP Code of Ethics. Additionally, the consumer must beware of so called treatment program rankings. Such rankings are not a recognized practice in the field.

The consumer may also find itself visiting a website that purports to be a treatment educational resource but is, itself, designed to aggregate identities and market certain treatment programs to them. Some such sites can be operated by a single program while not clearly branded with the program’s identity.

The government, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has produced an online repository of mental health and addiction services. It is a large repository that contains approximately 13,000 addiction treatment service entities. It is an important and useful repository of information, particularly for professionals working in the field, researchers, and policy-makers. In its depth and selection criteria, it may not be the most useful tool for the consumer to narrow and select care.

Good consumerism requires discernment based on objective criteria. To aid the consumer and payer in this process, NAATP has produced a guide to treatment program selection. We encourage the consumer and the professional to read and use this guide in the process of selecting addiction treatment. We further encourage treatment providers themselves to review this guide and ask themselves whether they meet the conditions set forth.

Continue Reading NAATP Executive Director’s Article on Treatment Program Discernment

Read the NAATP Guide to Choosing Treatment

Access the NAATP Addiction Industry Directory


Read about Cumberland Heights’ Code of Ethics and learn about 12 Questions to Ask Before You Choose an Addiction Treatment Program written by Cumberland Heights CEO Jay Crosson.

CUMBERLAND HEIGHTS’ ANNUAL REACHING NEW HEIGHTS LUNCHEON TO FEATURE LAURA BAUGH, FORMER LPGA PRO AND AUTHOR OF “OUT OF THE ROUGH”

Janice Lovvorn to be honored with Sheila Keeble Award

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Feb. 20, 2017 – The annual Reaching New Heights Luncheon to benefit nonprofit Cumberland Heights will be Tuesday, April 11 at 11:30 am at Nashville’s Hillwood Country Club. This year’s guest speaker is Laura Baugh, former LPGA pro and author of Out of the Rough.

This annual women’s event is an important fundraiser for the alcohol and drug-addiction recovery center. The mission of Reaching New Heights is to highlight the women’s programs at Cumberland Heights, raise funds to help women in treatment, and celebrate those women in our families and community who are experiencing their own recovery one day at a time.

Cumberland Heights’ Reaching New Heights was recently named “Most Inspiring” in nFocus’ “Best Parties of 2017” awards issue. For this and many other reasons, this event is always popular in the Nashville community, and tickets sell out early.

The luncheon co-chairs are Monica McDougall and Sally Nesbitt, and they have a committee of about three-dozen volunteers working on the event.

This year’s Sheila Keeble Award recipient is Janice Lovvorn. This annual award is given to honor a woman who has made a difference in the recovery community. Past recipients Cindy Caudle, Leslie Dabrowiak, Lake Eakin, Elizabeth Fox, Stephanie Ingram, Genie Laurent and Eleanor Templeton. All were honored at the women’s luncheons of the past, and Lovvorn will be added to this list of honorees at this year’s event.

Keynote speaker Laura Baugh was one of the most promising young woman golfers in the early 1970s, having been the Los Angeles city champion at the age of 14, the U.S. Amateur champion at 16 and the 1973 LPGA Rookie of the Year. In 1999, she wrote Out of the Rough, an intimate story about her struggles with fame and alcoholism. Baugh sought treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic in 1996 after her alcoholism threatened her life. Today, she lives in Ponte Vedra, Fla and is an inspiring speaker, golf instructor, and mother of seven.

“Nonprofit Cumberland Heights relies on support from our many generous donors and sponsors to support programs that help women seeking recovery from alcohol and drug addiction,” said Martha Farabee, chief development and marketing officer at  Cumberland Heights. “The luncheon would not be possible without the group of benefactors and committee members who help make this luncheon a big success every year. We are very excited to have inspirational author Laura Baugh join us as our speaker. I know the attendees will come away from the luncheon not only entertained but inspired and moved by her story.”

TICKET INFORMATION

Laura Baugh - 2018 Reaching New Heights Guest Speaker

More about Laura Baugh

Laura Baugh was the LGPA Rookie of the Year in 1973, after earning her LPGA tour card on her first attempt and finishing second in her first LPGA tournament.
During her professional golf career from 1973 through 2001, Baugh earned 71 top-10 finishes, including ten runners-up.

Despite her successful start and prodigious talent, Baugh suffered from alcoholism and emotional problems and never won an LPGA tournament. In 1996, she sought treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic when her drinking could have ended her life.

In 1999, she authored Out of the Rough: An Intimate Portrait of Laura Baugh and Her Sobering Journey, a book about her struggles and recovery.

Later in her career, she became a member of the Women’s Senior Golf Tour and has worked as a television announcer for The Golf Channel.

 

nFOCUS - The 2017 Best Parties & Most Inspiring Events

Best Parties 2017

The results are in!

AUTHORS Nancy FloydHolly HoffmanGeert De LombaerdeMegan Seling

Another year has come and gone, but we couldn’t bid 2017 adieu without honoring the best parties of the year. Our writers and readers alike have been reflecting back on the biggest and brightest moments of the past 12 months, and what a year it was! From laughing with Shaq to dancing with Steven Tyler to celebrating the birth of Andrew Jackson, there was something to delight everyone on Nashville’s social scene. Keep reading to find out what events stood out to our readers, what details impressed our writers and whether or not your favorites made the list.

Cumberland Heights’ own “Reaching New Heights” Women’s Luncheon took top honors for Most Inspiring Luncheon and we couldn’t be more appreciative!  Read about it below:

Most Inspiring Luncheon

Reaching New Heights

Cumberland Heights’ Reaching New Heights Luncheon is always an afternoon filled with wisdom and inspiration, but this year’s keynote speaker took it to another level. Jeannette Walls, author of the best-selling memoir The Glass Castle, shared many of the book’s more poignant tales as she addressed her father’s alcoholism, her untraditional upbringing and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Supporters of Cumberland Heights are no strangers to the heartbreak of addiction, but Jeannette’s message was one of hope and healing, two things that Cumberland Heights works hard to achieve every single day. Nancy Floyd

Scan the list of all the Nashville-area winners below:

Readers’ Choice

Best Party

1. Symphony Fashion Show
2. One Night Only
3. Conservancy Gala and Ballet Ball (TIE)

Most Inspired Co-chair Team

1. Shaun Inman and Sheila Shields (Symphony Fashion Show)
2. Beth Courtney and Mara Papatheodorou (Conservancy Gala)
3. Charlotte Goldston and Trish Munro (One Night Only)

Best Favor

1. Beehive honey pot with honey (Conservancy Gala)
2. Bridge tea towel (Dinner on the Bridge)
3. Commemorative book (Sunday in the Park)

Best Decorations

1. Ballet Ball
2. One Night Only
3. l’Eté du Vin

Most Fun Party

1. One Night Only
2. Gentlemen’s Christmas Breakfast
3. Conservancy Gala and Ballet Ball (TIE)

Best Auction Item

1. Trip to NYC with Matt Logan (One Night Only)
2. Live painting by artist (Dinner on the Bridge)
3. Breakfast with Megan Barry (Taste)

Best Entertainment

1. Eden Espinosa (One Night Only)
2. Fisk Jubilee Singers (Ballet Ball and Conservancy Gala)
3. Steven Tyler (Symphony Ball)

Best Women’s Event

1. Symphony Fashion Show
2. Power of the Purse
3. Friends & Fashion

Best Special Guest

1. Steven Tyler (Symphony Ball)
2. Zac Posen (Symphony Fashion Show) and Renée Fleming (Oz Chairman’s Choice) (TIE)
3. Steve Inskeep (Hermitage Gala)

Best Children’s Event

1. All Booked Up (Junior League)
2. Family Day at Oz (Oz Arts Nashville)
3. Picnic at the Library (Nashville Public Library)

Best Dressed Party Guest

1. Clare Armistead
2. Milton White

Craziest/Funniest/Best Sight at a Party

1. President Jackson showing up for his 250th birthday
2. Seesaw at Conservancy Gala
3. Sabering a 9-liter Schramsberg Champagne at l’Eté du Vin

Best Animal-Centric Event

1. Art for Animals
2. Sunset Safari
3. Cause for Paws

Best Caterer

1. Kristen Winston
2. Johnny Haffner
3. G Catering

Best Event Planner

1. Amos Gott
2. Jayne Bubis
3. Hugh Howser

Best Event Venue

1. Schermerhorn Symphony Center
2. Oz Arts Nashville
3. Cheekwood

Writers’ Choice

Most Touching Tribute

Jane Dudley Dedication

In June, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens recognized Jane Dudley — the founder, two-time chair and honorary chair of the Swan Ball and an honorary Board of Trust member — for her perennial commitment to the historic estate. Following the heartfelt dedication of the Jane Anderson Dudley Grand Staircase and Balcony, past Swan Ball chairs surrounded the honoree for a group photo at the base of the newly named stairwell, which now serves as a constant, touching reminder of the benevolent lady we lost this year. Holly Hoffman

Best Blast from the Past

Richard Marx at Stars for Wishes

Wherever you go, whatever you do, Stars for Wishes will be right here waiting for you. The star-studded fundraiser for Make-A-Wish had ladies swaying in the audience and singing along with 2017’s headliner, Richard Marx. The singer — best known for his romantic ‘80s ballads — won the crowd over in no time, inspiring everyone to wave their candles from side to side when he closed out the show with “Right Here Waiting.” Nancy Floyd

Most Successful Makeover

Harvest Moon

After more than 30 years, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee decided it was time to give its signature event, the Harvest Moon Ball, a makeover. They opted for a more casual vibe by dropping “ball” from the name and moving to the crowd-pleasing Loveless Barn. The many enthusiastic attendees, who filled the barn wearing sporty jackets and jeans, enjoyed fare from The Loveless Cafe and dancing to Super T Revue, proving the plan was a huge success. Holly Hoffman

Best Bipartisan Gathering

Gentlemen’s Christmas Breakfast

On one of the first truly cold days of late 2017, there was plenty of warmth from both sides of the aisle at Shaun and Gordon Inman’s Franklin home, where a record crowd gathered for the 18th Gentlemen’s Christmas Breakfast. Politics might be especially divisive these days, but disagreements were set aside for this jovial pre-holiday gathering that drew plenty of Republican and Democrat officeholders as well as numerous candidates looking to take their public service to the next level. Geert de Lombaerde

Biggest Celebrity Sighting

Shaquille O’Neal at Great Futures Gala

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee is known for bringing in some big-time celebrities for the annual Great Futures Gala. In the past, they’ve welcomed Rob Lowe, Martin Short and Martin Sheen. But no one was bigger than this year’s special guest. Shaquille O’Neal, a former Club kid himself, was charming and hilarious when he sat down with Rudy Kalis for a live interview about his basketball career, his business success and his upbringing in New Jersey, reminding everyone in attendance of the huge impact this organization has made. Nancy Floyd

Best Dog Park Alternative

Unleashed: Dinner With Your Dog

The number of dog-friendly spots in Nashville continues to grow as more people take their furry friends out and about. When the sun goes down and the dog park closes, the best place to party with your pup is Unleashed: Dinner With Your Dog. Canines are as excited as their owners to head to the Hutton Hotel for the Nashville Humane Association fundraiser. If you don’t own a dog, no worries. Every adorable pup modeling canine couture is available for adoption! Holly Hoffman

Most Inspiring Luncheon

Reaching New Heights

Cumberland Heights’ Reaching New Heights Luncheon is always an afternoon filled with wisdom and inspiration, but this year’s keynote speaker took it to another level. Jeannette Walls, author of the best-selling memoir The Glass Castle, shared many of the book’s more poignant tales as she addressed her father’s alcoholism, her untraditional upbringing and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Supporters of Cumberland Heights are no strangers to the heartbreak of addiction, but Jeannette’s message was one of hope and healing, two things that Cumberland Heights works hard to achieve every single day. Nancy Floyd

Best Late-Night Snack

Chocolate-covered popcorn

After an exquisite evening that included an a cappella performance of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” from the Nashville Boy Choir at Blair, ladies and gents at the Symphony Ball Patrons Party received one final surprise. Each guest was handed a charmingly wrapped, generously sized bag of chocolate-covered popcorn, compliments of G&G Interiors and past Symphony Ball chair Jane Ann Pilkinton. Two nights later at the ball, patrons were raving over the gourmet treat and many confessed to snacking on it as soon as they got home. Holly Hoffman

Most Modern Décor

Frist Gala

The art that inspired the 2017 Frist Gala may have been centuries old, but the party was as fresh and modern as you can get. Guests spent the first half of the black-tie gala admiring Secrets of Buddhist Art: Tibet, Japan, and Korea in the main gallery, but when they stepped into the tent, co-chairs Julie Dretler and Betsy Wilt wowed them with a modern take on the exhibit. Working with The Tulip Tree, the ladies created a contemporary and oh-so-chic setting for dinner, dreaming up a stark white-on-white aesthetic that was accented by bold red lanterns and panels hanging from the ceiling. The result was as stunning and dramatic as the art itself. Nancy Floyd

Best Visit to a Honky-Tonk Without Running Into Bachelorettes

Bright Lights, Nashville Lights at the Omni

Remember when a trip to Lower Broad was ill-advised because of rather sketchy, somewhat seedy characters roaming the streets? Now it is even riskier due to the rather drunk, somewhat loud bachelorettes who have invaded the five block stretch. At Bright Lights, Nashville Nights, the Tennessee Kidney Foundation remedied that problem by recreating the famous district inside the Omni Hotel. It provided all the fun of hitting the honky-tonks without the threat of running into a single woo-girl. Holly Hoffman

Best Audience Participation

Broadway Brunch

In its second year, Nashville Rep’s Broadway Brunch showcased the excitement and unpredictability of live theater with this raucous Sunday morning party. As guests enjoyed brunch at City Winery, a handful of Nashville Rep’s stars entertained with a Broadway revue, eliciting a little help from the audience from time to time, most notably from the talented Eddie George who was sitting front and center. About halfway into the performance, the cast started chanting “We want Billy,” the intro to “All I Care About” from Chicago. Eddie didn’t need too much coaxing before jumping onstage to reprise his Broadway role of Billy Flynn, sending this crowd into a mimosa-fueled tizzy. Nancy Floyd

Fanciest Footwork

Christie Wilson, Dancing for Safe Haven

You can count on discovering a friend’s hidden talent at Safe Haven Family Shelter’s Dancing for Safe Haven. That friend was Christie Wilson. Six competitors took the assignment seriously, training for weeks with professional dancers to learn their way around the dance floor. Each performance was impressive, but it was Christie who danced her way into hearts of the crowd. With her partner, Christopher Wayne, she wowed everyone with a Foxtrot that went from demure to red hot in a flash and deservedly won the Audience Favorite Award. Holly Hoffman

Best-Kept Promise

Laura Bush at the Spring Outing

In 2009, former first lady Laura Bush was so moved by a visit to The Hermitage that she told the staff to let her know if there was ever anything she could do to help. Last year, when the Andrew Jackson Foundation was planning the Spring Outing, Laura was the first person to come to mind. The former first lady kept her promise and appeared at the 117th annual event to speak to the record-breaking crowd of 700 guests, sharing tales of her time in the White House, offering updates on her family and honoring the important role of The Hermitage in educating others about American history. Nancy Floyd

Best Photo Opportunity

NFA Honors

At the inaugural NFA Honors, Kelly Diehl and Elizabeth Williams of New Hat Projects teamed up with Vroom Vroom Balloon and employed loads of color and patterns to create not one, but two, fantastic photo opportunities at the arts-immersive event. A kaleidoscopic balloon wall from Vroom Vroom Ballooon was the most innovative step-and-repeat ever, and columns of spin-able cubes provided a killer backdrop in the photo booth. As artistic directors for the Nashville Fashion Alliance event, Kelly and Elizabeth embraced the theme — celebrating the artistic collaboration and economic potential of Nashville’s fashion industry — and brought in their creative friends to help. Holly Hoffman

Most Charming Duo

Kelsea Ballerini and Zac Posen at the Symphony Fashion Show

It’s hard to imagine anyone more adorable than fashion designer Zac Posen. That is, until country music darling Kelsea Ballerini walks into the room. The duo was paired up for the Symphony Fashion Show, a genius move by co-chairs Shaun Inman and Sheila Shields, and it was love at first sight — for them and for us. When they came together on and off the stage, the result was pure magic, giving fans one of the most fabulous Symphony Fashion Shows in recent memory and — if we do say so ourselves — one of the most gorgeous Nfocus covers of the year. Nancy Floyd

Best Alternative to Happy Hour

Wined Up

A great way to end a wintry week — or any week for that matter — is drinks with friends. In February, Wined Up provided the perfect setting for exactly that while raising funds for Nashville Wine Auction’s fight against cancer. A thirsty crowd filled City Winery for the Friday-night event, a part of the organization’s Pairings: The Ultimate Wine and Food Weekend. Enthusiasts and aficionados reveled in sampling almost 100 wines from 29 West Coast vintners while cleansing their palates with tasty appetizers prepared by Chicago chefs. That’s plenty to be happy about! Holly Hoffman

Best Slice of Americana

Whitland Fourth of July Celebration

The Fourth of July always has everybody feeling patriotic, but no celebration in the city is quite as charming as the parade and potluck that happens in the Historic Whitland neighborhood. The entire affair feels like stepping inside a Norman Rockwell painting — rosy-cheeked children waving American flags, dogs yapping at their heels, grown men dressed like Uncle Sam — and is the perfect way to kick off the birthday of our great nation. Nancy Floyd

Best Trip Back in Time

Prom Night at Hampton High

No matter what your recollection of high school prom may be, everyone looks back on Prom Night at Hampton High with fond memories. More than 200 people attired in big dresses, big hair and big lapels walked through a balloon arch into the “gym” — aka Bette and Mark Christoferson’s backyard — for the zany night benefiting Nashville Conflict Resolution Center. Even a former prom queen returned to campus for old times’ sake: Title-winning female impersonator Brooke Lynn Hytes entertained the crowd until way past curfew. Holly Hoffman

Best Triumphant Return

Conservancy Gala

After taking a year off due to an unexpected tragedy in 2016, the Conservancy Gala returned in triumphant fashion this past November. A celebration of our beloved Centennial Park and Parthenon, the event honored the history of these two Nashville treasures by transporting guests back to 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition. Co-chairs Beth Courtney and Mara Papatheodorou had every detail covered, from a welcoming committee decked out in Victorian attire to copies of the expo’s admission tickets to a replica of the giant seesaw that was the most popular attraction. It was the perfect way to celebrate the past and the future! Nancy Floyd

Best Hockey-Viewing Party

Swan Ball

Ticketless fans of the Predators filled sports bars and living rooms to watch their beloved team win the first home game in the Stanley Cup finals, but the ritziest viewing party by far was held at the Swan Ball. Guests — some wearing fan gear to accessorize tails and gowns — were thrilled to find televisions strategically placed under the tent on Cheekwood’s Swan Lawn. Although performer Sheryl Crow couldn’t slip away to watch the game, she showed her support for the team by plucking a Preds cap from a fan and wearing it while she sang a couple of songs. Holly Hoffman

Most Informative Chat

Antiques & Garden Show Lecture

The Antiques & Garden Show is known for bringing in some of the most fascinating and glamorous people in the world — Hi, Diane Keaton and Gwyneth Paltrow! — and we could listen to their keynote speakers talk for days about style and design. But it’s also nice to walk away with some very practical tips, which is what audiences received when Nate Berkus took the stage. The interior designer, who shot to stardom as a favorite guest of Oprah Winfrey, was charming and informative as he offered up design tips and shared his favorite finds from the show. Nancy Floyd

Best-Behaved Honoree

Bill Forrester at How About Dinner and a Movie

You can always count on Bill Forrester to be a perfect gentleman, and he was definitely minding his manners at How About Dinner and a Movie. The man who always keeps us in line by asking, “Are you behaving?” was honored for his many far-reaching contributions to so many area nonprofits, including Park Center, beneficiary of the event. A courteous — and record-breaking — crowd followed Bill’s lead and minded their p’s and q’s throughout the night. Holly Hoffman

Coolest Collaboration

Steven Tyler and the Nashville Symphony at the Symphony Ball

It’s no secret that the Nashville Symphony is fabulous, but there is something incredibly special about watching them accompany some of Nashville’s — and the world’s — biggest stars. Fortunately, for guests of the Symphony Ball, that’s exactly what happens when the Harmony Award winner takes the stage at the white-tie gala each year. This year’s honoree, Steven Tyler, had everyone on their feet during his five-song set, but it was the closing number — a moving rendition of “Dream On” accompanied by members of the symphony — that nearly brought the house down. Nancy Floyd

Best Costumes

Ballet Ball

Upon arriving at the Ballet Ball, we were mesmerized by the striking dancers positioned atop marble bases in the lobby of the Schermerhorn. Billy Ditty of the Nashville Ballet’s costume department used a sophisticated color scheme of black, gray and champagne and unexpected materials including feathers and passementerie to create the fanciful costumes that evoked the fashions of Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen. We were so enamored by the remarkable looks that we featured three of the dancers on our April cover! Holly Hoffman

Most Artful Dinner

l’Eté du Vin Patrons Dinner

The pieces of art lining the galleries at 21c Museum Hotel — the site of the l’Eté du Vin Patrons Dinner last summer — weren’t the only masterpieces on display. With chef Levon Wallace at the helm, each course of the delectable dinner was a work of art. And due to a new format where patrons were divided into two smaller dinners, Levon and his team actually prepared two entirely different — but equally inspired — multi-course meals to complement the wines from the California vineyards. With inventive dishes like tobacco-cured duck and black cocoa rigatoni with lamb ragù, the meal was almost too pretty to eat. Nancy Floyd

Prettiest Alfresco Event

Dinner on the Bridge

Cumberland Park was a breathtaking substitute spot when Dinner on the Bridge relocated from its usual spot on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. The park’s riverfront location afforded spectacular views of the city skyline, the bridges, the Cumberland River and the restored riparian plantings along its banks. As if perfectly timed, the sun set just as dinner was announced. More than 500 guests made their way to a long line of tables which ran down the East Bank Greenway, which was perfectly appropriate for an evening benefiting Greenways for Nashville. Holly Hoffman

Best Farewell to Summer

Fall Harvest Dinner

After another long, hot summer, we’ve never been more ready for autumn, and there’s no better place to usher in the cooler temps and the beautiful colors of fall than at Cheekwood. The Horticultural Society’s Fall Harvest Dinner is one of the best ways to say au revoir to summer and embrace the cooler days ahead. The alfresco dinner, staged beautifully in the Bradford Robertson Color Garden, paired perfect weather with an exceptional meal. Nancy Floyd

Best Floral Display

Marché des Fleurs by Electric Flora at the Antiques & Garden Show

Phillipe Chadwick is known for his show-stopping, vibrant designs, and when Electric Flora, his company with Nick Maynard, conceived Marché des Fleurs for the Antiques & Garden Show, it may have been the most impressive example yet. As visitors stepped into a garden of evergreens and white tulips and hyacinths, a loose floral arrangement sitting in a “window” beckoned them to pass through the “storefront” door. On the other side, a vivid flower shop with two flower walls — buckets of pastel flowers on one side and primary-colored ones on the other — was a visual spectacle that brightened our day and spirits. Holly Hoffman

Best Way to Watch the Oscars

A Red Carpet Evening

There are a few requirements for optimal viewing of the Academy Awards: a big screen, a group of friends and plenty of wine. The Belcourt’s annual fundraiser provides all of this and more, offering Nashville the biggest and best Oscars party around. Guests can walk the red carpet like a star, browse local goodies in the silent auction, stock up on treats at the concession stand and watch Hollywood’s biggest night in the company of hundreds of film lovers and new friends. Nancy Floyd

Most Educational Cocktail Party

Claws, Paws and Jaws

At the annual Claws, Paws and Jaws, generous supporters get up close and personal with some of the wonderful creatures who reside at the Nashville Zoo. Not only do attendees get to pet and hold the special guests, they also learn new and fascinating facts about the creatures as well. This year we learned a most unexpected tidbit about some new zoo inhabitants that will never be taken to anyone’s home. One knowledgeable staffer informed us that petting a white rhino is “just like petting a dog.” Holly Hoffman

Best Chance to Mingle With Roman Josi

Petey’s Preds Party

The Nashville Predators hadn’t announced who their new team captain would be when we rolled up to the Bridgestone Arena back in September for Petey’s Preds Party, the annual event that raises awareness of Parkinson’s disease on behalf of the team’s former assistant coach Brent Peterson. So we happily took the opportunity to go straight to the source, asking Roman Josi, the man rumored to fill the honorable role, if he could confirm or deny anything. He let out a surprised laugh, claimed to know nothing and happily posed for pictures. Just a week later, Roman was, in fact, announced the new captain. Congrats, #59! We literally told you so. Megan Seling

Most Original Award

Thomas Williams Golden Skillet Award

At Nourish, an event hosted by The Nashville Food Project, Executive Director Tallu Schuyler Quinn announced the creation of the Thomas Williams Golden Skillet Award. The prize was just that — a skillet painted gold with a plaque in the center. Thomas, a board member and Nourish founder, had the honor of announcing Margot McCormack as the first recipient of the annual prize for her continued dedication to inventive eating. The room cheered when he presented her with the shiny frying pan. Holly Hoffman

Most Bizarre Answers on Readers’ Poll

Is this thing on?

We collected a record number of votes on our Best Parties Readers’ Poll this year so thanks for participating. But it seems like maybe not everyone clearly understood what we were looking for when submitting their answers. We got a kick out of these answers and we thought you would too. Enjoy our picks for the most bizarre answers submitted by our readers!

Best Venue: The party was great
Best Party Favor: Food
Best Decorations: Gold
Best Auction Item: The way they set up the bar
Most Fun Party: Chris in shoes sues home