Montezuma Ball 2013 Breaks Historical Fundraising Record

“This year’s Montezuma Ball was one for the record books,” stated Ann Utterback, chair of this year’s ball, and VP of Development for WESST, a small business development organization which was this year’s primary beneficiary and will receive the bulk of the proceeds. The ball netted $314,000, almost doubling the prior record of $175,000. “It’s truly a win-win for our community!” Utterback announced.

Several factors were at play in creating this year’s record results; including doubling the number of attendees from last year to 620, increasing sponsorships, and obtaining incredible live auction items. The live auction items included a trip to Burgundy in France, with associated concierge planning services, that was donated by WESST client, Your Key to Burgundy, and went for double its value. A highlight of the evening was the bidding on a unique necklace and earrings set designed and crafted by award-winning metalsmith Shane Hendren with turquoise donated from Molly Bell and materials donated from Rio Grande Jewelers. The end result was the artist agreeing to make another unique set so that the two competing bidders could each have a “winning bid.”

Alan and Audrey Bell were named this year’s King and Queen of the Montezuma Ball. The “crowning” of a king and queen is a unique feature of the Montezuma Ball that dates back to territorial times in which community leaders are honored for their community service and support of the beneficiaries and the Montezuma Ball. Alan Bell is the President of Rio Grande, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company. This year’s corporate sponsor was Summit Electric Supply, CEO Vic Jury and his wife Mary Jury were last year’s king and queen.

The Montezuma Ball was a tradition revived by Jim Long, CEO of Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc, at Hotel Albuquerque as a fundraising event for local charities and civic organizations. The ball has raised almost two million dollars for local charities since that time. The other beneficiaries this year were Animal Humane New Mexico and the New Mexico Multi-Cultural Foundation. 

WESST, www.wesst.org, is a non-profit small business development organization with offices in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Farmington, Roswell and Las Cruces. The organization provides training, consulting and loans to entrepreneurs across New Mexico as well as business incubation services to members of the WESST Enterprise Center in Albuquerque. To learn more about WESST, please visit www.wesst.org or call 1.800.GoWESST