CRESTVIEW — Even the threat of Tropical Storm Karen couldn't keep crowds away from this year's "Casino Royale"-themed Blue Jean Ball. The evening of dancing, silent auctions, gourmet cuisine and decadent desserts netted $28,000 for Covenant Hospice, and a fun time for more than 250 attendees.


CRESTVIEW — Even the threat of Tropical Storm Karen couldn't keep crowds away from this year's "Casino Royale"-themed Blue Jean Ball.



The evening of dancing, silent auctions, gourmet cuisine and desserts netted $28,000 for Covenant Hospice, and a fun time for more than 250 attendees.



View a gallery of photos from the Blue Jean Ball here>>



"To have exceeded our goal is absolutely wonderful after all the volunteers' hard work," Covenant Hospice development manager Jenni Perkins said on Monday.



Bonnie Grundel, a participant in the "Dancing with the Crestview Stars" competition, raised almost $7,000 of the four local celebrities’ total. She credited North Okaloosa Medical Center colleagues for helping her win the fundraiser.



"We vowed to make her the highest-amount winner," Becky Spera said.



Laura Chamberlain of Laurel Hill; Dr. James Stevens, a Crestview radiation oncologist; and Steve Tuttle,president of the local chapter of the Special Forces Association, also raised funds in the dancing competition.



Casino royale-ity



Cards slapped and dice tumbled down the green baize tables as partiers gambled with play money. If Lady Luck had fled, players could donate to Covenant to replenish their kitties.



Florida Chautauqua members, clad in Vegas feathers and frills, hovered over a lavish dessert bar that included cupcakes, parfaits and a candy bar backed by oversized film posters from the 1967 and 2006 versions of the James Bond "Casino Royale" films.



Four "dancing docs” — Drs. Michael Hamby, Gregory Coates, Don Grundel and Jonathan Lohrbach — led a spirited performance of the Village People's disco classic, "YMCA."



The occasion ended after Donna Summer's "Last Dance" drew attendees to the floor at 10 p.m.



Before stepping out into the humid night, folks posed for another round of photos in front of the lobby bar festooned with more 007 film posters.



Crestview High School and Rocky Bayou Christian School students helped to clear tables during the event and joined DJJ students and Covenant volunteers in taking down decorations.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.