On Saturday, November 5, Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan — held its 30th Annual Earl Ray Wilcox Memorial Hocus Pocus Party. Members sold tickets to a crowd of 240 people. Attendees came from all over West Michigan. Members, their friends and family members enjoyed a fun-filled evening of magical wonderment which included a delicious buffet dinner and cash bar, a strolling close-up magic period, sponsored raffle giveaway prizes such as a fifty/fifty cash drawing, and a fabulous cabaret show.
The event was held at KC Banquet Center on the southwest side of town. Magically, attractive designed table décor invited the guests to their tables. Magic-themed posters, streamers, and other party related décor were placed on the side walls to add to the festive appeal. This event was also advertised on local newspaper and TV station web site calendars, Facebook, Twitter, and on MLive.com. Ring President P. J. Weber had a spot on FOX 17’s “Morning Show” the previous Sunday. A few days later on FOX 17’s “Morning Mix,” Dennis Favreau astonished viewers.
Prior to the full dinner buffet and until the cabaret show, there was fortune telling by Bogga Kahn (Dave Bogdan). Also there was face painting by SuZie Zoerman and Cassandra Heimbecker as Whimsey T. Clown. Jerry Herdegen provided many balloon creations to not only any kids, but to adults too. Raven Keckler as Harvee The Rabbit was also a favorite attraction. The strolling close-up magic began during the food buffet period and continued for about an hour after the dinner. Magicians began by going to tables waiting to go through the buffet line. The following Ring 211 magi amused, amazed, and dazzled our guests: MagicBob Zoerman, Bill Rasmussen accompanied by his son Christian, Gil Scott, Jesse Shira, Nicholas Watkins, Wayne Ramsdell, P. J. Weber, Gary Oisten, Dennis Favreau, Dr. Jack Vander Wal, Randy Vander Wal, Bruce Wehr, Randy Baker and his grandson Julian, Bob Panlener, Jeff Brodrick, and Leo Peters.
Gil Scott along with Michele Parkes recognized PIP June Horowitz (still “magic-partying” now at 103!) as she had the honor of pulling the ticket winner of the fifty/fifty raffle. A lucky winner received $205.00 and other winners received the giveaway prizes which included small beginner magic tricks from Hippity Hop Magic, pizza coupons, and other novelty items of Christmas and circus themes.
The evening concluded with an extremely entertaining cabaret show featuring Jesse Shira as the emcee, Trino, Bill Rasmussen and son Christian, Gene Anderson, and headliner Rod Snow. Ring 211 President, P. J. Weber enlightened us with his mouth coil to dove production and then introduced Jesse. Between the acts, Jesse dazzled the audience with a unique blend of comedy and magic, including Scott Alexander’s Candle to Flower, a phone number gag, and the Pom Pom Pole (Prayer Stick). Trino impressed yet continued the laughs with the Appearing Bowling Pin (Michael Mode), a comedy book test plus, and a straitjacket escape. Bill Rasmussen and his son Christian, our dynamic duo for the evening, was the third act. Bill mesmerized the audience with “Sympathetic 10” (from Card-Shark by Jorg Alexander). Christian followed with his “Top Secret Briefcase.” This coincided with the recent Presidential Election. After his revelation of the 38D bra, he mentioned that he was planning to run for president someday and that he “already was working on his strategic plan to attract the female vote.” To counteract any repercussions that may have stirred up among the Trump supporters, he mentioned that he “will continue to have his own private email server – and that no one would ever have access to it.” The duo concluded their act with their version of Sword Through Neck. Magic Tops Hats Off to Christian as this was his first time appearing on stage for Ring 211! Gene Anderson spiked up the show further with his performance which included his newspaper “Hello” cut, Picto-Transpo, Nemo Jumbo Rising Cards (double card rise), a Professor’s Nightmare and restore, his die box routine to the nursery rhyme of “Mother Hubbard,” and his torn and restored newspaper. Rod Snow closed the show. He is a ventriloquist and put on the final comedy touches with an animated drawing vent, a sock puppet with turtle vent, his The Baby and Gee Tar vents, and the last two vents were two kids from the audience.
What another astounding Hocus Pocus Party! There are many to thank: the entire membership for selling tickets, Jim and Michele Parkes for obtaining the place and managing all ticket sales, Gil Scott and Dave Bogdan for putting the show together, our stage, close-up performers, and other artists, Brooks Alder for operating the sound and lighting, Charles Bennett with Jim & Michele Parkes for heading the prize drawings and raffle, Dr. Jack Vander Wal with supplying the jet sets, Jeff Veley for use of his attractive backdrop, Jerry and Kathy Herdegen for decorating each table to magic affair, and to my cousin Derek Lieverdink for photos and videotaping. A thanks to Bruce and Sara Wehr, Jeff Brodrick, P. J. Weber, and to Bill, Julie, and Christian Rasmussen for night before help as well as video tapping and video projection on large screen. Also, a thanks to Monica Cooper, Teresa Krause, Stacey Krause (relation to Michele Parkes) in assisting with ticket handling, decorations, and the prize drawings. A final thanks to any other member who helped out in any way and to the KC Banquet Center’s staff for their pleasant hospitality. An event such as this allows Ring 211 to host many lectures throughout the year to its club members.