Check back soon for the 2018 Parties of Note!

The MSOL and the MSO are most grateful to our Party Hosts/Sponsors for their generous support and participation in this project. All proceeds will be used for the MSO's Education and Community Engagement Programs.
Please review the exciting parties below, plan your itinerary and make your reservations early, as space is limited!
2 Ways to Register:
  • Mail Your Reservation Form
    Reservation forms are found in the back of your Parties of Note Passport. Please include a check payable to MSOL and mail both items to: Jessica Yehle, 6710 Colony Drive, Madison, WI 53717-1125
If a party you want to attend is sold out, please email your name to to be added to the wait list. Spaces often become available.
2017 Parties
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery:
Behind the Scenes with John Wiley
Wed., Apr. 19, 2017; 4-6 p.m. | 1300 University Ave.

Back by popular demand! Former UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley will lead us on a tour of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, including secure areas of both the privately funded Morgridge Institute for Research and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. John will share his knowledge and insights regarding how the Institutes contribute to the advancement of science and to our community. Following the tour, we will gather at Steenbock’s on Orchard for discussion and refreshments.

Menu: Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
Hosts: John Wiley, Judy and Nick Topitzes, and Joy and David Rice
Dress: Casual

$60 per person ($25 tax deductible). Limited to 20 guests.
Email to inquire.
Music with a View
Sun., Apr. 30, 2017; 4-6 p.m. | 350 South Hamilton Street, Madison

Enjoy a relaxed late Sunday afternoon of music in Diane Endres Ballweg’s beautiful condominium overlooking Lake Monona. The spectacular view is the perfect backdrop for conversation, sipping a glass of wine, and listening to the music of con vivo with MSO Pianist Dan Lyons. End the month of April on a high note by supporting the Symphony!

Menu: Hors d’oeuvres and wine
Host: Diane Endres Ballweg
Dress: Casual

$80 per person ($45 tax deductible). Limited to 18 guests.
Photo by Richard Hurd
Mansion Hill Walking Tour SOLD OUT!
Thurs., May 25, 2017; 5-7 p.m. | 510 North Carroll Street, Madison
Enjoy the beauty of Madison’s Mansion Hill Historic district as our experienced docent (Michael Bridgeman) shares insights about the history and architecture of this 100+ year old downtown neighborhood. You’ll hear about the architects who designed the historic buildings, which were home to the city’s elite in the mid to late 1800’s. Your tour begins and ends at the 150-year-old home of Ledell Zellers and Simon Anderson.
Menu: Hors d’oeuvres and wine
Hosts: Ledell Zellers and Simon Anderson and Michael Bridgeman
Dress: Casual
$45 per person ($20 tax deductible). Limited to 15 guests.
Saturday Brunch along the River SOLD OUT!
Sat., June 10, 2017; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
428 Sherman Ave., East, Fort Atkinson
Join Anders Yocom, popular host of WPR’s Sunday Brunch and the voice of the Madison Symphony, and his wife, Ann Engelman, for a delightful morning at their historic home on the Rock River in Fort Atkinson. The 45 minute ride from Madison goes through some of the most beautiful farm land in Wisconsin and includes the only round barn in Dane County. Come early and take in the charming small town farmers market or stay later to tour the Hoard Historical Museum and Dairy Shrine.

Menu: Eggs benedict, quiches, croissants, jams, and an assortment of salads,
Hosts: Anders Yocom and Ann Engelman
Dress: Casual

$75 per person ($45 tax deductible). Limited to 14 guests.
Email to inquire.
Art and Appetizers
Thurs., June 22, 2017; 5:30-7:30 p.m.
531 North Pinckney (Apt. B), Madison

Celebrate the Summer Solstice and mingle amidst an eclectic art collection in downtown Madison on the edge of Lake Mendota at the home of Kim and Bill Donovan. Enjoy a summer evening with art and views of the lake and gardens from outdoor terraces, and meet new and old friends while enjoying refreshments.
Menu: Savory appetizers, fruit, chocolates, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Hosts: Kim and Bill Donovan, Teri Venker and Terry Jacobson, and Lauri Morris and Jim Cole
Dress: Casual

$80 per person ($40 tax deductible). Limited to 35 guests.
The Secret Garden SOLD OUT!
Wed., June 28, 2017; 2-4:30 p.m.
Garden: 308 North Blair Street; Home: 100 Wisconsin Avenue

If you missed last year’s sold out garden party, here’s another opportunity to discover the garden that Nancy and Fred Risser have transformed from an overgrown lot behind residential buildings into an urban paradise. Learn about what has been planted from Steve Lesch of Landscape Designs, Inc., who helped the Rissers design this garden. Enjoy light refreshments at the Rissers’ home overlooking the Capitol.

Menu: Fruits, cheese and crackers, desserts, sparkling water, lemonade, and wine (Bottled water will be at the garden.)
Hosts: Nancy and Fred Risser and Janet and Scott Cabot
Dress: Casual

$50 per person ($30 tax deductible). Limited to 20 guests.
Historic Tour of Lake Monona SOLD OUT!
Tues., July 18, 2017*; 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Law Park ramp (just west of Monona Terrace)

Join Don Sanford, noted author of On Fourth Lake: A Social History of Lake Mendota (replacing David Mollenhoff, who cannot attend), for a memorable adventure aboard the Pontoon Porch ( As we travel along the shoreline of Lake Monona, Don will point out places of interest and regale us with tales from Madison’s past. Light refreshments served on board. *Rain date: Tuesday, August 8

Menu: Variety of cheeses and appetizers, wine, bottled water, and soft drinks
Hosts: Cathy Buege, Marilyn and Jim Ebben, Carolyn White
Dress: Casual

$75 per person ($40 tax deductible). Limited to 30 guests.
Bubbles and Strings SOLD OUT!
Thurs., Aug. 10, 2017; 6-8 p.m. | 5211 Tonyawatha Trail, Monona

Enjoy a tasting of select sparkling wines, chosen and guided by Andrea Hillsey of Square Wines, while looking out at the stunning Madison skyline on Lake Monona. Following the tasting, relax to a beautiful recital of string music performed by Alexis Carreon of the Madison Symphony. Enjoy a perfect summer evening sampling a variety of wines and elegant music.

Menu: Champagnes, other sparkling wines, and heavy hors d’oeuvres
Hosts: Patty and Dan Schultz, Pat Bernhardt, and Darlene and Norman Olson

$100 per person ($50 tax deductible). Limited to 16 guests.
In the Footsteps of Muir and Leopold SOLD OUT!
Sat., Sept. 23, 2017*; 8:30-11 a.m.
Owen Conservation Park, 6021 Old Sauk Road, Madison

Find inspiration on a hike through the Owen Conservation Park. Learn about oak savannahs, the prairies and deciduous forests of Wisconsin, and how they inspired Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and many others. Enjoy the fall prairie flowers and colorful foliage and perhaps catch sight of the many animals living in this urban oasis. We end at a secret picnic ground for refreshments. Led by MSOL board member and conservation biologist Darcy Kind.
*Rain date: Sunday, September 24

Menu: Light snacks, coffee, and juices
Hosts: Darcy Kind and Marc Vitale and Jessica and Jim Yehle
Dress: Casual

$40 per person ($20 tax deductible). Limited to 15 guests.
Tasting Chocolate: The Many Nuances of Delicious
Tues., Oct. 24, 2017; 5-7 p.m.
Gail Ambrosius Chocolates, 2083 Atwood Avenue
(new location as of summer 2017)

Chocolate, the ambrosia of the gods! Sample the many tasty varieties of chocolate from around the world and learn about how and where chocolate is grown from master chocolatier Gail Ambrosius. The tasting is accompanied by champagne and all attendees will go home with a gift box of 6 truffles.

Menu: Chocolates and champagne
Hosts: Linda and Michael Lovejoy and Gail Ambrosius
Dress: Casual
$45 per person ($20 tax deductible). Limited to 25 guests.
Date, time, and location of your choice

Don’t rent a tux! Don’t hire a babysitter!
Stay home, relax, and let your imagination take over.

Menu: Any or all of your favorite foods and beverage(s) of your choice
Host: Just you and yours
Dress: Casual (pajamas and slippers okay)

Tax-deductible contribution of your choice.
No guest limitations.


Nan Beyer-Mears ♦ Catherine Buege ♦ Janet & Scott Cabot ♦ Barbara & John DeMain ♦ Marilyn & Jim Ebben ♦ Susan King & Bob Horowitz ♦ Marilyn & Craig January ♦ Louise & Bob Jeanne ♦ Darcy Kind & Marc Vitale ♦ Beth & Peter Rahko ♦ Katie & Doug Reuhl ♦ Nancy & Fred Risser ♦ Ann Lindsey & Chuck Snowdon ♦ Judith & Nick Topitzes ♦ Carolyn White ♦ John Wiley ♦ Ledell Zellers & Simon Anderson