Not Your Granddaddy’s Fundraiser

Bill Meara, Jenny Johnson, Billy Costa and Jeff Leerink at the Big Night benefit

Big-ticket charity gigs where it’s cool to wear jeans and a T-shirt are few and far between. Add top-flight entertainment, an open bar, delicious little nibbly things and a top-notch crowd, and it’s no surprise why Big Night—the annual blowout to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay—managed to raise almost $2 million.

The anxiously awaited evening, held at the House of Blues, featured performances by white-hot bands Misterwives, Saint Motel and Matoma, and began with a VIP reception, a meet-and-greet and an acoustic set in the Foundation Room, followed by a high-octane evening of music and general mayhem.

Michael Masdea and Jodi Masdea at the Big Night benefit

Present and accounted for: Honorees Margot and Jonathan Davis, co-chairs Bill Meara, Tim Dibble and Chris Mitchell, emcees Jenny Johnson and Billy Costa, party pair Kate Lubin and Glendon Sutton, investment banking bigwig Jeff Leerink and the stunning Kristi, IT entrepreneur Kevin Routhier, the organization’s skipper, Wendy Foster, uber do-gooder Gerald Chertavian, commercial real estate whiz Frank Petz and the gorgeous Abby, board chair Paula Price, mega-philanthropists Sandy and Paul Edgerley and Phill and Liz Gross, the evening’s speaker, Allen Arseneau, and one person who said, “Someone asked me what the attire for this evening was. I said, bikinis to bowties. Anything goes.”

Frank Petz, Mahmood Malihi and Wendy Foster at the Big Night benefit

Although there were no bikinis visible, there was plenty of designer denim, and the rafters shook until the cows came home.

The evening’s choicest remark: “I love this party because once I tell my kids about the bands I saw, I suddenly become cool for a second and a half.”

Avez-vous dish? Dirt? A spectacular social occasion? Call J.S. at 617-859-1400, ext. 303, or send an email to

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