By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) held its annual Mardi Gras Gala, an evening of “masks and mayhem,” to raise funds for the museum.
The lavish party was held at Empire Mills in Madison last Saturday, Feb. 23. According to STMA Director Patricia DuBose, the Gala was a magical event that reaped in the proceeds for the museum.
“Saturday evening’s Mardi Gras Gala was a huge success for the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, and we are grateful for all the support we received,” said DuBose. “We call this event a ‘Party with a Purpose’ because its job is to raise money for the Museum’s Arts Outreach programs for students…. It was truly a magical evening, planned to a “t” by Erin Garrett, Elizabeth Rockhill, Kelly McLeod, Ellen Sanders, Cathy Whitcomb, Danielle Rector, and Bev Jones.”
According to Dubose, 140 guests attended the Mardi Gras Gala for a lively evening benefitting a good cause.
“They enjoyed all aspects of the night: masks, delicious food, wonderful silent auction items, dancing to the fabulous Atlanta Seventeen Big Band, signature drinks, and of course, the raffle!” said Dubose.
This year’s Mardi Gras Gala featured the Atlanta Seventeen Band, who performed Motown Hits throughout the evening. Hallie Jane’s catering served up “New Orleans-inspired” cuisine for guests.
An array of auction items were made available to bidders, including artwork, a cocktail party in a private home, and a trip to New Orleans with airfare on Delta Airlines provided and accommodations at the chic Pontchartrain Hotel.
Two extravagant raffle items were awarded during the gala: a $500 gift certificate for a Porsche Driving Experience at the Porsche track in Atlanta and a Lady’s Rose 14Kt Morganite and Diamond pendant, valued at $1,000, donated by Whidby Jewelers. Sarah Burbach won the diamond necklace donated by Whidby Jewelers, and Jim Jones won the Porsche Driving Experience. “Thank you, Whidby’s and Don Roman Consulting, for donating those items,” said Dubose. “A signature item on the Mardi Gras silent auction table is always a Trip to New Orleans. Won by Shaun and Keith Davis, their package includes travel on Delta Airlines (sponsored by Scott Campbell) and accommodations at the very chic Pontchartrain Hotel (sponsored by Stephen Cooke). Thank you as well to all the Madison businesses who donated to the silent auction this year – Fetch House, Amelia’s, Barkin’ Dogs Shoe Co., Madison Square Garden, The Brady Inn, The Spa and The Salon at James Madison, Madison Car Care, and Society Hall.”
According to the STMA, all of the funds raised from this event “go directly to support the Museum’s vibrant arts outreach programs for students aged 4th grade through college. The Museum’s Arts Outreach programs were inspired by Steffen Thomas’ experiences with George Washington Carver, Martha Berry, and his life-long advocacy of vocational education. The Museum has presented unique, in-depth and hands-on art programming in the Lake Oconee tri-county area every year since 2001. As part of the Arts Outreach Program, public works of art by local students have been permanently installed in the tri-county communities – a lasting testament to the children’s creativity and the Museum’s dedication to serving the community. In 2015 the museum began a collaboration with regional universities, offering college students the unique opportunity of showing their work in a museum setting. In addition to the educational programs and changing exhibits of Steffen Thomas’s work, the museum also offers a number of special exhibitions every year.”
“Our Gold and Purple Sponsors provided a solid base from which the Museum could launch the event, and we are deeply grateful to them, Infinite Warrior and Fierman Law Firm,” said Dubose. “Host Committee members are like our right arm when it comes to this event, providing ideas and financial support, and we appreciate each one of them more than words can express – Alice Lee and Rob Andreottola, Charles Bonner, Miryn and Kyle Davidson, Traci and Chuck Dorr, Ed Freeman, Notte Law Firm, Linda and Steve Huggins, Mary and Ron Jones, Janet Mason, Diane and Will Pharr, Cathy and Steve Whitcomb, and Kathy and Steve Whitworth.”
The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art is a 501(c) 3 non-profit located at 4200 Bethany Road, Buckhead, GA. 706-342-7557. www.steffenthomas.org. The Museum welcomes visitors to its galleries during regular Museum hours (Tues. – Sat. from 11 AM – 4 PM) or by appointment.