Hoping to top last year’s $32,000 raised

Last updated: February 20. 2014 4:41PM - 995 Views
By Jessica Johnson jessicajohnson@civitasmedia.com

Students enjoy free movies at the Historic Earle Theatre in Downtown Mount Airy, thanks to proceeds from the Surry Arts Council's ArtsBall, which will be held on Feb. 28 this year.
Students enjoy free movies at the Historic Earle Theatre in Downtown Mount Airy, thanks to proceeds from the Surry Arts Council's ArtsBall, which will be held on Feb. 28 this year.
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The 2014 ArtsBall, a major fundraising event for Surry Arts Council, is set for Friday, Feb. 28, at Cross Creek Country Club, with doors opening at 6 p.m.

The event will feature music and entertainment by The Band of Oz, a seated dinner, a passed hors d’oeuvres and soup course, and a silent auction as well as a live auction. The event is black tie optional. Tickets are $75 per person, and are available online, at surryarts.org, by calling 786-7998, or by emailing melissa@surryarts.org.

“We are hoping to beat our record set last year of over $32,000 raised, and that money, as well as other earmarked contributions, goes toward the over $50,000 in cultural arts programming we provide, which includes both in-school arts events as well as arts events the kids are brought to in buses that are held here at the Andy Griffith Playhouse and downtown at the Historic Earle Theatre,” said Tanya Jones, executive director of the council.

“The schools and the community are very supportive of this event, because they know 100 percent of the proceeds go to cultural arts programming for schools, and do not go to operational costs. They know this money goes back to them, so the schools really support us by donating items for the silent auction, and we greatly appreciate their efforts,” Jones shared.

The silent auction will end at 8 p.m., at the start of the seated dinner, with the live auction beginning at 8:30 p.m. An optional silent auction preview and bidding will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Last year’s most popular items included multiple dinner parties, with food prepared by local chefs and restaurants. Jones said that more than $10,000 was raised from the silent auction dinners. The popular dinners will be offered again this year, along with a new addition — an Indian meal prepared by Manju Wagoner.

A large amount of original art was donated for this year’s silent auction, including seven large pieces of art painted and donated by Pat Altic. Danajean Mabry donated eight original watercolors. Local artist Dr. McKenzie Sumner donated bricks he painted with scenes from downtown Mount Airy.

Artwork was also donated by local artists Lizzie Morrison, Greg McCormick, Andrea Morrison, Keenia Beck, and Candice Martin; Kenny Hooker and Hobart Jones donated photography. The Basketmakers of Surry County donated handcrafted baskets. Mary Emily Cooke was creating a large number of pet beds.

Patterson Automotive of Mount Airy will donate a car for the live auction again this year. Last year, a 1997 Toyota Camry was won by Teresa Lewis, owner of Workforce Carolina, with a final bid of $4,200, which beat the 2012 record for highest bid. Lewis donated the automobile to the Children’s Center.

Other items offered at the silent auction include a playhouse donated by Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories; items donated by Scarlet Begonias, as well as several items a donor purchased at Scarlet Begonias; Sabika jewelry donated by several schools as well as sales representatives; items donated from over 20 downtown Mount Airy businesses; wine donated from Shelton Vineyards, Old North State Winery, and Sanders Ridge Winery; a large number of gift cards and gift certificates to businesses and local restaurants, including Trio Restaurant; a local a school donation of a suite at Great Wolf Lodge as well as a $250 gift certificate to the lodge; two sets of cornhole boards; Adirondack chairs made by local school’s shop class; as well as many more items.

The chairperson for this year’s ArtsBall is Julie Adams, who said the reasons she supports the Surry Arts Council and serves as the chair for ArtsBall is because she enjoys a nice life because of the arts careers of herself and her husband, and she feels it is important to support cultural arts programming for children.

Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves said he appreciates the support of the Surry Arts Council because Surry County Schools teaches the “whole child” which includes both academics and arts.

“The community rallies around this, as you can see by the crowd [at last year’s Arts Ball]. Without the support of the Surry Arts Council, we would not be able provide the rich cultural experiences the students gain through their programs. When students watch a performance, what they gain is a positive experience…they are creating life-long learners. You can’t put a price tag on that — you can’t give a test score for that.”

Reach Jessica Johnson at 719-1933 or on Twitter @MountAiryJess.

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