Art in the Loft is getting ready for take-off as it prepares for its annual "fun-raising" event, Glamour & Gourmet in the Gallery to be held Nov. 7 from 5:15 to 9:30 p.m.
The theme this year is "Come Fly With Me!" Gallery Coordinator Justin Christensen-Cooper describes the theme as "a tribute to the glamorous days when air travel was a memorable occasion and passengers were pampered with first-class service, food beverages."
Event chair Amanda Stewart said, "Volunteers are busy transforming the space with a vintage theme so guests can enjoy a high-flying evening of luxury air travel without ever leaving the ground."
Some of the many auction donors and committee members gathered at Art in the Loft for the annual donor’s lunch. Seated from left are Shirley Cliburn, Sports Unlimited; Julie McCoy, The Country Cousin Shop; Missi LeFave, The Marketplace and How Cute is That; Anna Lewis, Lewis Line Dancing; Kathyrn Bianchi, Permanent Cosmetics by Kathryn and Donovan’s Serenity & Wellness Spa; Judy Burns, Mistress of Ceremonies; “Captain” Justin Christensen-Cooper, Gallery Coordinator; Natalie Nadeau, True North Radio; Neil and Becky Seabase, Committee. Standing from left are Annette Taratuta, Netta’s; Linda McMillan, Lost Lake Woods Club; Sue Fitzpatrick, Committee, Stacey Stewart, Alpena Sewing Center; George Botos, True North Radio; Amber Hess; Shawn Straley, Masters-LaLonde Shoes; Sarah Morrison, Bay Athletic Club, Judy Mathewson, Committee, Kathy Garant, Committee; Erin Riopelle, Adventureland Sports, LL; Gloria Egelski, Committee, Sharron LaHaie, Committee
The annual signature fundraiser to support the non-profit arts center includes food and entertainment, live and silent auctions, raffles, cash bar and many new surprises this year. More than 80 merchants, businesses and individuals have donated items, goods and services including apparel, jewelry, accessories, home decor, art and services.
The committee combines the items into "packages" which are offered for auction in both the live and silent auctions. Live auction packages include several unique travel-themed dinner party experiences hosted by local donors, fitness and spa packages, weekend getaways, exotic vacations to destinations like Lake Tahoe and Whistler, British Columbia, a children's "pirate party," golf and boating experiences, and activities designed for family enjoyment.
This year, for the first time, the event will feature a "Travel Concierge" desk, where guests can purchase travel and vacation packages at a fixed price rather than bidding on them in an auction. These packages include such experiences as a trip to the U.S. Tennis Men's and Women's Finals, a private Le Cordon Bleu Cooking Class, Saks Fifth Avenue Shopping Spree in New York City, a trip to the 2014 Country Music Awards in Nashville, Disney World Vacation Packages, Upper Level Courtside tickets to the Final Four Championship in Dallas, Wine Tasting and Dining Tours in Sonoma and San Francisco, and many more packages.
"We spent a lot of time selecting trips and experiences that we felt would provide something for every interest- from sports to fashion to adventure to family fun-in a wide range of budgets," Stewart said.
Art in the Loft works with a company that offers exclusive travel experiences for non-profit auctions. "This allows us to secure some very unique trips and experiences that are not available to the general public." Christensen-Cooper said. "This year, we decided to select a wide variety of trips and offer them to our guests at fixed price. For any of our guests who are planning a trip in the next year, this is a great opportunity for them to plan a one-of-a-kind vacation and support Art in the Loft all in one evening."
Returning for the 9th year, Ginny French will serve as the "celebrity" auctioneer. Judy Burns will serve as the mistress of ceremonies during the fun and interactive live auction, which is a popular favorite with guests. This year the live auction items will be limited to 15 packages, so that guests will have more time for other activities during the event.
Auction and travel packages can be previewed on the event website, which can be found by going to www.artintheloft.org and clicking on the Glamour & Gourmet link. New items will be previewed gradually on the website until the night of the auction, so bidders are encouraged to check the online catalogue frequently to plan their bids.
Gallery & Gourmet committee members include Amanda Stewart, chair, Kathy Garant, Sue Fitzpatrick, Karen Bennett, Barb Szczesniak, Stacey Stewart, Diane Sims, Linda Suneson, Linda McMillan, Sharron LaHaie, Judi Mazrum, Jean Thomas, Kelsey Hall, Amber Hess, Ginny French, Judy Burns, Melissa Burns, Judy Mathewson, Brooke Stevens, Becky Seabase, Amanda Coulon, Sarah Altman-Bedford, Elizabeth Ruth and Justin Christensen-Cooper. Many additional volunteers also devote their time to preparing for and staffing the event.
Bay Athletic Club is the underwriting sponsor for the event for the fifth year. Committee member Karen Bennett said, "Trina Gray and the team at Bay Athletic Club are wonderful supporters of this event and of Art in the Loft. We greatly appreciate their sponsorship and enthusiasm."
Coach Tickets are $50 each. First Class Tickets are $75 each and include special amenities like a "pre-flight" preview party in the VIP lounge.
All tickets include table seating and must be purchased in advance. Tickets may be purchased on the website at www.artintheloft.org or by calling Art in the Loft. Free valet parking is available at the front door of the Center Building. For more information check the website or call 356-4877.