Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Education Foundation's Evening of Excellence

Such a fun event is the Education Foundation's Evening of Excellence!  I love to go to this event!  It is such a treat to see these young artists' fabulous works.  Any emerging artist would be thrilled to have their work sold for what these works go for.  During the art auction, most averaged around $1,000, a couple went for $2,500 and one went for $15,000 - Chicken Comb-Over - after much spirited bidding.  Jimmy Dean presided over the auction with his usual enthusiasm,  The students donate their art work and different framing stores frame them gratis.  The Ed Foundation netted over $45,000 from the auction alone and over $250,000 for the entire event.

The art teachers in Sarasota County schools are phenomenal.  They guide and encourage these high school students throughout the year to produce their best work.  There were over 200 submissions and the top 25 were selected to be spotlighted at this event, after being judged by a panel of several art experts.

Co-chairs Chris Cremer and Meg Mahoney did a nice job pulling the event together with over 400 attendees (They were both seen walking around the room during the auction with bottles of wine, eagerly pouring the ever flowing vino.  I think we all know that the more liquored up you are, the more you'll bid!).  The centerpieces were really interesting - kind of like soaring paper airplanes (photo below).  They were designed by Victoria Blooms who said "artists start with a common core, an education that strengthens their own skills and allows their creativity to to take flight in infinite directions".  A very cute idea.

This was new Ed Foundation Executive Director Susan Scott's first Evening of Excellence.  Her grace, friendly personality, and strength were shining through all night.  They are really lucky to have such a wonderful leader taking them to the next level.

Like always, the food at Michael's On East was top-notch, with a fantastic rich, but light dessert - a pecan topped chocolate mousse kind of thing with extra toffee sauce for good measure.  I must admit, the person sitting beside me had to leave early and left her dessert.  It starred at me throughout the entire auction and at one point, when no one was looking, I ate hers too!  Sssh, now don't tell anyone!

Others attending not photographed below were: Mike Bryant, Gayle Guynup, Shelley McDaniel, Peg McKinley, Tim Hensey, Rick Fawley, Jon and Janey Swift, George McGonagill, CJ Fishman, Al Weis, Lem Sharpe, Dr. Larry Thompson, and many more.

Co-chairs Chris Cremer and Meg Mahoney

Susan and John Scott

Elizabeth Rose and Kristin Benedict Calandra - yes, my daughter

Sue and Phil Hammersley

Victoria Leopold and Felice Schulaner

Julie Pinkerton and Tracy Knight

Mike and Marie Pender ready to bid!

School Superintendent Lori White

Nancy and Michael Longworth

Renee Phinney and Rebecca Blitz

Paige Dettman with Chris and Ken Pfahler

Fran and John LaCivita

Constance White Davis and Peggy Wiggins

Taylor and Stevan Collins

Teri and Fred Derr

Michael and Caroline Zucker

The tablescape

The unique centerpiece

That yummy dessert

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