Museum experience raises $ 250,000 for McCallum Education


“Oh what a night!” became the evening exclamation at Circle of Muses and Patron Saint of the McCallum Theater event of the same name. It was truly a museum experience, raising over $ 250,000.

During cocktail hour, revelers were greeted by 1960s music performed by The killer dueling pianos. The music made the guests clap, laugh and sing, and most of the attendees, having survived the 1960s, knew all the lyrics. A photo booth captured guests in chic cocktail period outfits and an artist sketched out caricatures.

The doors to the Westin Mission Hills Resort Celebrity Ballroom were opened as elated celebrants enjoyed the glitzy decor. Large crystal lights adorned the center of each table surrounded by a mixture of fresh flowers. The chair covers were adorned with a glittering herringbone pattern in gold and white, matching the table runners.

Muse board member Marge Barry, Kay Hanson and CJ Westrick-Bomar smile at the "Oh what a night" fundraiser at the Westin Mission Hills Resort on November 14, 2021.

Co-chair of the event Judith Antoine welcomed the guests and thanked everyone for their support of McCallum Theater Education. She said: “Last season, when school children couldn’t be in their classrooms, McCallum Theater Education served over 31,000 students and educators through virtual and online programming. Bringing the arts into the homes of young people helped ease the isolation that many felt. “

McCallum staff Yvonne bell, Melissa Credazzi-Clark, Colleen Gallagher, Mitch gershenfeld, Robert mcconnaughey, Nicole Moon, Jeffrey Normand, Dio Perez, Dominique shwe and Ratna williams were recognized for their dedication and support.

Antoine thanked Linda cavalier and Barbara roger for hosting the sponsorship night held on a previous date in the lobby of the McCallum Theater, celebrating the venue’s grand reopening. Members of the event committee Karen ackland, Marge Barry, June Benson, Cardriner Bowden, Joyce Dawson, Susan gelman, Bobbi lampros, Wanda martin, Fran muir, Fran raider, Nancy robinson, Karen speros, Jean Viereck, Wendy wilson and Linda weakley have been recognized.

Co-chair of the event Diane dykema thanked sponsor Harold Matzner for her unwavering support of the Muses’ mission and encouraged everyone to participate in the next Opportunity Draw and Live Auction. She also thanked Frank Goldstin of Importants events to create a magical evening.

Muse Board Members Jaishri Mehta and Raju Mehta attend the "Oh what a night" fundraiser on November 14, 2021.

After a delicious three-course dinner with wine, Muses President Benson thanked sponsors and guests and reminded everyone of the Muses’ mission; “Muses will support the McCallum Theater so that it can reach its highest potential in terms of enrichment, entertainment and education for the community. All funds from fundraising activities and membership fees will go directly to supporting McCallum Theater Education. »Benson thanked Raju and Jaishri Mehta of El Paseo Jewelers for donating a $ 10,000 diamond bracelet to the raffle. The winning ticket went to Patronne Silver member Suz hunt.

An informative video commented by McCallum Vice President of Education Kajsa Thuresson-Frary highlighted the importance of connecting the community to art and how the department was able to pivot during the pandemic and promote the arts to 31,000 students, changing their lives.

McCallum Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Norman, the No.1 Muses fan, encouraged attendees to bid on the seven live auction items. With great enthusiasm, he began to bid on a gift card from Saks Fifth Avenue, Palm Desert, then to the McCallum experience for four consisting of a dinner at Jillian with wine followed by the performance of “An intimate evening with David Foster.” With the heightened excitement, a wagon of fine wines and spirits, including dinners at Cook and La Spiga, went to auction.

The boys from D63 wow the crowd at the "Oh what a night" fundraiser on November 14, 2021.

Brunch at Eight4Nine and a tour of the windmills was next, followed by a six-course dinner accompanied by wines to Wally for eight, then dinner at Spencer Restaurant with wine for eight. The last item was a four course dinner with paired wines for 20 au Tuscany Country Club wine cellar. Norman encouraged everyone to participate in the lively live auction.

The euphoria in the crowd was further heightened when the Boys from D63 took the stage and the revelers migrated to the dance floor to dance to 60s tunes. The closing song was, of course, “Oh, What a Night”. And everyone agreed.

The Muses & Patroness Circle is a fundraising group for McCallum Theater and since its inception 32 years ago has raised and contributed over $ 8 million in proceeds from annual dues and fundraising events to benefit by McCallum Theater Education.

Marge Dodge sits on several local not-for-profit boards that support her passions for education, literacy and the arts.

“Oh, what a night – A museum experience”


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