Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 25, 2014

Gala celebrating anniversary of convention center

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Oct 24, 2012

Fairfield Arts & Convention Center is celebrating its fifth anniversary with style, food and fun for the community Saturday evening with a gala,”Night on the Town.”

Tickets are required and can be purchased online at www.FairfieldACC.com until midnight today or by calling 472-2787 before 6 p.m. today. All proceeds will benefit the arts and convention center.

Posters about the gala invite attendees to “Dress up with us to celebrate our 5th anniversary.”

It’s mostly an evening about fun and fundraising.

“The center is such a vibrant and important community asset,” said Rustin Lippincott, executive director of Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. “This is an opportunity for us to celebrate our successes, while fundraising toward our future.”

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with champagne and appetizers, said Sally Denney, chairwoman of the gala committee. Denney along with Suzan Kessel were co-founders of the arts and convention center.

“This first hour with appetizers gives everyone time to walk around and look at the auction items,” she said.

The gala is hosting a silent auction, a live auction, a dessert auction and a mystery box auction.

The second hour of the evening features a variety of tapas — small plates — created by local chefs, including Fairfield Golf and Country Club’s Adam Pohren and Chris Batterson; Vivo’s Noah Lobdell; Yummy’s Gourmet Cakes’ Jill Dahlstrom; Top of the Rock Grill’s Jerry Fischer; Sunnybrook Assisted Living Center’s Kumar; and Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store catering’s Dennis Lopp.

“People can still mingle and view the auction items and visit as they take small plates from serving stations. I’m really excited about having fun and tasting the best creations from our local chefs and caterers,” said Denney. “We’ll have a wide variety of food, we want to appeal to all tastes in our community.”

Denney said wines have been donated to the gala and other drinks will be available. Two drink tickets come with every admission ticket, to be used on whatever someone wants.

Corey Morrow will have a station with teas from his Earth & Water Tea Lounge and Pottery Shop at Saturday’s gala.

Tables and seating are available all evening. Music and entertainment is provided throughout the evening.

Fairfield native Jenness Parker returns from Delaware to perform, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Parker, an attorney, is a 1996 graduate of Fairfield High School.

She made her professional opera debut as Lola in “Cavalleria Rustincana” with OperaDelaware. She previously sang in the chorus for “La Traviata” and performed as a soloist in the 2010 Fall Studio Series.

Her stage career highlights include leading roles as Emma Carew in “Jekyll & Hyde”, Maria in “Sound of Music,” Josephine in “HMS Pinafore,” Princess Zara in “Utopia Limited,” Hope Harcourt in “Anything Goes,” Dorothy in “Wizard of Oz,” Princess Jasmine in “Aladdin” and the soprano role in “The Messiah.” Parker also has performed lead roles in premiere productions of “A Tale of Two Cities” and “American Tragedy” with Lex Lyrica Productions.

Her Saturday performance at Fairfield’s gala celebration will consist of a variety of musical favorites, as well as original songs.

The Jefferson County Green Band will join in providing the evening’s entertainment.

Parker’s FHS Class of 1996 classmate, Steve McLain of Jefferson County Green Band, will perform with Parker before the band kicks off the dance portion of the evening.

Also featured throughout the evening will be Derek Anderson and some of Fairfield’s most talented instrumental musicians, said Denney, such as Karen Aoki, Ed Kelenyi, Steve Hillis and Rob Steinberg, chairman of Fairfield Arts & Convention board of directors.

Some items included in the live and silent auctions are a rustic Montana get-away to Gallatin Valley, an Italian meal for six at the home of Mayor Ed and Vicki Malloy, a five-day Equity Estates vacation, original artwork, unique jewelry, a catered dinner for 40 from Yummy’s, a “Get Ready for the Holidays” package, a stone bath vanity with sink and installation from Everything Stone, a “Pamper Yourself” package, a Fairfield Arts & Convention Center design quilt from the lobby and more.

“We’re having a dessert auction, with lots of great desserts being donated,” said Denney. “Many items and services have been donated, which is great because all the more proceeds raised go to benefit the arts and convention center.

“And the ‘mystery box’ auction should be really fun, too.”

Saturday’s gala is the first time celebrating an anniversary, said Lippincott. An opening gala was held in 2007.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to celebrate with the community, the past and present boards and our staff, “ he said. “It’s been a fun five years.

“It’s great to be welcoming back some of our performers to a party celebrating five years. Actually, it’s been 15 years since the initial work began on an arts and convention center.”

In its five years of operation, Lippincott said nearly 1,000 events have been hosted and 100,000 people have attended events.

 

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