Reaching the significant milestone of its 50th Anniversary gave the Marco Island Center for the Arts cause to celebrate. The evening was a grand affair, complete with the impeccable service of Hideaway Beach Club. Gala event chairs Sue and Russ Darrow created a memorable celebration for a remarkable achievement.
However, the festivities were tempered by the loss of a great contributor to the Center. Rosemary Wick, who led the transformation of the Center into the vibrant community cornerstone it is today, passed away last year.
“No one could say ‘No’ to Rosemary,” said Jim Richards, President of the Center for the Arts, in his opening remarks. The entire evening was an homage to Rosemary, who served as the Center’s president longer than any other and who was the driving force behind the Center’s survival.
In his welcome remarks, Jim introduced guests to the time-capsule. A 70% replica of an actual space capsule displayed at the Smithsonian was designed by Jim’s brother, Gary Richards and painstakingly crafted by Brandon Williams and Bosio Metal Specialties. During the coming year, items will be collected and placed inside the capsule, to be opened at a designated time in the future. Watch for more information on the space capsule in upcoming editions of Coastal Breeze News.
The evening’s honoree was the Island Country Club’s Charitable Foundation (ICCCF). Gary Landis, Chairman of the Foundation, thanked the audience and spoke a bit about the charitable efforts that the ICCCF supports.
There were several high-ticket items auctioned off live by Jon Foege, professional auctioneer, including a three–night weekend in New York City with the choice of two Broadway shows. A painting by artist Emily James, “Under the Sea,” kept the bidding paddles raised; an exclusive wine dinner for ten at Shula’s in Naples and dinner for eight at your home on Marco Island, courtesy of Hideaway Beach Sous Chef Tim Smith and F&B Director Kari Davidson were other popular live-auction items. A signed jersey by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a hand strung custom necklace by A. Jaron Custom Jewelry were among the coveted treasures sold. A trip to the U.S. Open Golf Tournament including a three–night stay, and a fly-in fishing trip at a 5-star Canadian resort also kept the bidding dancing back and forth.
“Marco Made by Hands,” a mixed art collage by Marjorie Pesek, is featured on the cover of a book honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Center of the Arts. Every guest received a certificate for the book, which is due back from the printers in April.
A silent auction, with tables lined by a plethora of items, waited to be collected. The proceeds will fund the operation of the Marco Island Center of the Arts, its classes and programming.
Executive Director Hyla Crane spoke to the audience about the Center’s 50-year journey and its future goals. In her own tribute to Rosemary Wick, Hyla donned an embellished two-piece ensemble, “Vintage Rosemary” she called it. Hyla made a call to support the necessary digital classroom initiative. That call had paddles waving in support. With more than 200 classes and workshops, the Beth Rhodes Center for Art Education classrooms, which were built 20 years ago, need updating with proper ventilation, storage, lighting, sinks and technology.
Those who donated know that they are making the difference in the lives of students of all ages, and the community as a whole.
No gala would be complete without entertainment. Music was provided by Bill Dean and Dawn and patrons danced the evening away.