Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spring for the Arts Gala Raises Record $500,000

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spring for the Arts Gala Raises Record $500,000

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland

Gourmet food, silent and public auctions, a reach for the stars theme and a love for the arts drew droves of attendees to the 10th annual Spring for the Arts gala, raising a record $500,000. The funds are to support the Cathedral Arts Project's after-school arts education programs.

"Children in our program begin to understand that if they work hard, they can accomplish goals they never thought were possible," Heather Geraghty, who chaired the event held at the Deerwood Country Club, said in a news release. "They realize they have the power to solve problems, to overcome setbacks and obstacles and to achieve success."

Susan and Hugh Greene received the Guardian of the Arts Award for their efforts to safeguard and advance the arts. Brian Frus of Jacksonville University designed this year's award.

The Cathedral Arts Project was launched in 1993 by a small group from St. John's Episcopal Cathedral. What began as one dance class for 10 students from a transitional housing facility now serves more than 2,100 children through 58 twice-weekly classes and summer programs. Children learn classical and rhythmic ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, violin, chorus and more.

Here's more good news:

- Jewish Family & Community Services also staged a successful gala fundraiser that brought in $125,000. The 96-year-old social service agency serves 15,000 needy people of all faiths in Northeast Florida each year. Several hundred people attended the gala co-chaired by Lawrence and Linda DuBow and J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver at the Marriott Southpoint.

Donna Orender, a former collegiate and pro basketball player who is a past president of the Women's National Basketball Association, emceed the event whose theme was "You Can County on Us."

- They're called the Silver Fox Squares, but they can do-si-do, promenade and allemande with an agility that belies the name. And they enjoy dressing in clown suits and swirling their crinolines for a good cause. The Riverside square dance club recently staged a "Circus Dance" that attracted more than 100 dancers from 11 Florida clubs to raise $5,067 for Dreams Come True. …

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