Photo Flash: Theatrical Outfit's Annual Downtown Gala and Fundraiser OUR LUCKIE STARS A Record-Breaking Success
Theatrical Outfit (TO) held its annual fundraising gala, "Our Luckie Stars," on Saturday, April 27th at its home, The Balzer Theater at Herren's on Luckie Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The event honored long-time TO patrons Doug and Florida Ellis and featured silent and live auctions, wonderful food, and exciting entertainment from familiar TO artists. The evening was a celebration of the theatre's mission to provide world-class conversation-starting theatre to inspire a compassionate, joyful, and just community. The gala raised over $123,000, breaking its fundraising goal and surpassing last year's success.
TO's generous sponsors for the event were John and Sue Wieland whose "Galaxy Sponsorship" honored Florida and Doug Ellis; Bill and Peg Balzer and Jeff and Jennifer Seavey were "Super Nova" sponsors; and Board Chair Ed Laity and his wife, Deb Laity, were "Shooting Star" sponsors. TO Trustee Charlie Henn served as Auctioneer for the evening, and featured artists were Mary Nye Bennett, Terry Burrell, TO Artistic Director Tom Key, Brian Kurlander, Mira Hirsch, Rob Lawhon, Eric Moore, William S. Murphey, Sheila Wheat, and former TO SummerStage student Monai Williams. Entertainment included a video about the journey of Cotton Patch Gospel; the beloved show will be produced at the end of the 2019-2020 season marking the final production of Tom Key's tenure as Artistic Director. Several songs from the show were performed by the artists, and prompted 26 donors to "raise the paddle" to sponsor next year's production. Exciting auction items included a private tour of Pinewood Studios with Pinewood Atlanta President Frank Patterson, Dinner with TV star Brian Baumgartner, a Cotton Patch VIP Experience, and much more.
Doug and Florida Ellis were presented with a commissioned blown glass award from Lillie Glass Blowers. Doug worked in the textile industry for many years with Southern Mills and retired as Chairman in 2004 coincident with the sale of the company. He is very involved in the First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta Rotary, the United Way, and The Westminster Schools. Notably, he flies a mission each week for Angel Flight Soars. Florida worked for IBM, and left the company to raise their three daughters. In addition to her busy life as a homemaker, her activities focus around First Presbyterian Church, Columbia Seminary, and Focused Community Strategies and the Samaritan Counseling Center of Atlanta. Doug and Florida now have eight grandchildren, and they enjoy travel and time with their family.
The Host Committee for "Our Luckie Stars" included: Peg and Bill Balzer, Gretchen E. Butler, Boog and Sam Candler, Elaine and John Carlos, Caroline and Jake Duffy, Tammy and Tommy Herrington, Lane Carlock and Clark Howard, Susan and Alexander Johnson, Beverly and Tom Key, Carrie and Brian Kurlander, Deb and Ed Laity, Graham Martin, Karen and Richard McCrea, Ivan Pulinkala, Steven Satterfield, Jennifer and Dan Van Horn, Stephanie Watkins and James Weis. TO's hardworking gala committee included TO Trustees Caroline Duffy, Karen McCrea, Jennifer Van Horn, TO artist Susan Shalhoub Larkin, and TO staff. This event has become a highly anticipated event for TO's patrons, and we look forward to next year's gala in the Spring of 2020.
Photo Credit: Greg Mooney.
Marva Shelton and Dr. Lee Shelton
Gala Planning Committee Chair/Trustee Karen McCrea and Committee Member/Trustee Jennifer Van Horn
Brian and Carrie Kurlander, Terry Burrell, and Frank and Leslie France Patterson
Adam Koplan, TO Artistic Director Tom Key, Trustee Charlie Henn, and Host Committee Member James Weis
Managing Director Gretchen E. Butler, Doug and Florida Ellis, Artistic Director Tom Key