Arrowhead Arts gala raises funds for music education
By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY
The annual Arrowhead Arts Association gala and dinner held on Saturday, Oct. 22 attracted 124 persons and raised an estimated $10,000 for music education programs in the Rim of the World Unified School District (the final tally of funds received was not available at press time).
The gala, held in the Lake Arrowhead Room at the Lake Arrowhead Resort, began at 6 p.m. with music provided by the Ho Dads Band and liquid refreshments as attendees chatted and got to know one another, while others perused gift baskets, a classic Ovation guitar and other items, all of which would be auctioned later in the evening. In the meantime, the band played many recognizable tunes from the 40s, 50s and 60s, which encouraged quite a few couples to dance.
Prior to the serving of dinner, Lake Arrowhead School of Dance founder and Director Sharon McCormick introduced Patty Wright and Midge Reisman and thanked them for their many years of volunteering. “I want to thank both of you for the difference you have made to the Arrowhead Arts Association and your support of music education in the schools.”
At 7 p.m. waiters began serving salads and warm rolls, which were followed by dinner entrées that included a choice of thick beef ribs or ravioli and chocolate cream pie for dessert. No sooner had attendees finished eating, than many of them returned to the dance floor and danced to jazz great Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll.” This was followed by the early 60s Bossa Nova hit “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz and Astrid Gilberto.
Next, McCormick introduced 10-year-old violinist Hallelujah Joy Thomas whose prowess on the violin made quite an impression on the crowd. Hallelujah, who is home-schooled, was then joined by Rim High School senior Neva Hidajat in a duet performance of a classical tune that received a standing ovation from the audience.
Asked how she learned to play the violin, Hallelujah told The Alpine Mountaineer, “I was inspired by my great aunt, who gave me lessons at a young age.” When asked what her plans include, she said, “I plan to keep getting better at playing violin.”
As for Neva, she said she had gone to a strings performance at a pumpkin patch. “I decided to learn how to play the violin after watching them perform,” said Neva, whose future plans are to enroll in college and major in biology, with a minor in music.
The next order of business was the auction, led by former Arrowhead Lake Association President Jim Grant, who began by calling for bids on a hand-made quilt, which went for $500. The next item was a 1974 Ovation Deluxe Balladeer Artist Classical Guitar, valued at $1,000. Following a flurry of bids, it finally fetched $1,530. Five gift baskets, ranging from wine and spirits to golf lessons, went for $8,350.
As the gala wound down around 10 p.m., McCormick hailed the event as a “tremendous success.” In agreement was Arrowhead Arts Association founder and former music teacher Ken Camarella, who together with his wife bid $5,000 on golf lessons. “Our intention was to raise funds to further music education in the schools,” Camarella said, “and that’s what we did. It was a total success.”
Many guests arrived early for the event held in the Lake Arrowhead Room at the Lake Arrowhead Resort. (Photos by Douglas W. Motley)
Couples dance to tunes played by the Ho Dads.
Bidding was fast and furious at the live auction.
Arrowhead Arts Association founder Ken Camarella demonstrates a classical Ovation guitar that fetched $1,530.
Hallelujah Joy Thomas, 10, and Neva Hidajat, 17, perform a classical tune.
(L-R) Event Host Sharon McCormick with longtime Arrowhead Arts Association supporters Midge Reisman and Patty Wright.