The Ambassadors of Harmony's first gala benefit on Feb. 10 was the result of many, many years of hopes, dreams--yes, a few false starts---and hard work by the gala committee, the Ambassadors and their families. It was an incredible evening of song, inspiration, entertainment and fundraising. The entire event, of course, supports the newly formed Ambassadors of Harmony Foundation, which provides music outreach, education and scholarships to youth in local schools and regional communities.
As the first fundraising event in our chorus' history, we really didn't know what to expect. After accepting the challenge from the Barbershop Harmony Society and our own leaders to become more of a community arts-minded organization, our goals were clear: First, fill the room with patrons, community leaders, music lovers and people who've never even heard of us! Second, to provide a music-filled evening featuring youth groups, the Ambassadors, Vocal Spectrum, The Recruits Chorus and a moving video presentation in hopes of delivering our message. Third, to raise money for our worthy cause. As Dr. Jim Henry stated so eloquently, 'With all the strife and discourse in our world, the mission of providing music education to our youth and communities has never been as important as it is right now.'
Of all the incredible moments that night, none surpassed the live auction portion of the program. What seemed like a 'tidal wave' of generosity was more than we ever hoped to achieve in one event. At the paddle auction part of the event, Jim asked if there were any who were willing to join with us in supporting youth, and paddle after paddle was raised to provide full or partial scholarships. By the time it was all over we were left with the ability to provide nearly 65 full youth scholarships to Acappellooza Summer, give support to Acappellooza Fall, AcaFest, Project Harmony and of course, The Recruits Chorus. It was simply overwhelming. The total net proceeds including scholarship donations from our first event came to $36,734!
Thanks go out to all who attended and contributed in so many ways. Thank you to our members, families, volunteers, committees, leadership and, of course, our guests who gave so much. It will be a night to remember!
Editors note: Planning for the second annual Ambassadors of Harmony Foundation Gala has begun!! Please check our calendar of events soon for more details.
Images Courtesy of Elizabeth Merkel/Blacktie