We’ve Got a Gala for That!

Jacksonville has more galas than you can shake a stick at! I’m not a big gala girl, but I’m trying to be more involved, since most of them are fundraisers. As outgoing as I am, I’m still a bit intimidated by these soirees. I’m never sure what to wear. I never know who I’ll sit with. (Glenn’s not big on these events, and Val’s still a little young.) Our friends Ron and Mary hosted us at the Grierson Gala for many years. I could handle that because our whole family was invited and we sat at their table. Valerie enjoyed the Civil War dances and even had her own Civil War ball gown, complete with hoop skirt!

Part of my dilemma is determining which events to attend.
Here are some of the options:
The 1st Annual Blue Jean Ball, held January 23rd to benefit The Nursery School
Winter Soiree at the YMCA – February 3, 2017, fundraiser for the Bob Freesen YMCA
Morgan County Fair Gala – February 4, 2017, this inaugural event benefits youth events and programs at the fair. County fairs are a tradition in the Midwest. I grew up going to the Jasper County Fair watching some of the best harness racing in the state. Mom and I once nearly sat in the grandstand through a tornado just so that we could finish our elephant ear and funnel cake.
Mia Ware Foundation Annual Gala – March 24, 2017, funds Cancer support and education. I’m a Breast Cancer survivor. Enough said.
Beaux Arts Ball – held in the spring, funding staff and programs at the David Strawn Art Gallery. This is the 60th anniversary year. As a kindergarten student, Valerie was a flower girl in this event that reminds me of the traditional Southern debutante balls, complete with deep curtsies and a coronation.
Living Alternatives Annual Life Banquet – October 25, 2017, funds go toward saving the lives of unborn children. As a Christian and as an adoptive parent, this one is particularly close to my heart.
Annual Governor Duncan Christmas Gala – held in early December – proceeds go toward restoring and maintaining the only existing Governor’s Mansion outside Springfield. It’s a beautiful home just down the block and upkeep is very expensive.
Jacksonville Main Street sometimes hosts a Masquerade Ball. Then there’s the David Strawn Art Gallery Association with their annual Lawn Party and their opening receptions and artist talks. Westfair Christian School hosts an Annual Italian Dinner and Auction.

So many places to support!

Kelly, my assistant here at Blessings on State, went to the Governor Duncan Gala with me in early December. (That’s our picture at the top of this post.) It was fun getting dressed up and socializing with some people I hadn’t seen in a while. We both had a good time and now I’m ready to see if she wants to go to the next gala! Maybe I’ll be a Gala Girl, after all.

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