University Gala


University Gala 2011 a Success

 Alumni, students and faculty alike all come together for an eclectic night of jazz, dining, auctioning and fun. The University Gala of 2011 was a wonderful success and helped raise money for the presidential, music and fine arts scholarships.

 This year the event was held on Sept. 23 in the RA Facility.

The University Gala is an annual event that helps raise money for these scholarships. The attendees this year helped to raise over $40,000 for the scholarships.

 According to Stacy Frost, director of annual giving programs, there were over 250 attendees at this year’s Gala and around 100 volunteers that helped to make this event happen.

The University Gala committee this year decided to put less emphasis on the theme and put more focus on the students.

 “We do an evaluation in late October to see what we can improve upon for the next Gala. We hold meetings from June through August to get organized and acquire auction items. This year we wanted to focus on the students and President Wood started and ended the evening with the purpose statement,” Frost said.

 This was a great help to get guests to understand and support the purpose of the University Gala.

 Every year two auctions are held, silent and live.

The auctions help raise the most money with items such as skydiving, Twin’s baseball game package, a cruise, a dinner or barbeque and many other smaller items. There are a great number of auction items that guests have to choose from at this event.

 During the social hour, which includes performances by the Southwest Minnesota State University concert choir, SMSU jazz ensemble and Jazz with Pete and Ross, the guests are also able to choose from a variety of food stations that are set around the facility.

Later in the evening, couples made their way out onto the dance floor with music performed by the Red Rock Swing Band.

 The different stations included a wine and cheese assortment, beef, vegetarian, chicken and pork. The main chefs for these stations included Elizabeth Lindemer (beef), Amanda Viau (vegetarian), Kurt Struwe (chicken) and Dennis Nord (pork).

 “This is a great event because it gives students like me a real life experience in this industry. It gives me and others the opportunity to work as a team. My chef, Elizabeth Lindemer, held okay the recipes and taught us students,” Kelsey Vasika, junior, said.

The guests enjoyed the evening while catching up with old acquaintances, enjoying the performances and trying out the different assortment of foods.

 “This is nice and enjoyable. It is very relaxing, it is fun to get dressed up and it is fun to see the college like this. I really enjoy the silent auctions and I like to support the scholarships,” Cyndi Holm, director of facilities at SMSU and guest, said.

 This event is very entertaining. I love the ambience and beauty of the music being played tonight,” Marj Frederickson, guest, said.

 “It was fun. There were a lot of positive comments and people enjoyed the flow of the evening and visiting with others,” Frost said.

 The University Gala 2011 was a wonderful success that focused on the students and an event that attendees could enjoy.

  Kimberly Watkins – The Spur