2005 UnGala Gala -- Celebrating 20 Years of Un
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005
SARASOTA, Fla. – Sept. 9, 2005 – The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s UnGala Gala is offering another unparalleled experience for art supporters as it celebrates 20 years of Un on Saturday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m. – midnight.
Sarasota enjoys a rich tradition for innovative fundraising, but back in 1986, UnGala organizers decided to plan a museum fundraiser unlike any other in Sarasota. The concept, inspired by 7-UP’s late-1980s Un-Cola campaign, appealed immediately to young Sarasota socialites because it was unusual. For the past 20 years, themes have been decidedly unconventional, tuxedoes and gowns were unnecessary options and event ambience was truly unbelievable.
Two young socialites who understand the Un are the UnGala Co-chairs, Emily Walsh and Amie Shay. “We were only five when Ringling hosted the very first UnGala,” Walsh said. “As we grew up, so did the event. Now it is a dynamic symbol of Sarasota’s philanthropic spirit.”
Now, as in the past, this fundraiser is expertly catered by some of Sarasota’s finest, and features live entertainment with dancing under the stars in the breathtaking Museum Courtyard.
The theme for this 20th anniversary UnGala, like every year, is unconditionally hush-hush. “The only hint I can give is that the experience will be unsurpassed – it’s been 20 years in the making, after all,” Shay said.
Last year, the Courtyard was packed with more than 1,350 guests and the theme, Spectacular! Spectacular! Spectacular!, fell straight out of Paris’ Moulin Rouge into Sarasota, complete with Can-Can Dancers, feather boas, and cigar smoke.
In its 20 years, the undefined UnGala Gala has raised $1.5 millionfor Ringling Museum’s education programs and traveling exhibitions. Through corporate sponsorship, individual and raffle ticket sales, profits have undeniably increased for the Museum. Its 20th anniversary goal is again $240,000, the amount raised last year, and the UnGala committee, made up of 40 local supporters, is actively rallying sponsors for the event to help reach that goal.
This anniversary UnGala is by invitation only and several levels of sponsorship are still available, offering the best seats in the house; individual tickets are $250. Reservations will be taken by calling a phone bank, per invitation instructions. Contact Amanda Thistle or Jennifer Carroll in the Museum Events Department at 941.359.5733 to receive an invitation or for information about sponsorship packages.