This past Friday night, we hosted the 2 YEARS Masquerade Ball fundraiser. It is what we considered the "kick-off" to our campaign of raising $75,000 in order to match what the City of Downey is contributing for our continued operations. All of our guests were treated to a wide range of delicious Hors d'oeuvres, drinks, a live jazz band, and a special presentation.
We set up the gallery very similar to how a restaurant would be, with two long communal tables and several cocktail tables spread around the gallery. Guests who contributed over $500 were given a special canvas/leather tote bag by local brand Tri-Antler, along with a limited edition Stay Gallery Tee, and our new "More Than Just An Art Gallery" hardcover coffee table book. Guests who contributed over $1,000 also received a limited edition print of Don Lamkin's Downey Doodle-icious painting, along with a certificate.
Directors Valentin Flores and Gabriel Enamorado were joined by the president of our board, Kirk Cartozian in a special presentation for the audience. They spoke about the roots of their organization, how it all began, what inspired them, introduced the entire team, and about our vision going forward. The attention was then turned to Gary Guido, and he presented a mini-documentary on the organization's story, which played on the balcony wall of the loft office.
In finalizing the presentation, Kirk Cartozian gave an honorary welcome to Cristian Castro, the creative genius behind the EGG-771 crab sculpture that sits in the gallery today. In honor of Porto's Bakery, he created a robot that resembled a chef from Porto's, full with the iconic creme and brown coloring. It was revealed to Betty Porto and her family, and was met with a great deal of excitement and emotion. The audience was astonished to see that the Porto's robot, properly named "Chef Rauli", lit up and spun his whisk in a bowl at the touch of a button. It was a beautiful thing to see.
We want to thank everyone who attended the Masquerade Ball, and we look forward to many more. Our fundraising campaign is off to a good start, as we finished off the night at $20,500. Our organization depends on contributions from our community in order to keep doing what we are doing.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, visit our donation page.
All photographs by Cindy Macias and Jose Cervantes.