Gala bash will help raise funds


An anonymous man walked into the executive director’s office at the Foothills Art Center and offered the director a deal she couldn’t refuse; he would donate $36,000 to the center if they matched that amount in three months.

The amount had to be exact. If they raised $35,999, he wouldn’t match a dime. He set the deadline for Nov. 12 or 11-12-13, and when added together equals 36.

Reilly Sanborn, the center’s executive director, accepted the deal and went to work. So far, the center has raised around $15,000, which leaves $21,000 left to acquire.

This year marks the center’s 45th anniversary, and in honor of that anniversary the center will host a gala celebration with a mass mailing of invites to the “Top Hats & Chapeaus Soiree” on Sept. 28 at the Foothills Art Center 6-9:30 p.m.

“We really want to raise the last two-thirds in this one night,” Sanborn said. “We really need the community to help us reach this goal; it’s really hard to raise funds for the electric bill, paper towels and parking spaces.”

Donations are what keep the center going, and this offer proposed by the mysterious man would help pay off the center’s renovations, Sanborn said.

Tickets purchased to the gala will go toward the matching gift challenge, including any donations and the tax deductible.

The celebration will be a stylish affair that focuses on old-fashioned fun with a hats contest and millinery who will be attending the soiree. For an additional ticket fee (also donated to the center’s matching fund) a fine scotch bar and cigar bar will be available. Also, the annual “Taste of the Front Range,” cuisine contest will be available with local restaurants donating food from Grappas, Sherpa house, The Bridgewater Grill and Golden’s Table Mountain Inn.

“This is really an opportunity for somebody who is not a major donor but loves good art and wants to get involved,” Morie Smile, board president for the board of directors at foothills said. There will be “a lot of different ways to give” without leaving someone’s wallet light she said. Live auctions and art for sale from the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia show will be on display, and dancing is expected with live entertainment planned to play into the night.

“All of us on the board are so grateful and so excited about this generous and unexpected match,” Smile said. She described the anonymous man as “very intelligent, very passionate about the arts” and “wants to set an example.”

“I think that’s why it’s so important to him that we are looking at these individual donations,” she said.

To help the Foothills Art Center meet their goal, ticket inquires and questions can be directed to Christine Fiedler at 303-279-3922 ext. 26 or via email at


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