Museum Ready for 2012 Gala Dinner Dance and Auction

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2012
Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 ext. 125

This Year the Museum Honors the Society of the Arts

Allentown, Pa.— The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley will hold its annual Gala Dinner Dance and Auction on Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 7 p.m. to midnight. This year the Museum will honor the Society of the Arts (SOTA) in the newly renovated galleries of the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley.

The Gala has become a premier black tie event in the Lehigh Valley and features a cocktail hour with passed hors-d’oeuvres, a seated dinner, and a live and silent auction. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Ken Battista Band. Funds raised through this event support exhibitions and educational programs at the Museum.

The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley is pleased to honor the Society of the Arts (SOTA) for their many years of service to the Museum.

For forty-eight years, SOTA has been a group of women that has set the standard for all women’s volunteer organizations in the Lehigh Valley. Since 1964, SOTA members have taken great pride in contributing to the educational, social and cultural life of the Lehigh Valley through their service to the Museum.

As the Museum has grown and broadened its scope, the Society of the Arts too has adapted its programs, committees and membership profile. During the 1980s a “professional” category of membership was added; age requirements were deleted and eventually a “sustainer” category was incorporated. SOTA members bring lots of energy, enthusiasm for learning and a willingness for working to further SOTA’s purpose. That commitment to SOTA’s purpose has never wavered and has been strengthened further as SOTA evolved into a dynamic sisterhood.

SOTA recognized early on that one measure of the quality of a museum was the collection of original prints and so it adopted the Print Fund as its primary focus for fundraising efforts. An auto show that included a vintage fashion show, Appraisal Days, Cook Books and Designer Showhouses have not only raised substantial dollars but also enhanced community awareness of the Museum. As a result of all of these events combined, nearly $700,000 has been contributed by SOTA for the acquisition of prints. SOTA contributed $100,000 to the Museum’s capital campaign to establish the SOTA Educational Endowment and has donated more than $165,000 to benefit the Museum’s educational programs, including Free Sundays.

Over the years the Society of the Arts has received recognition for its service to the Allentown Art Museum and the Lehigh Valley community from various local, state and national organizations, including the 1996-1997 Arts Ovations Award and The Morning Call’s Community Spirit Award. SOTA was also honored as the 2007 Outstanding Fundraising Group by the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

The 2012 Gala committee includes: Lygia Bellis; Ari Diaz; Stuart Dubbs; Nancy Ehle; Mary Elaine Ford; Jane Fretz; Barbara Harries; Susan Harris; Andrea Jones; Mary Anne Johnson; Suzanne Lyons; Lynn Noll; Gillian Pidcock; Carol Smoll; Lynda Somach; Deni Thurman-Eyer; Sally Vikner.