The purple-and-green color scheme of the 2017 Allentown Art Museum Gala, held in the main-floor galleries on Saturday, April 8, was carried through spectacularly to the covers of the evening’s program and auction booklet, which sported a single origami crane inspired by the Museum’s current special exhibition Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami. Like a simply but skillfully folded work of paper art, every detail of the annual black-tie fundraiser—the flowers, the food, and most notably the inspiring selection of this year’s honorees—had been carefully planned and poured over.

The honorees of the evening were longtime Museum supporters Jill and Alfred E. Douglass. Jill was a founding member of the Museum’s supporting organization the Society of the Arts (SOTA) when it was established in 1964. She also worked on the Children’s Activities Committee, Fundraising, Program, and Gala Committees from 1964 to 1971; served on the SOTA board from 1972 until 1974; and became the SOTA Show House chairwoman for the very first Show House, in 1973. Al was drawn to the Museum through Jill’s enthusiasm and dedication to the Museum and to SOTA. He served on the Museum’s Board of Directors from 1988 to 1997, holding positions on the Executive, Finance, Building, and Development Committees. In 1989, Al suggested the formation of the Kress Society, which initially met in member’s homes seeking ways to encourage support for the Museum. Kress Society members enjoyed trips traveling to other museums; those trips continue today.

This year’s Live Auction items included a Bvgari bracelet, a hanging snake gong by artist Val Bertoia, a marble-topped Eero Saarinen-designed table and chairs offered by Knoll Studio, a catered evening for 75 in the Great Barn at Bell Gate Farm, and a vacation in Vail, Colorado, that includes a round of golf with Al Douglass. All told, the live and silent auctions raised more than $70,000 in support of the Museum’s educational programing and operation.

The choice for dinner was between Veal Osso Buco with Citrus Gremolata or Maple Root-Vegetable Stir Fry with Sesame and Scorched Rice. The dessert on offer was Meyer Lemon Crème Brûlée Tartlett, capped by Seattle’s Best Coffee and Tazo Hot Tea Service. The Ken Battista Band kept the energy up for dancing till the end, near midnight.

The more than 320 guests—a sell-out—included Kate and Pete Kareha, Rep. Charlie and Pam Dent, Jamie Musselman and Jim Edwards, Judy Savchak (BB&T), Drs. Nainesh and Binei Patel, Priti and Sailesh Merchant, Dr. Patrick V. Farrell (Lehigh University) and Valerie Johnson, Lupe Pearce (Hispanic American Organization), Alex (PPL) and Ruth Torok, Mark Tervalon (Lutron), Laurie Gostley-Hackett (Air Products), Carolyn Stennett (Victaulic), Saleem Saab (Victaulic), Dr. Donald E. Hall (Lehigh University), Rita and Joseph Scheller, Ted and Amy Douglass, Sam and Missy Saxton, Dolores Laputka, David and Judy Mickenberg, Mark and Johanna Chehi, John I. Williams, Jr. (Muhlenberg College) and Diane Pierce-Williams.

Top sponsors included Douglass Group Merrill Lynch, Leon C. and June W. Holt, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. and Dolores Laputka, PPL, Susan and Bob Gadomski, Lutron, Victaulic, Air Products, Alvin H. Butz Inc., BB&T, City Center Lehigh Valley, Crayola, Ted and Amy Douglass, Dual Temp Company, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, Rita and Joe Scheller. Underwriters included Penny Holman, Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, James and Terri Bartholomew.

This year’s Museum Gala Committee was chaired by Carol Smoll and Teri Johnson and included as members Karen Albert, Terri Bartholomew, Pat Beldon, Stuart Dubbs, Dot Ervin, Arjana Etchason, Jane Fretz, Susan Harris, Elsbeth Haymon, Penny Holman, Mary Anne Johnson, Suzanne Lyons, Shirlee Neumeyer, Loran Staehle, Sally Vikner, and Lois Wells.