Tribune-Courier News Editor
GILBERTSVILLE – The Marshall County Arts Commission hopes its Race to the Finish fund raiser will provide an infusion of cash to its new Children’s Art Center.
The fundraiser is scheduled for April 19 at 6 p.m. at the Convention Center at Kentucky Dam Village, said arts commission board member George Milam.
“We’re planning the event with a Derby party theme,” Milam said. “Music will be provided by the Paducah Jazz Ensemble, directed by Eric Allen. They will play a lot of the old standards from the Big Band Era, including favorites by Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo and Harry James. There are about 20 musicians in this band, and they can play anything in front of them.”
Milam said, in true Derby fashion, Race to the Finish will feature a hat contest, to bring out the most extravagent Derby hats. Prizes will be offered for both women’s and men’s hats. Virgin mint juleps and hors d’oeuvres will be served as guests arrive.
“This is a major fundraiser for our Children’s Art Center that is scheduled to open in July or August,” Milam said. “It will be a 6,800 square-foot facility to serve as a venue for activities for both children and adults. It will serve all of Marshall County.”
While the center will be ready to host both visual and performing arts activities from day one, Milam said fund raisers like Race to the Finish will allow the Commission to add new equipment and features. Targets include lighting, a sound system and furniture for the facility.
“Race to the Finish will offer an exquisite meal prepared by Kentucky Dam Village’s executive chef Kelly Staples,” Milam said. “There will be chicken and steak, but guests will not have to choose. They will be getting both. It’s a wonderful meal.”
The event will also feature an auction. Milam said items available to bid upon include a hand-crafted walnut mantle clock, hand-made quilts provided by the Hardin-South Marshall senior citizens, a basketball with case signed by University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball head coach John Calapari, a stay at a Green Turtle Bay condominium, a Fruit of the Spirit print and a rental of a pontoon or ski boat. The auctioneer will be Marshall County High School junior Tanner Roberts, winner of the regional auctioneering contest, and runner-up and third place finisher at the Kentucky State Fair.
Milam said about 150 to 200 people attended Race to the Finish in 2012. This year, the event is limited to 40 tables.
“Guests will need to buy their tickets in advance, because we need to know how much food to prepare,” Milam said. “Tickets must be purchased by April 15.”
An entire table is available for purchase at $500, while individual seats are available at $50, Milam said. Tickets may be purchased through Marshall County Arts Commission members, at Benton City Hall or at That Cute Little Shop in Benton. For more information or tickets, call 270-703-0304.
“One-hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Children’s Art Center,” Milam said.