PATRIOTLEDGER.com – Organizers of this year’s Chase Away the Winter Blues Gala have lofty goals, and their biggest annual event to date just may get them there.
The team hopes to raise more than $300,000 for the South Shore Conservatory’s community outreach programs at it’s annual event on Jan. 27, $50,000 more than last year’s final count.
Having outgrown their event space in the conservatory’s Hingham campus and selling out at 220 tickets for last year’s gala at The River Club in Scituate, this year’s event will take place in the Boston Marriot Quincy for the first time. It is the 12th consecutive year of the Chase Away the Winter Blues Gala.
“This year we are already beyond (220 tickets) so we needed a new space. The conservatory is a very special place to many on the South Shore,” Liz Graham, special events liaison at the conservatory, said.
The gala is the conservatory’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and all money raised goes to support community partnerships and the Creative Arts Therapies Department.
“Many people think of the conservatory as a place people send their children for music lessons, but it’s much more than that,” Graham said.
Community partnership programs include ImagineARTS, an art and literacy program in Brockton Public Schools, and Shake Your Soul, a movement class held at local councils on aging. The Creative Arts Therapies Department provides individual and group therapy sessions to adults and children with special needs, including learning disabilities, physical challenges and Alzheimer’s.
“Our physical spaces are located in really beautiful villages, and we are fortunate on the South Shore to have abundance,” Kathy Czerny, conservatory president, said. “But there are so many places that aren’t able to have the advantages that music and musical interaction can provide … we really believe that this is a right, it’s something that everybody needs.”
This year’s gala begins with cocktails and music played by faculty before moving onto a seated dinner and live auction, which includes a weeklong trip for two to South Africa. Tickets are $250 and tend to sell out a week before the event, Graham said.
For the first time, the gala will be followed by an after party with dancing and a performance by East Coast Soul. Tickets to the gala include entry to the after party, or they can be purchased alone for $100.
“We really wanted to be inclusive of our entire community and have a lower ticket price for the people who felt like they wanted to participate in just the fun, dancing part of the evening,” Graham said.
The gala will be from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Jan 27. For tickets or more information, visit sscmusic.org/blues.
By Mary Whitfill