Excitement is flying high for the annual Goodwill Gala being held Friday at the Anderson Conference Center. This years theme, Cirque du Goodwill, promises a full evening of entertainment and supports a good cause at the same time.
Liquid Sky, an aerial performance troupe based in Atlanta, will be performing silk aerial acrobatics, and a stilt walker and juggler will be performing amongst the event goers, said Ivey Hall, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgias director of volunteer services.
The Anderson Conference Center is being transformed into an elegant circus tent, she said, adding that the 18-piece Georgia Big Band will provide swing and big band-style dance music, and culinary students of Helms Colleges Pollys Hospitality Institute will be performing culinary theater.
We have campuses in Macon and Augusta now, and were thrilled we will have 25-30 students on site that night preparing food under the instruction of their teacher, she said.
The students will be preparing and serving heavy hors doeuvres, and an open bar also will be available and will include an ice luge, where the bartender mixes your drink and pours it down an ice sculpture into a glass, event co-chair Julie McAfee said.
A new board member at Goodwill, McAfee says she is an avid shopper at Goodwills stores, buying pieces she can recycle and give new life to, in much the same way that Goodwill helps those who need its services most.
I enjoy meeting the people and seeing how their lives are changing by being given a chance to re-do their lives. Its such a great organization. Giving to Goodwill is not about giving your stuff to the poor; its about the money they raise from that stuff to re-train people and help them get back to work. And they want to work, she said. Its about helping others help themselves.
All proceeds from the gala benefit the students at Helms College and other training programs. Guests are invited, but not required, to wear black tie and red nose, and the evening also will include a few carnival games, photo booth, raffle and live auction.
We will be raffling a collection of wine as well as a mens basket and a womens basket. Among other items, the mens will contain golf lessons, cigars and cologne and the womens will include a bracelet and gift certificates to the Barnes House and Head Over Heels, Hall said. The auction is for a dinner for eight prepared in the winners house or a cooking class by Jay Stancil, head chef at Pollys Culinary Institute.
And though Cirque du Goodwill will be the first gala McAfee has attended since it began in 2005, she couldnt be more excited.
With so many other things going on, were so glad the community has stepped forward to support this. Its going to be a lot of fun.
For more information, visit www.goodwillworks.org/goodwillgala.
Cirque du Goodwill
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Anderson Conference Center, 5171 Eisenhower Parkway
Cost: $125 per person, $1,000 for a table for eight