By Shirley Wild, Seen at the Scene, Long Beach Press Telegram
About 550 guests sipped wine and cocktails, dined on gourmet food, and tried to outbid one another at International City Theatre’s Encore 2012 gala on Sept. 29. Held at the Long Beach Convention Center, the event raised a whopping $250,000 to support ICT’s many activities.
These activities include ICT’s productions and six educational outreach programs reaching thousands of children annually in Long Beach and surrounding communities.
The annual Board of Directors’ black-tie fundraising event also celebrated ICT’s 27th anniversary. A walk down the red carpet and a crystal champagne reception for this year’s Crystal Arts and Humanitarian Award recipients started the evening off. A cocktail reception surrounded the silent auction (presented by Julia and John Mendell). Live music from piano and a classical guitar filled the air during the evening.
Board President Jim Preusch welcomed the crowd prior to a gourmet dinner of filet mignon and crab cakes, with scrumptious Napoleons for dessert.
Artistic director/producer caryn desai introduced the dynamic entertainment that featured the cast of “Ain’t Misbehavin”‘ accompanied by the musical director Rahn Coleman. This final production of ICT’s current season opened Oct. 12 and will close Nov. 4.
Honorees for the evening were acknowledged for their outstanding community involvement and support of culture in the community. Receiving the James Ackerman Crystal Arts and Humanitarian Award were: William Collier Jr. of Keesal, Young and Logan; Mort and Susan Stuhlbarg; and the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. Dinner Chair Jane Netherton emceed the evening with Supervisor Don Knabe (with Julie) and Mayor Bob Foster (with Nancy) leading the live auction and presenting the awards. JetBlue was acknowledged for its continuing support of ICT and many others in the community. An opportunity drawing for a weekend in New York was offered.
Seen at the Scene: Nancy Ackerman Gaines, Steve and Lisa Goodling, Jerry and Margaret Schubel, Greg Bombard, Doug and Kathleen Charchenko, Steve Faichney and Alice Varner, Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, Signal Hill Councilmen Larry Forester and Ed Wilson, Kristi and Patrick Nickols, Kurt Schulzman and Richard Neri, Renee Simon and Jack Blecher, John Thomas and Chris Launi, Judge Judith and Leo Vander Lans, Mike and Arline Walter, Dr. Sandy and Suzanne Witzling, Art and Diane Levine, Shirle Gottlieb, Harry and Maria Saltzgaver, Dr. George and Alice Wong, and Walter and Shannon Neil