SAMA is able to offer free admission to its four museums thanks in large part to its fundraisers. As a non-profit organization, public donations and funds raised through events such as the Gala, the Garden Party, and The Art of Wine and Fashion are critical to SAMA’s success. These funds help us to maintain museum operations and sustain SAMA programs. Your support at these events helps us to bring art into the classrooms of schools across our six-county region and serve more than 15,000 students annually. Our fundraisers also help support SAMA initiatives like the Museum/Healthcare Partnership Program which helps area residents who suffer from chronic pain and discomfort. Additionally, these events also serve as “friend raisers,” providing the Museum with a vehicle for corporate and individual membership development, exhibition and education program awareness, and building new audiences throughout the region.
Through these fundraisers, SAMA raises unrestricted dollars through corporate donations and underwriting marketing initiatives, the selling of objects donated to live and silent auctions, and admission fees. Each year, hundreds of volunteers dedicate themselves to these events, which in turn typically attract more than 700 paying guests. For more information on SAMA’s fundraisers, or if you are interested in joining an organizing committee, please contact the Museum at (814) 472-3920.
Over the past three decades, the Gala has evolved into one of the most sophisticated and complex outdoor social events in Pennsylvania. Held on the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto, the Gala combines fine art, gourmet cuisine, live music and a variety of games of chance to create an electric ambience. Live and silent auctions feature spectacular items such as artwork, vacation packages, antiques, collectibles, and much more. The Museum is indebted to the patrons, sponsors, benefactors and donors who contribute to this annual program. The thirty-eighth annual Gala, "Birthday Bash," celebrated SAMA's 40th anniversary in grand style. The event featured games, fabulous specialty bars, live entertainment and a performance by Flood City Brass Band. Nancy Sheetz served as Honorary Chair. The live auction included a number of incredible items, including a scholarship to Saint Francis University, a weekend getaway at luxurious Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa, a Pittsburgh Pirates Luxury Suite package, and much more.
To read a press release about the 2016 Gala, please click here.
SAMA-Ligonier Valley’s Garden Party is a community event designed to benefit the Museum and its lavish 400-square-foot flower gardens. Since its inception in 2002, the event has welcomed more than 1,500 individuals. The Garden Party begins with a champagne reception in the gallery celebrating the featured exhibition. Following the reception, guests proceed outside under a tent on the Museum lawn for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Live music is often featured, and silent and live auctions provide an opportunity to purchase a variety of items including artwork, antiques, collectibles, garden accessories, gift baskets, and much more. This year’s fifteenth annual Garden Party, "The Art of Golf," was held on May 21. As part of the golf theme, the Garden Party included a putting green on the lawn plus a golf ball drop game. Games of chance, live and silent auctions, live music and gourmet cuisine by Vallozzi's also marked the event.
To read a press release about the 2016 Garden Party, please click here.
||Think Pink/the art of wine and fashion
In recent years, SAMA-Altoona’s The Art of Wine and Fashion fundraiser has become one of the Altoona area’s most anticipated and sophisticated annual events. The program, which debuted in 2003, combines the excitement of big city clubbing with a night of high fashion and fine dining while also celebrating and supporting the arts. In 2013, the Museum rebranded the event as Think Pink. While the program format remains the same, SAMA will donate a portion of the proceeds from the event to the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign. The program begins at the Altoona Museum for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, before moving next door to The Columns for a buffet dinner, dessert, dancing, specialty bars, and silent auction. The 2016 program was chaired by Chantel Ventura and featured gourmet whiskey flights, jewelry and art raffle, and live and silent auctions. The style show offered fashions by Sapphire 9, as well as lingerie by HTH Enterprises, LLC and furs by Carl W. Herrmann Furs. The 2017 Think Pink event is scheduled for November 3.
To read a press release about the 2016 Think Pink, please click here.
The newest of SAMA’s major fundraisers, Night of Distinction debuted in 2012 as a venue to honor the Museum’s most benevolent patrons and those individuals, businesses and organizations that make an outstanding commitment to furthering the arts in their communities. The event features dinner, as well as presentation of SAMA’s Trustees Emeritus, Volunteerism and Service to the Arts awards recipients. At the 2016 program on April 16, 2016, SAMA presented its prestigious Service to the Arts Award to Margaret and Michael Strueber, and the Volunteerism Award to Karen Azer and Mary Borkow. This year's program also saw the return of two previous awards as Chas Fagan was presented the Award for Artistic Distinction and Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa received the Award for Architectural Excellence.
To read a press release about the 2016 Night of Distinction dinner, please click here.