Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art  
Home Donate Contact Us


  SAMA Art Museum




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. The event, held on the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto, 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 contributed to a successful program. The thirty-sixth annual Gala, "Party in Paradise," was held July 19, 2014. The Caribbean-themed program featured a variety of games, tropical music and fabulous specialty bars. The live auction provided guests an opportunity to bid on amazing artwork, a golf foursome at Laurel Valley Golf Club, vacation packages, and a vintage 1972 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow! As a special treat, guests were treated to a special visuals production by Brien Rullman, founder of OVT Visuals. Rullman travels the world with his light show productions and has a client list that includes LL Cool J, The Flaming Lips, Pretty Lights and James Brown, to name just a few. SAMA's thirty-seventh annual Gala, "African Odyssey," will be held on July 18, 2015.


To watch a segment about the 2014 Gala on WTAJ-TV's Central PA Live, visit:



To read a press release about the 2014 Gala, please click here.



  Garden party


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 1,400 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 thirteenth annual Garden Party, "The Thrill of the Hunt for Art," was chaired by Gretchen and Joseph Griffith and Barbara and Gene Kravits, with Rolling Rock Masters of the Hunt, Christina Henderson, Sophie Mellon and Fritz Teroerde serving as honorary chairs. The event was held on May 31 to a near-record attendance. The Museum is grateful to the chairs, committee, sponsors, donors, attendees and the Rolling Rock Hunt Club for their support of the Garden Party. The 2015 Garden Party, "Hooked on Art," will be held on May 30.



To read a press release about the 2014 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, a scotch-tasting, and silent auction. The 2014 program, chaired by Chantel Ventura-Garofalo, featured a style show produced by Diamond Bridal Collections and Special Occasions of Hollidaysburg. The 2015 event is scheduled for November 6.



To read a press release about the 2014 The Art of Wine and Fashion, please click here.



  night of distinction


The newest of SAMA’s major fundraisers, Night of Distinction debuted in 2012 as a venue to honor the Museum’s most benevolent patrons. The event features dinner, as well as presentation of SAMA’s Trustees Emeritus and Service to the Arts Award recipients. In recent years, SAMA introduced Betty Gamble, Jeanne Gleason, Joseph Mack, Edgar Dean Nelson, Shirley Pechter and Gerald Wolf as Trustees Emeritus. Service to the Arts awards were presented to J. William Meek III, director and owner of the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Florida, and the Wolf-Kuhn Foundation, a charitable organization that has been instrumental in building SAMA’s collection of more than 4,000 works of art. At the 2014 program, SAMA honored Dr. Betty J. Lowell Cottle and Nancy Devorris with Service to the Arts awards. Night of Distinction will return to the Loretto Museum on April 25, 2015.



To read a press release about the 2014 Night of Distinction dinner, please click here.