The Children’s Museum at Saratoga always celebrates it’s birthday in style, and this past weekend was no exception. The 4th Annual Birthday Bash for the museum took place at Prime at Saratoga National, and the theme for the evening was an elegant black and white ball inspired by the children’s classic, Black Beauty. Heather Bohm Tallman had a dazzling black and white backdrop set up for her photo booth and guests got their photos snapped before heading upstairs for the cocktail hour. The silent auction room had a barn theme and hay bales piled up high (on loan from the Skidmore riding center) gave it a fun rustic feel as guests circulated, placing bids on their favorites. Items from Saratoga Polo Association, Piper Boutique, and even a live beta fish from Eddie’s Aquarium were all popular. Also up for silent auction were two gorgeous artist proofs from Saratoga favorite Frankie Flores, who also generously donated the artwork for the invitation as well. The two proofs of a black horse portrait, one in a gorgeous emerald green and one in a bold pink, both saw heavy bidding action throughout the event. Guests enjoyed an open bar courtesy of Prime at Saratoga National and sampled the evening’s signature drink, the Black Beauty, topped with a festive black and white striped straw with a horse themed flag.
Frankie and his wife Ann Marie were in attendance, as well as Honorary Committee Members Kate Veitch and husband Paul, Chelsea Silver and husband Josh, Allison Meyers and husband David, and Erika Gough and husband Matthew. Catherine Hover from Saratoga Paint and Sip was there with her husband Mark, and the Tattlers also bumped into Alex and Tina Frolish, Wendy Lawrence, Adam Powers, Fran Dingeman, Mike and Sharon O’Sullivan, Ray Bryan, Pat Cheney, Andy and Kathleen Fyfe, Sara and Bill Coleman, Justin Jordan and Cassandra Partyka and Rick Partyka. Bob Fitch was there with wife Mena, sporting a freshly shaven head from the St. Baldrick’s event earlier that day at Saratoga City Tavern, which raised money for childhood cancer research. David Martin, whose mother was one of the museum founders, was there as well with fiancee Shannon Fagan. Museum Board President Mike Mihaly was there with his lovely wife Jennifer, and he spoke to the Tattlers about the event and what it meant for the museum.
“I would like to say thank you to sponsors, silent auction donors and guests for making this party a success. This event means so much to the museum so we can update our exhibits and add new programs for our community.”
Angelo Mazzone and his exemplary staff at Prime always do an amazing job, and guests enjoyed grilled filet, broiled salmon and lemon chicken as they listened to Museum Director Michelle Smith speak about some of the museum’s programs. One of the programs she highlighted was the Making Connections Autism Program, a free monthly program designed just for kids on the autism spectrum and their families, where they can come and explore the museum in a safe setting. The program will be holding it’s third program this week and funds raised at the event will go toward supporting that, and other, valuable programs for children at the museum.
Founded in 1990 by community parents and educators, the Children’s Museum occupied donated space in the Downstreet Marketplace building on Broadway in Saratoga Springs before moving to their current location at 69 Caroline Street in November 2001. To pay for all the new exhibits and renovations at Caroline Street, the Board launched a multi-year capital campaign, raising more than $500,000 and has been holding successful fundraisers ever since to help support their programming. The Board of the museum is truly a hands on board, and at the event Board members Lauren Rose, Dan Fariello, Beth Braxton, Beth Gelber, Heather Hoke, Robert Lippmann, Martha MacGregor, Kelly MacNaughton, Jill Shapiro, Kathleen Schechner and Wesley Slyke all balanced enjoying themselves and pitching in to help out perfectly, helping the silent auction run smoothly. Former Board Vice President Tara Pleat was there with husband Andy and former Board President Adam McNeill was there with wife Jennifer.
The emcees for the evening were Walt Adams and his beautiful co-host from Star 101.3 The Jockey Heidi Kelly, and they did a fantastic job getting the crowd bidding for the live pledge opportunity, where guests could pledge dollar amounts specifically for certain programs or materials needed for the museum. A record amount was raised in just a few minutes, with guests pledging amounts from $25 all the way up to $500. Before dessert was served guests checked on their silent auction items one last time and bidding reached a fever pitch in the barn room as potential winners circled their coveted items.
Guests were delighted with the specialty dessert, a black velvet cake with an adorable horse shaped cookie, a perfect ending to a fabulous evening. The Tattlers own Jenny Witte was thrilled to be the Event Chair and was so excited with the support.
“We raised over $20,000 for the museum Saturday night and the amount of support we received from attendees, sponsors like Star 101.3, Lemery Greisler and the Saratogian, and businesses and individuals who donated silent auction items is truly a testament to how much the museum means to our community. The whole staff at Prime at Saratoga National did such an amazing job as always and it was the perfect venue for the black and white ball. The event keeps growing every year, and we are already looking forward to the 5th annual next year.”