Museum honors top donors with Chairman’s Club Dinner

VERO BEACH — The new, charmingly landscaped Alice and Jim Beckwith Sculpture Park was the setting for a delightful outdoor cocktail party which preceded the annual Vero Beach Museum of Art Chairman’s Club Dinner.

The Museum ushers in each season with the invitational black-tie affair, held over two evenings to accommodate more than 500 guests. The guest list included members of the Museum’s Chairman’s Club, Chairman’s Circle and Chairman’s Council, whose generous support helps to fund the Museum’s numerous exhibitions, outreach programs, public programs, classes and events.  As they have done for the past 15 years, the Chairman’s Club Dinner was sponsored by PNC Wealth Management.

The former broad steps leading to the Museum’s central entrance were eliminated over the summer in favor of side doors opening into an air-locked vestibule.  The change was made as part of an overhaul to the entire air-conditioning system but, as an added benefit, the center space outdoors has now become the ideal spot for a stage for musical entertainment.

The melodic sounds of the Vero Beach based group S.O.U.L., with vocalists Edmund and Cathi Nalzaro, accompanied by Ray Adams, Dave Mundy and Rich Mola, entertained the crowd as they gathered outdoors for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

River breezes ruffled a few hairdos, but the stylishly dressed and bejeweled guests took it in stride, mingling with one another and relating tales of travels abroad and summer adventures up north.

During a brief musical intermission, Lucinda Gedeon, VBMA Executive Director/CEO, thanked this crucially essential group for their support over the years, and gave a quick plug for the upcoming 25th Anniversary Gala on January 29, which will feature legendary performers Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin.

She also extended gratitude and appreciation to current and past board chairmen, to Chairman’s Club Dinner sponsors Kevin Grady and PNC Wealth Management, and to Judy and Bill Schneebeck who had sponsored the delightful musicians.

The occasion was marked with an official ribbon cutting to formally celebrate the delightful Alice and Jim Beckwith North Sculpture Park.

“This is once again evidence of her wonderful generosity,” remarked Gedeon of Alice Beckwith.

“We have a wonderful gem of an art museum,” said the soft-spoken Beckwith.  “I am very pleased with the garden; I hope you are also.”

Current Board Chairman Peter Thompson echoed the sentiment of everyone there when he said, “Alice, from the bottom of all our hearts, we thank you sincerely.”

Thompson reiterated thanks to the gathering of generous contributors, whose donations allow the Museum to continue its services to the community.  He also acknowledged Gedeon’s constant dedication to the Museum saying, “She works 24/7 every day and she does it absolutely excellently.”

Guests later filtered back indoors to the Holmes Great Hall, which had been elegantly decorated in black and white with glittering votive candles, for a gourmet filet mignon dinner and the event’s conclusion. {igallery 300}

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