Dolled up dames and debonair daddies will mingle at a 1920s inspired speakeasy at Orcas Center’s upcoming gala.
“We wanted to have a sense of mystery, make it theatrical and highlight that we are a performing arts center,” said Orcas Center Director Kara O’Toole.
The 27th annual fundraiser is on Saturday, July 20 starting at 5 p.m. There will be a professionally run casino complete with black jack, poker, craps and roulette (the games will be for fun and prizes, not money) as well as hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a live and silent auction.
Auction items include a one-week stay in Hawaii, a cruise on Holland America, five-night stay in Bali, local dinners and pieces from such artists as Carl Buttke, Heidi Klippert Lindberg, Josie Barrow, Frank Loudin and Sallie Bell.
Dinner will be prepared by renowned island chef Christina Orchid. The menu is a surprise, but she has promised that champagne and caviar will be in full supply.
“She is focused on creating a wonderful evening that will be special,” O’Toole said.
Following the dinner and live auction, the San Juan Jazz Quintet will perform music perfect for dancing.
Attendees can dress up if they like; accessories will be on hand for those in need of sparkling jewels or fancy feathers.
Tickets are $150 per person and available at www.orcascenter.org or 376-ACT1.
Event co-chairwomen Susan Meadows and Pat Thomas have been working on the gala since September. They have accumulated decorations and vintage dresses from San Juan Community Theatre, the Friday Harbor Animal Shelter and Western Washington University.
The annual fundraiser brings in around $50,000, which goes towards programming, running the facility and general operations. In addition to being the arts and cultural hub of the island, the center hosts monthly art shows and classes and is a venue for public and private events.
“Orcas Center really supports the whole community,” Thomas said.
About the chef
Founder of the famous Christina’s restaurant on Orcas, Orchid now runs Red Rabbit Farm, where she hosts farm to table dinners, featuring local meats and seafood and produce fresh from her garden, teaches classes and creates jams, jellies, chutneys and baked goods that she sells both near and far.
Her award-winning book “Christina’s Cookbook: Recipes and Tales from a Northwest Island Kitchen” is still a popular tome.