Main Street Theater’s fundraiser, termed The Big Do! was held last Friday (2/2/2018) at the MATCH in mid-town Houston. The theater made use of one large gallery area, the midway, and one of the proscenium theater spaces, which kept people moving about, eating, drinking, and mingling with other participants. Overall, I’d say it was a huge success.
Ellen Sanborn (with me in the picture above) was the staff coordinator on this effort and really pulled a groundhog out of the proverbial hat on this one. Generally, everyone came in cocktail attire, but the range of fabulous and quirky hats made the event even more fun.
The event featured a silent auction with a host of wonderful items ranging from a child’s peddle-powered vehicle, to a long-weekend stay in a log-cabin condo in Tennessee, to custom boots. There was also a fabulous basket of items for lovers of Jane Austen, which included an action figure. Alas, I did not win that auction item, but I did prevail on one of the designer handbags.
There was a wine lottery, where you could pay $20 and then draw for which of many bottles of intriguing wines you would take home.
The finger food and hors d’oeuvres were delicious and imaginative, including a desert table of donut holes and various toppings. The bar was open–need I say more.
Later in the evening, several fabulous vacations were auctioned off at what seemed actually reasonable rates. Then the auctioneer got creative with some large and small ways to support the theater’s youth activities. When he opened the support auction (with no actual object to take home other than the knowledge that you’d done something significant for kids) the suggested opening bid of $15,000 was taken up by one incredibly generous woman. The bids went down incrementally from there and eventually everyone reached a level of giving with which they were comfortable. The fact that the first stalwart bidder met the entire fundraising goal for the event was not lost on anyone.
Local celebrity volunteers and members of the Theater for Youth company performed an original sketch that kept us laughing.
The event honored local Houston hero Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale for his ongoing philanthropy in Houston, which was so vividly demonstrated during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Completely in keeping with his persona, Mack showed up to the gala event in khakis, polo shirt and red bomber jacket. The highlight of the evening may have been his brief and articulate speech about Hurricane Harvey and the joy he and his employees found in opening the doors of their superstores to flood refugees. Also, totally in keeping with his personality, he was the highest bidder on one of the luxury bedding items.
All in all, it was a delightful evening that paid suitable homage to a truly admirable Houstonian, gave us an excuse to celebrate ourselves and our theater, and made money to support the ongoing educational efforts of Main Street Theater. Not a bad way to spend a Friday night.