ALTON — Alton Little Theater is inviting the Riverbend community to attend its inaugural Masquerade Ball at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Commons at Lewis and Clark Community College.
The dinner, dancing and entertainment event is the single big fundraiser for the theater’s Next Stage Capital Campaign. Last year’s fundraising efforts allowed the oldest community theater in Illinois to retire the mortgage on the existing building and create immediate and long-term savings. This year’s goals include increasing construction funds and making repairs to the facility at 2450 N. Henry St. in Alton, which is 56 years old and showing its age and limitations.
The steering committee for the Next Stage project wanted to host one big event to get people out together and talking about the possibility for creating an arts and culture corridor in the downtown area (the hoped-for site for ALT to build a center for the performing arts). Celebrity MC Mike Montgomery will speak briefly on the theater’s history and the enrichment opportunities for future generations while the Ralph Butler Band encourages guests to dance the night away. Gigi Darr will perform during the cocktail and dinner hour and the ingenious Hayden Geisler will lead both a live and silent auction with more than 40 items given by ALT board members and community organizations to help raise money during the event. ALT Public Relations Director Lee Cox said the business community has been generous helping out with “in-kind” services and corporate sponsorship. CNB Bank and Trust is front and center with its sponsorship in helping to create a “magical night.”
Tickets are $65 per person (or $600 for a table of 10) and can be purchased during box office hours (618-462-3205; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday) and at altonlittletheater.org.
Guests will have a three-choice dinner option and complimentary champagne. The theater hopes to sell 300 tickets and hopes those attending might enjoy dressing up in optional costumes and masks and having free photos taken beneath a beautiful backdrop provided by Baxter Distributing Co. with photos by Vernon Hamel.
Claudia Herndon is coordinating the auction portion of the evening, which features a vacation home in Holland, Mich., a deluxe grill and gourmet meat from Godfrey Meat Market, a treasure chest of upscale partyware from Cope Plastics and more — even “forever” tickets to ALT good for at least 50 years. Herndon and Cox express gratitude that so many longtime ALT supporters like Schwartzkopf Printing and WBGZ Radio are supporting this project.
“ALT is only here because of the wonderful people in our community who have supported us for 83 years with the purchase of season tickets and patron donations,” Cox says. “Now we hope that everyone will come out and help us celebrate and grow.” For information, call (618) 462-3205.