Monday was grading day and I got to that quite quickly after walking Stewie. I then went in early to Oakton for an appointment with the rep of the Publisher of the French textbook that we use. As it turns out, going in early was for naught as she came late to our meeting and I had to get ready for my Conversation Hour. Luckily, I had written down my thoughts and was able to e-mail them to her later.
I did the conversation hour and then high-tailed it out of there, going home and then heading to Kendall College with MK for the big event of our Committee, the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival. This is a change of time frame for it as until this year it normally happened in the spring.
The whole goal of all of this is to collect money to pay for a scholarship for a deserving individual, the Chicago Fellow, to go to the Birmingham Conservatory, a major location of preparation and study for the classical theatre in Stratford, Ontario.
Our venue, as well as date, changed this year, going from the Arts Club of Chicago to Kendall College, a major Chicago culinary institution and a wonderful school in a beautiful location on Goose Island (surrounded by the Chicago River) in Chicago.
We went early, around one o’clock to set up the silent auction, with donations from both Canada and the U.S., things solicited to help garner the cash for the scholarship. Set up went way faster at the College, the powers that be there made everything so easy. Around 4:30 PM, we started checking people in, approximately eighty or so of them. We started out with a cocktail hour while people signed up and perused the silent auction. Besides the auction, one of the members of the Committee offered her condo in Maui as well as some monies to defray the cost of the flight there; that was offered in a raffle.
Once in the dining room, we had several speakers: Scott McCook from the Canadian Consulate, Anita Gaffney (Executive Director of the Stratford Festival), and Christine Seip (Major Gifts and U.S. Patrons’ Manager from the Festival), and various people from the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival. Sara Farb (actress and singer) provided the entertainment of several songs (among them ‘Send in the Clowns’) and Lanise Antoine Shelley (a recent Chicago Fellow and actress) appeared on stage with her afterwards in a question and answer session done by Christine Seip. Also present was Christopher Prentice, another recent Chicago Fellow.
We had a wonderful time, everything went smoothly, and if all of the tables were as delightful as ours was, then it was a huge success. I was incredibly impressed by the talent of Sara Farb, her singing was incredible and the question and answer session she shared with Lanise Antoine Shelley was a wonderful chance for the audience to gain a candid insight into important life moments and the driving force behind actors. It was also nice to have a moment to actually get to talk to the actors, some very professional, extremely talented, very un-Hollywood like actors who are more than willing to talk to their public.
What an experience!