West Liberty University's Office of Institutional Advancement is making preparations for its fourth-annual Great Gala, sponsored by the Ryan Ferns Healthplex.
The dinner-dance will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Glessner Auditorium, Wilson Lodge, Oglebay Resort and Conference Center.
This year the theme is a festive red-white-and-blue tribute to Post WWII America. The evening begins with a festive cocktail reception, followed by dinner and dancing. Tickets are required. Vintage attire is encouraged at the Great Gala but not expected.
In keeping with the theme, the entertainment for the evening will be provided by the big band sounds of the Tom Daugherty Orchestra of Dayton, Ohio, who will perform a Glen Miller Tribute.
"We are grateful to Ryan Ferns and all our sponsors who see the value of our annual Great Gala. Our long-term goal is to engage new donors and friends to support higher education," said Director of Development Angie Zambito Hill. "However, the Gala also benefits students immediately because it funds scholarships and builds community."
The total number of sponsors now numbers more than 30 and proceeds from the 2014 event will fund scholarships for the College of Education.
"When I attended the first Great Gala. I thought that it was one of the most impressive events I had ever been to," said Ryan Ferns, who is also a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.
"The next year, I was asked to sponsor. I jumped on the opportunity. Each year the Gala has grown because the folks at West Liberty somehow have continued to find ways to make it even better."
The Ryan Ferns Healthplex has been title sponsor for three consecutive years. Other major sponsors include: WTRF-TV, Fox Ohio Valley & ABC Ohio Valley; Jack C. Adams, alumnus; Barnes & Noble Bookstores; Century Equities, Inc.; Les DeFelice & Connie Nelson; Eagle Manufacturing Company; and WesBanco Bank, Inc.
In previous years, the Gala has grossed between $80,000 and $90,000 which was then used to pay expenses and realize a profit.
The fundraising goal this year is to net $40,000 after all expenses are paid.
Though the goal of the Great Gala is to raise money for the university, it is much more than just an annual fundraising event.
The Great Gala is about connecting with others who love WLU and celebrating a school that means so much to so many different people, according to Hill.
Please call Institutional Advancement at 304-336-8888 for more information or go online to westliberty.edu to find out more.