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Virtual fundraiser set for SCCA

Suffolk is bringing the arts a little closer to home.

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is hosting its annual gala from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20. But for the first time ever, this gala will be virtual.

The theme of this event is “There’s No Place Like Home for the Arts.” With everyone stuck at home for this normally in-person event, the title is a reminder that everyone can support at home, even if home is far away.

“What’s new about having this virtual is that it opens the event up to everyone,” Susan Stone, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts’ development director. “You don’t have to be in the city of Suffolk or the state of Virginia. We talked to nonprofits who held similar events and said they were really surprised at the number of viewers.”

The set up for the gala may be new, but the schedule has all the popular elements of the usual fundraiser.

Before the event, people have the option to purchase a bingo card for $50. The cards will be full of words for viewers to listen for during the live stream. A bell will go off when a word is said, and a flashcard will appear to alert viewers to look for the word on their bingo card. The first three to send in a picture of their completed card will win a prize. First place will win $2,000, second place $1,000 and third place $500. Only 200 cards will be printed.

Also, there will be both a live and silent auction. The auction will go live a few days before to allow everyone the chance to see what is available and place their bid. Many high-end items will be up for auction, including a brand-new golf cart.

“The best part is that all the proceeds go to our community outreach and art education programs,” said Stone.

One thing that is hard to replace in virtual events is the food, but the center has that covered too. When registering, folks can purchase a Party Package for their small gatherings to watch the event. The Party Package is designed for four people and consists of a charcuterie board, dessert, a bottle of wine or sparkling cider and a small floral arrangement for $300. These are to be picked up at the Suffolk Center on Feb. 19 or 20.

Jim Newsom and Kerri Furey are lined up to emcee the event. Newsom is a Suffolk native and a musician who has performed at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts numerous times. Furey is from WAVY-TV and is one of the main hosts on the Hampton Roads Show.

To register and for more details, visit suffolkcenter.maestroweb.com.