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Museum thanks community at annual ball

Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11:19 PM

HUNTINGTON -- What promised to be a key highlight in a year full of celebration lived up to expectations Saturday night during the Huntington Museum of Art's Museum Ball.

More than 250 guests came to the event, now in its 58th year, not only to have a good time, but also to help in raising about $75,000 for the museum, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout 2013.

While the event is known for its elaborate themes and glamorous guests, event organizers turned up the appeal of the evening with the night's theme, "Here's Looking at You: Thanks to the Tri-State for 60 Years of Support."

The theme meant a Hollywood-esque atmosphere, complete with a red carpet surrounded by paparazzi and celebrity impersonators at every turn.

Halcyon Moses, chairwoman of the museum ball committee for the second consecutive year, said she hoped guests enjoyed the party as much as they enjoy the museum itself.

"Even though this was my second time doing it, I still wanted to make sure everything was fresh and more exciting than last year," Moses said. "We want to see everyone having a good time at the museum. We love the facility, and we want to show it off because it really is one of Huntington's crown jewels."

There was a little bit of everything at the event, which featured a cocktail reception and high-end silent auction. Dinner for the event was served by Wellington's, and music was provided by The Company.

The museum already has celebrated its 60th anniversary with the opening of the exhibit "Mr. Fitz: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Huntingotn Museum of Art Exhibit," which features the art collection of museum founder Herbert Fitzpatrick. The exhibit is in the midst of a short break to accommodate the ball, but will be back on display later this month.

Margaret Mary Layne, executive director of the museum, said sharing Fitzpatrick's work and opening the museum for the ball are just ways for museum officials to give thanks to the community.

"In a sense, this is the best way we can say 'thank you,' because without all of the continued community support the museum has received for its programs every year, we would not be here," Layne said. "The community has been so generous with its support both financially and in its volunteerism through the years, and those efforts are why we still are here today, 60 years later."

For information about exhibits and classes at the Huntington Museum of Art, call 34-529-2701 or visit www.hmoa.org.

Follow Lacie Pierson via Twitter @LaciePiersonHD.

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