New World School of the Arts 2004 Let the Arts Take Wing Gala

Treetop Ballroom at Parrot Jungle Island

Gala Co-Chairs David Lawrence, NWSA Executive Board Chair; Abbey Chase, NWSA Foundation Board Chair; Gerald K. Schwartz, NWSA Executive Board Vice-Chair.

What a scene it was! African dancers stomping to drum beats while a pair of white tiger cubs prowled through an astonished crowd of black-tie-clad guests. It was the wild beginning of an exotic and thrilling evening — the second annual “Let the Arts Take Wing Gala,” Saturday, April 3, 2004, at the Treetop Ballroom at Parrot Jungle Island. More than four hundred of South Florida’s most important arts supporters, philanthropists, educators, and community and business leaders gathered for a night of natural and artistic beauty.

Gala Co-host and Parrot Jungle owner Dr. Bern Levine went above and beyond to benefit New World School of the Arts, the alma mater of his son Stephen (Class of 2002, Theater.) “This is the best gala I have ever been to, period,” said NWSA Foundation Board member Richard Russo. “The hors d’oeuvres were absolutely incredible — did Dr. Levine’s staff make those?” he asked. The answer was yes. Everyone raved about the dinner prepared by Chef Phil Heimer. All the while, the New World School of the Arts Jazz Band played the tightest, brassiest, cleanest big band sound ever heard. Eighteen-year old NWSA jazz vocalist Jennifer Sanon had the crowd asking for her schedule of singing engagements in clubs and concert halls all over the city. Sorry folks, after high school, she’s going to New York to pursue her education. Interspersed with the jazz, was an eye-popping song and dance performance by NWSA college musical theater students.

Abbey Chase, Gene Hemp, NWSA Interim Provost; Evelyn Hemp; Bern Levine, Gala Co-Chair and Parrot Jungle CEO.

For guests who were on diets, feared animals or hated to dance, and for anyone who wanted to buy beautiful art and jewelry, there was a glittering, lavish silent auction, organized by Abbey Chase and her staff at Chase Marketing Group. Guests swarmed the jewelry and artwork painted by NWSA’s award-winning high school visual artists. By the end of the evening practically everything was sold, including a $2000 painting donated by world renowned artist Romero Britto.

“The second annual Let the Arts Take Wing Gala proved that New World School of the Arts is a nationally-recognized treasure in South Florida and that this community truly knows and supports it as such,” said Gala co-Chair and host David Lawrence.

New World School of the Arts thanks our gala sponsors for their support: Diageo for the cocktails and wine; Kodak Event Imaging Solutions for photographing guests with parrots; Ampco for complimentary valet service and parking; Bill Seidle and Federal Trade Group LLC for sponsoring the gorgeous student artwork framing; Pat Gross for the embossed place cards and gift bags.

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