HHT gala brings Vegas glitz

Gifts galore made the foundation benefit fun for all

Historic Hemet Theatre
The Pack (Kenny Jones as Sammy Davis Jr., Bruce Hammond as Frank Sinatra, and Seth Abrahms as Dean Martin).

■ Chronicle News / Service

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Historic Hemet Theatre hosted its first Foundation Gala to raise money for the Building Fund. While only about 150 people were on hand for the event, the atmosphere was festive and the verdict was unanimous that “Vintage Vegas” will be an annual event that will be on everyone’s calendar next year along with lots of friends.
Starting the evening was a photo booth where guests could have their picture taken by HHT volunteer Pam Flumerfelt. Prints of the photos were displayed in the lobby at intermission so guests could take home a souvenir photo of the evening.

Spin the wheel and win a prize!
Chuck Robinson gave guests who purchased a full sheet of raffle tickets a spin on the “Prize Wheel,” where they would win one of several items, including gift cards from local merchants, lottery tickets, hand fans, candy, and a key chain emblazoned with the event logo. Each person who purchased a sheet of tickets also received an entry to the Grand Prize Drawing.
Donna Guenther coordinated the tables of more than 30 raffle baskets provided by merchants and supporters. Raffled items included floral arrangements, art and decor items, gift sets and gift certificates.

Historic Hemet Theatre
HHT Volunteer Donna Guenther was dressed as a “Cigarette Girl,” selling candy cigarettes and raffle tickets to guests.

Big and little prizes
Grand prizes included Disney Hopper Tickets, a vacation trip certificate (from VIP Autos), a pair of tickets to the Pantages Theater (from Joanne Morello), a set of HHT tickets to next season’s concerts and a cash prize of $1,000 (donated by Gary and Paulette Anderson). During the drawing for the set of tickets for HHT concerts, the ticket pulled belonged to Bryan Carrier, who manages the box office and books all the entertainment. CEO Susan Carrier joked that Bryan would need to bring her to the shows along with him. Amazingly, when another ticket was pulled for that prize, the ticket belonged to the CEO herself!
The wonderful assortment of hors d’oeuvres and desserts were provided by Harvard Street Bakery, including bite-sized dice made from chocolate cake dipped in white chocolate and lucky horseshoe cookies. The food committee for the event was Sandra Aldridge (chair) along with Irene Wingard, Irene Sanchez and Sharon Armstrong.

The Pack wows the crowd
Entertainment for the evening was a tribute to Vegas’ famed Rat Pack by tribute band The Pack, straight from Las Vegas. The show was nostalgic and funny, with lots of the music and humor that made Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. so popular back in the 1950s. The set for the show included a large bar (borrowed from the Hemet Public Library), a giant roulette wheel (from Hemet High’s Grad Night), and palm trees (from Cagliero Nursery).
The lobby and auditorium were filled with casino decor, including giant dice, playing cards and marquee lights. The decorations were the creation of Penny Colgrove and her committee, comprised of Jan Kriz, Alphy Norman, Diane Richard, Michele Ryneal, Reggie Maddox, Kathy Robinson, and Mark and Sugar Norman. Other members of the Gala committee included Barbara Carrington, Joyce Burleson, Debbie Souza, Jeanine Taylor, Connie Delatorre, Marty Cliff, Jeff Parks, Joanne Kuehl and Lynn Peterson.

Historic Hemet Theatre
CEO Susan Carrier(right) poses with Jan Knox(left), the winner of the $1,000 cash prize.

If you were not there, you missed a great party – but Vintage Vegas will be back, so watch for the next HHT Gala and join in the fun!

Upcoming events at HHT
Meanwhile, the holiday festivities continue at HHT. On Saturday, Dec. 9, The Hemet Harmonizers Barbershop Chorus presents its annual “Christmas Sing-A-Long” with the Temecula Wine Valley Harmonizers, 4 Cryin Out Loud Barbershop Quartet and choirs from local high schools. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults, $5 kids (12 and under) available at the ticket office.

Tickets for Jim Curry’s “Rocky Mountain Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 16 are sold out.
Tickets are still available for “Rocky Horror New Year’s Eve” on Sunday, Dec. 31. Join us for the craziest New Year’s Eve party in town. Event begins at 9:30 p.m. with an orientation by the HHT Shadow Cast, followed by a 10 p.m. screening of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Tickets are $15, including a bag of props (no outside props allowed.)

Visit www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com for a full lineup of events or stop by the ticket office Monday thru Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. or call 951-658-5950.

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