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10th Annual Celebration

Story by Suzanne Thompson Cozza  |  Photos by Don Perry

In its 10th year, the 2017 GPAC Gala was a celebration of Memphis music. Blues man Daddy Mack played his guitar outdoors, as the guests entered to a champagne welcome. During the cocktail hour, Joyce Cobb played in the lobby, which was bathed in blue light. Servers passed through the crowd offering hors d’oeuvres provided by Simply Delicious Catering, including a perfect bite of Memphis, a la Corky’s, in the form of “BBQ-tinis,” (salad greens topped with twice baked potato, pulled pork, barbecued ribs, spaghetti, baked beans and coleslaw—all together in single servings).

Dinner, prepared by Chef Erling Jensen, was served onstage in the Duncan-William Performance Hall, which was decorated in royal blue, a nod to Royal Studios. The meal began with a spinach salad, followed by squid ink pasta with lobster and adobo cream.  The next course featured beef filet with wild mushroom-truffle demi-glace. DeltaCapella performed a Memphis music medley as guests enjoyed their meals, which ended with a to-die-for chocolate soufflé.

Jo Anna Harris received the Chairman’s Award. Sharon and Lee Grinspan were presented with the Patron of the Arts Award. Drs. Lynn and Keith Foley, event chairs, received special recognition from Paul Chandler, executive director of GPAC, who presented Keith Foley with a jacket from Lansky’s “Clothier for the King” that was a replica of one Lansky designed for Elvis Presley. As a treat for Lynn Foley, Boo Mitchell of Royal Studios handed her a special addition to her table’s centerpiece - the Grammy Award he was given for recording the Bruno Mars hit “Uptown Funk.” The award was returned to Mitchell at the end of the evening.

Auctioneer Jeff Morris got top dollar for a group of unique items, including a shindig for 60 in The Grove at GPAC, a new outdoor venue being designed by Archimania that will add to the concert space on the grounds. Char and Amerigo’s will handle the grilling for the party. A set of David Yurman bangle bracelets and matching earrings, donated by Medinkow, and dinner for eight at the home of rocker Jason D. Williams, prepared by celebrity chef Jennifer Chandler, were also included in the auction.

The event ended on a high note with the tunes of Memphis Jones and Lil Rounds, who had people crowded onto the dance floor until the end of the evening.


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