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Monday, July 29, 2019

Bringing The ‘Tiffany’ Bling

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Diamonds and Pearls: 30th Annual Auction Against AIDS

The Philadephia Center’s 30th Annual Auction Against AIDs will be coming to the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino on Saturday, Aug. 17. From 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., the venue will be transformed into a sea of Tiffany blue. This year’s theme, “Diamonds and Pearls,” was inspired by tradition. According to artistic director Jacquelyn Barber, “The traditional gift for a 30th anniversary is pearls. When I think about pearls, I naturally envision ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’” The 1960s cocktail party vibe will be played out by models wearing vintage Audrey Hepburn-inspired ensembles. They will be adorned in jewelry donated by several local jewelry stores. Onstage, the Beauties of 1025, a 1960s-esque showgirl troupe will be entertaining attendees.

Guests are being encouraged to wear a little black dress or anything else that could be marked “Audrey-approved.”

A local favorite, That Girl DJ will provide music for the night. She will be setting the tone for a “surreal, visual experience” that guests are sure to remember.

Sam’s Town Executive Chef Henry Rodriguez has created an extraordinary, surprise menu for this year’s event that is inspired by the Blue Box Cafe. There will be several vegetarian options and petit fours and macaroons provided by Whisk Dessert Bar. The signature drink for the night will be a Tiffany’s mimosa with a sugar rim.

The highlight of the evening, the silent auction, will feature art pieces by local artists Paige Powell, Lauren Ross Simmons, Vanicka Terhune, Robert Trudeau, Bruce Campbell, Brett Malone and Lewis Kalmbach. There will also be several auction items available from various local businesses.

Contests will offer every guest the chance to walk away with some fantastic prizes, such as “Holly Golightly’s Barrel of Booze” from Central Station. Guests will also have the chance to win several pieces of jewelry during the “Diamonds and Pearls” raffle.

Tickets to this year’s event are $60 and can be purchased at www.pcauction.com or at the door. Until Aug. 2, all tickets are available for $30, in honor of the 30th anniversary of this incredible event.

Board President Lonnie McCray and Director of Development Hershey Krippendorf are excited about the creative direction taken by Barber on this one. The Tiffany blue palette coupled with the elegant yet free-spirited style of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” main character, Holly Golightly, is sure to whip up big smiles and great fun throughout the night. They are hoping to see a larger turn-out this year and perhaps an increase from last year’s proceeds of $65,000.

Barber is confident that this year’s auction will be absolutely fabulous. “After all, all good things come in a little blue box!” The Philadelphia Center was developed in the spring of 1990 in response to rising numbers of HIV/AIDS patients in the Shreveport area. All proceeds will go toward furthering the Philadelphia Center’s mission: to empower those living with HIV, to eliminate new HIV transmissions, and to enhance community health. The funds allow the Philadelphia Center to continue such programs as the Mercy Center and their Mobile Testing Unit.

The Mercy Center is its residential program for formerly homeless individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS. This program provides individuals with permanent and safe housing so they can live fulfilling and productive lives. It is the only residential program of its kind north of I-10 in Louisiana. The Mercy Center currently serves 19 men and women.

The Mobile Testing Unit serves nine parishes in Northwest Louisiana. It offers testing and counseling for HIV as well as other STDs.

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