By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer
Laughter will fill Eastern Kentucky University’s Keen Johnson Ballroom June 8 when southern comedienne Etta May comes to town for Model Laboratory School’s first annual fundraising event.
Half of the ticket proceeds will be donated to help five Model programs: Scholarships, gifted programs, the arts, athletics and extended field trips or exchange programs, said school psychologist Ellen Rini.
Students and staff have been creating artwork all week to be sold at the event’s silent auction. Industrial technology director Stephen Willis is handcrafting two Adirondack chairs for the live auction.
Guests will be ushered in at 6 p.m. to the smooth sounds of jazz pianist Elise Melrood, a member of the Real World String Band and a retired teacher who taught at Model for 14 years.
A dinner of beef tenderloin, baked salmon, salad, side items, desserts and drinks will be served. A cash bar also will be available.
Etta May is scheduled to take the stage at 7:45 p.m. and the live auction will follow.
Model graduate and EKU employee Dan McBride will be the evening’s emcee.
Although the school began planning the event before EKU’s “budget crisis,” Rini said, “now more than ever we are looking for ways to enhance our school, to make it a better value and through scholarships to help students.”
In April, the EKU Board of Regents adopted a recommendation to raise Model’s tuition $500 next school year and $500 the next as part of the university’s goal to reduce its budget by 10 percent.
Rini said in light of budget considerations and the information recently released about Model’s unique funding, the community and Model alumni have boosted their support.
This is the first fundraiser Model has hosted since the school’s 100-year celebration in 2006, she said.
Reservations must be made by June 3 as limited seating is available. Tickets are $50 a person, $90 a couple and $325 for a table of eight.
Individuals and businesses also may become sponsors at three levels:
• Patriot Promoter $500 – Includes two tickets, preferred seating, recognition in the program and by the emcee, recognition in future Model Alumni newsletter and a set of student artwork note cards;
• Patriot Partner $1,000 – Includes four tickets, preferred seating, recognition in the program and by the emcee, recognition in future Model Alumni newsletter and two student artwork coffee mugs;
• Patriot Philanthropist $2,500 – Includes table of eight tickets, preferred seating, recognition in the program and by the emcee, recognition in future Model Alumni newsletter and a canvas print of original student art work.
Checks should be made payable to Model Lab School and returned to Beth Campbell, Model Lab School, 521 Lancaster Ave., Richmond, KY 40475. Forms are available at www.model.eku.edu.