Arizona is Center Stage at the 'Gala of a Century'

Posted on by az100
Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:10 PM CST

Arizona Centennial Event Encourages Guests to ‘Spend Valentine’s Day 2012 Falling in Love with Arizona all Over Again’

Feb. 14, 2012, 5:30pm, Phoenix Convention Center sponsored by SRP

Elegant Signature Event of Arizona Centennial Commission & 2012 Foundation…Be part of the ‘official record of the day…’

Phoenix, Ariz. (Jan. 5, 2011) – Quite literally Fandango! Arizona, sponsored by Salt River Project, is Arizona’s “gala of a century,” the elegant Signature Event of the Arizona Centennial Commission and 2012 Foundation that caps off a season of celebration of Arizona’s 100 Years on the very evening of the 100th Anniversary of Arizona’s Admission Day into the Union.

This grand affaire will take place in the 46,000 square foot North Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center, beginning at 5:30 pm with cocktails and a silent auction. Proceeds will help underwrite Arizona Centennial activity dedicated to education and commemoration of Arizona’s 100 Years through the production of time-honored Signature Events and Projects that provide the opportunity to observe Arizona’s 100 Years of Statehood and learn about the state’s past, present and future.

“This is an evening not to be missed,” said Stevie Eller, co-chair of Fandango! Arizona. “Like many galas, this too has a vital purpose. Unlike many galas, this one only happens once in history. And generous Arizonans and businesses are underwriting all of our historical Centennial events.

“Attending Fandango is something to be proud of; it automatically joins you to Arizona history, and your funds go toward educational, historical projects and research, without burdening our state budget.”

Co-chair Patty Simmons added: “We are inviting everyone to step out and experience this once-in-a-lifetime evening. Now is the time to honor the state that has already been good to so many, and continues to hold great promise for our future, including for our young future leaders. You can’t keep Arizona down. And that’s exactly the spirit of this ‘gala of a century.’ It’s for everyone in Arizona.”

Arizona, the Evening’s Star. Fandango! Arizona will place Arizona front and center as the star of the evening, with guests entering a ballroom with vast panoramas of Arizona landscapes, as well as videos luring all to once again experience the awe of the magnificent and diverse natural beauty of the 48th state of the Union. The night will tell a story that spotlights Arizona’s 22 American Indian nations and 15 counties – each with a distinctive culture that altogether comprises one Arizona.

Special guests include Gov. Janice K. Brewer, Sec. of State Ken Bennett, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and a bevy of

Arizona leaders and luminaries.

The story of Arizona’s 100 Years will be unfurled a quarter century at a time by special guest masters of ceremony Hugh Downs, Harvey Mackay, and Rex Allen Jr. The highlight of the evening will be a unique and special performance by the Phoenix Symphony.

Fandango! Arizona event producer Sallie Sargent describes it “as a night that is designed for the history books. Stevie and Patty are generously guiding a dedicated team of committee members who are enthusiastically aware of the history-in-the-making on Feb. 14, 2012. It’s an opportunity for guests to kick up their heels, celebrate Arizona and be part, literally, of the official record of the day.”

The word “Fandango” is derived from Arizona territorial days, originating from Mexico, referring to highly festive events that did not demand a “rigid observation of etiquette.” A Fandango was held to benefit a church cause or charity or simply to mark a special occasion.

Musical Entertainment. A musical highlight of Fandango! Arizona will be The Phoenix Symphony, which will perform for the first time portions of a concerto entitled the Grand Canyon Suite, written from 1929 to 1931 by American composer, arranger and pianist Ferde Grof/. The piece was heralded on the soundtrack of a 1959 Academy Award-winning “Fantasia-style” short film by Disney aptly titled Grand Canyon.

Fandango also will showcase vast panoramic video of Arizona landscapes, which will be available for purchase.

Dress is “Arizona black tie” which translates into bolo ties, cowboy boots, turquoise jewelry and whatever extrapolation a guest wishes to create for the evening.

Tickets Online. Tickets are available at <> , and range from $250 for individuals to a variety of sponsorship levels, including $50,000 and more for major sponsors.

Karl Eller, chairman of the Arizona Centennial Commission’s 2012 Foundation Capital Campaign said: “Arizona’s 100 years falls smack dab in the middle of one of the most challenging times in American economic history. Even in these tough times, our fellow Arizonans are coming through to make the Centennial events worthy of their place in history.

“Every ticket and sponsorship counts more than you can imagine. We want everyone to know they are welcome to attend Fandango. It’ll be a wonderful night out, and also one of the most important contributions anyone can make to our great state at this point in history. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Fandango is an important fundraiser for the 2012 Foundation, which is underwriting Arizona Centennial Signature Events and Project, thanks to generous private contributors, sponsors, and grants; as well as merchandise sales, ticket sales to Fandango and drawing tickets to win Arizona’s official mascot, the Copper Chopper designed by world renowned bike designer and Arizonan, Paul Yaffe.

Also generating funds is the sale of the OneBookAZ 2012 award-winning coffee table book Arizona: 100 Years Grand, by author Lisa Schnebly-Heidinger.

Generous Support. The Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation is benefiting from the generous support of APS, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, The Arizona Republic & 12News, American Outdoor, Arizona Office of Tourism, BNSF Railway, Ambassador Barbara M. and Dr. Craig R. Barrett, The Boeing Company, Branded Cities Westgate, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel, Jim Click Automotive, Coca Cola Western Region, Jerry Colangelo, Discount Tire, Stevie and Karl Eller, Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds, Fiesta Bowl, Flowers Foods, The Dorrance Family Foundation, Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc., Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Helios Foundation, Randy and Ken Kendrick, Lewis & Roca, Off Madison, PetSmart, Phoenix Suns, Resolution Copper, SRP, Shamrock Farms, Snell & Wilmer, Swift Transportation, The Thunderbirds, University of Arizona, and Western Refining.

About Arizona Centennial Commission. The Arizona Centennial Commission, through its nonprofit Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation, is the statewide board charged by Governor Jan Brewer with planning and implementing Arizona’s 100th anniversary of statehood. In collaboration with the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, more than 370 projects and events are sanctioned and planned-to-date to commemorate Arizona’s Centennial. For information on the Arizona Centennial, visit <> .

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