S’mores, nostalgia prevail at winter gala
With a packed house of 150 diners, and 62 donated auction items, Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Gala Feb. 27 made use of every seat available at Tabor’s Shari Flaming Center of the Arts.
However, Salem Home’s s’mores-themed basket stood out as the most popular item.
The gift included a fire pit and wood, blankets, wine, and supplies for s’mores, and capitalized on memories of relaxing around a fire, Salem marketing director Lisa Donahue said.
“The fire pits are a new thing within the last 10 years or so, but everybody grew up having s’mores,” she said. “That’s something we remember, maybe it was church camp or with our parents. In my case, I remember doing it with my kids.”
Given the item’s success, the nursing home might make the fire pit a yearly theme, Donahue said.
“It might be something that becomes a tradition,” she said. “Maybe we’ll add some things to the basket each year, but have it become a tradition.”
It was the chamber’s third year hosting the reception as a gala with entertainment, said Laura Ensey, Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce director.
“There’s been a very warm reception,” she said. “We’ve had good feedback on the entertainment. It was definitely a positive change.”
By using Tabor’s theater department, featured for the first time, the chamber was able to promote the talent based at the college, Ensey said.
“We wanted to showcase the talent at Tabor as a local entity that, unfortunately, not all of us are able to get out and experience,” she said. “The goal was to highlight the talent there at Tabor.”
‘The Jungle Book’
Tabor’s theater department provided entertainment for the evening, an original arrangement of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book,” which ran Feb. 27 to Wednesday.
The size of the gala was a good fit for the theater department because it allowed for use of the Regier Atrium, theater director Laurel Koerner said.
“The black box theater is a more intimate setting,” she said. “It was a good fit with the number of people attending the gala, and to be able to fill our audience as well.”
The play was short for a theatrical performance, and featured a cast of 14 actors, but the preparation time was on par with a normal-length production because of the work with puppets and masks, Koerner said.
“It was exciting to see them take to it so eagerly,” she said. “They would come early, stay late, and ask to rehearse with their puppets outside our time together.”
While the actors could normally use facial expressions to show emotion, with the masks they had to make use of body language more frequently, Koerner said.
“It’s a very particular style of acting,” she said. “You have to think about how to activate the mask, how you see with its eyes and hear with its ears.”