I get to go to a lot of events. One of my favorite ones is the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. I usually have to work the event, but I manage to have some fun, too.
Last year’s Steeplechase started out cool in the morning, but by the end of the day, it was really, really warm. I had to buy a hat in the vendors’ tent just so my face wouldn’t get sunburned.
I wish I had taken my own advice and layered my clothing. I guess I was trying to be fashionable and wore black. Dumb move.
After paying everyone, Steeplechase was able to give $141,000 to the Historic Columbus Foundation, Columbus Museum, Springer Opera House and Columbus Symphony Orchestra in town and the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation in Pine Mountain.
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The amount was an eight percent increase from last year.
“Even in the tougher economic times we have all faced, this increase reflects the commitment Steeplechase makes to our community,” said JJ Musgrove, executive director of the CSO in a statement. “The funds raised at the Steeplechase have become an integral part of the arts community budgets over the past 25 years. It is quite rewarding to be part of an event of this magnitude which provides an opportunity to enjoy the sport of steeplechasing and support the community in the process.”
Steeplechase executive director Lucy Knight was proud to be able to present checks to these arts groups.
“Our major sponsors, Crown Royal, Aflac, TSYS and Callaway Gardens committed their resources early in the planning process, enabling us to build an achievable budget,” Knight said. “We thank all of our corporate sponsors and patrons for making the 25th running of Steeplechase so successful.”
Steeplechase is held the first Saturday of November, with this year’s on Nov. 6.
For more information, call Knight at 706-324-6252 or go to www.steeplechaseatcallaway.org
Family Theater and the Big Read
When Cheryl Palmour heard that the Columbus Public Library was going to take part in this year’s Big Read with Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” she knew that the Family Theater needed to get involved.
“Family Theater had wanted to work with the library last year, but it didn’t work out,” Palmour said. “We met with Henry McCoy and Lyn Seaman about the 2010 Big Read to see what could be done.”
Seaman told Palmour that William Miller had written a children’s book called “Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree.”
Palmour read it and contacted Miller to get permission to adapt the book. He approved the request and Palmour got to work.
“I created the dialogue not only from his book but from Hurston’s autobiography, ‘Dust Tracks on a Road,’ and from folk tales she wrote down. I also incorporated African American spirituals and folks songs into the script.”
Palmour said she received a positive response from Miller.
“Zora was very creative as a child and her story reflects her struggles with her father to be accepted for who she is. She had a close relationship with her mother which is depicted in the show.”
The play can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, starting Feb. 19 and running through March 6 in the Family Theatre, 2100 Hamilton Road.
Tickets are $5-$8.
Call 706-536-8052 to make reservations.
Sandra Okamoto, firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8580.