Panola College Foundation recently held its second annual Gala fundraiser at the Frances B. Ross Ballroom, on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The event theme, titled the Mad Hatter Tea Party, was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The evening brought in $34,000, which will be used towards student scholarships, faculty and staff grants, and other special projects.

Guests attending the party entered Wonderland through an eight foot long rabbit tunnel wearing their fanciest, silliest, and craziest hats and were greeted by characters from the book played by the Panola College volleyball team. The master of ceremony for the evening was Joshua Carter and he led the guests through the highlights of the evening.MC

Those highlights included fanciful hors d’oeuvres, jazz music played by Swinghouse jazz band, and several different games for guests to enjoy including a life size chess set that was placed in front of vintage couches. Guests were also entertained by a caricature artist who drew whimsical sketches of the attendees, which produced immediate souvenirs.

In addition to the caricature artist, guests could be found throughout the evening in the mock casino engaging in games of blackjack, roulette, and craps. Casino winnings could be traded in throughout the evening for raffle tickets towards one of several prizes. Raffle tickets could also be purchased outright to help towards the fundraising goal.

Throughout the evening Somer Page Photography, took numerous photos of the event and guests to capture the memorable night. Guests also enjoyed a silent auction of more than 40 items that held one-of a kind pieces, such as a painting commissioned specially for this event by Vanicka Newell, owner of Kings Antiques in Shreveport and 4 field box tickets to a Houston Astros baseball game.

Sponsors of the event included the Premier sponsor - Corgan Inc., the Mad Hatter sponsor - XTO Energy, the invitation sponsor – First State Bank, the Wonderland sponsor – Hunt Construction, and the Alice sponsor – Lewis H. Pool Foundation. Other sponsors included the Queen of Hearts sponsors – Carthage Title Company, Farmers State Bank in Center, and Lewis H. Pool Foundation. The Cheshire Cat sponsors included Hal’s AC & Electrical, Brookshire Brothers, General Shelters, Tyson, Smith Equipment, Ace Hardware, and the City of Carthage.

See more photos of the event at Somer Page Studio