More than 125 people packed Studios on the Park on Friday, February 11, 2011 to honor Mary Schwartz, a longtime resident and philanthropic powerhouse in Paso Robles, while raising funds for the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts (FOTA).
“This is one of the most fun fundraisers I’ve been a part of,” said one guest during the event. “I couldn’t decide if I wanted to win the Hearst Castle Coastal package, the Downtown Paso Robles package or the Art Collector package, so I put in for all three, it’s for a worthy cause after all. Everything was so lovely, they really know how to throw a party!”
“The choice of Mary Schwartz as our Sweet Art recipient was an easy one,” says Barbara Partridge, Chair of the Festival of the Arts. “She is a major supporter of the arts in Paso Robles, a lifelong volunteer and just an all-around sweetheart.”
Mary’s friend Dee Lacey performed emcee duties and did a brief recap of Mary’s history in Paso Robles, sprinkled with personal anecdotes that earned chuckles from the crowd. Mary Schwartz brought tears to the eyes of the audience as she accepted her award and gifts and stated that “the Festival of the Arts and Studios on the Park are the crown jewels of Paso Robles.”
Attendees of the event were greeted with a glass of local champagne and treated to a delicious luncheon presented by Cass Catering that included Cass Winery’s rose and Viognier wines. While dining, guests were serenaded by The Central Coast Lovenotes, whose harmonies were a hit with the guests.
Three major drawing items stood to one side of the room on display, donated by generous community supporters, while matted prints of original art were sprinkled on the tables as gifts for attendees who participated in the Raise the Bar portion of the fundraiser. Presiding over the Raise the Bar was San Luis Obispo County District 1 Supervisor and Paso Robles resident Frank Mecham, a close friend of Mrs. Schwartz.
During the event the theme for the 2011 Festival of the Arts was revealed to be “The Colors of Water” which will be celebrated in a special art exhibition at Studios on the Park starting during the Festival and continuing through the month of June. “I’m really glad to see you’ve kept the connection to the river with your theme this year,” stated Mecham, referring to the fact that FOTA got its start celebrating the Salinas River Corridor Project and environmental awareness for a grant-matching effort in 2009.
Visit www.studiosonthepark.org for more information.