The Children's Museum at Saratoga ushered in a momentous 25 years of service at Saratoga National on Friday evening. The decadent but fun black and silver Birthday Bash affair honored long-time museum supporters Charles Wait Sr. of Adirondack Trust Company and Gary Dake of Stewarts Shops. With close to 200 people in attendance, the night kicked off with a silent auction cocktail hour where bidding commenced on everything from Longfellow's romance package to beer for a year, a whitewater rafting experience to an impressive Emma Dodge Hanson photography package. While the silent auction room was absolutely buzzing, the Smile Lounge photo booth was an equally unstoppable force. Nearly everyone stopped by to don top hats and fun feather boas to snap a commemorative shot.
Amidst the happy crowd were spotted Michelle and Ron Riggi, Patti and Vince Riggi, Julie and Sonny Bonacio, and Bill & Susan Dake, and even Mayor Yepson made her way to the event to show her support.
Local jazz band Fresh offered phenomenal live entertained throughout the evening, briefly passing the mic to Chris Ward of Bidforyourbenefit to get the crowds' bid paddles in the air for live auction items including a flight training package, an original Frankie Flores painting, and a weeklong Adirondack getaway.
One of the most exciting moments of the night, however, was made by Museum board co-presidents David Martin and Sarah Parker Ward toward the close of the evening. Their preview announcement of the Museum's $500,000 capital campaign to expand the building, diversify their programming, and renovate a number of exhibits was accompanied by a large scale rendering of the plans, with promise of a full release in early May. Said David Martin, "We've come a long way since the founders, including my mother, first started this incredible organization. But over the last few years, the community has told us that they're ready for more - and we're excited to launch this campaign to once again exceed expectations and continue inspiring families for another 25 years."