Saints and sinners comes together for Park City Institute’s education programs
Whether you’re a saint or a sinner, the Park City Institute will welcome you to the fifth annual Saints & Sinners Ball that will be held at the St. Regis Deer Valley on Saturday, March 12.
The evening will feature cocktails, a St. Patrick’s Day-themed dinner, an auction and dancing to live music.
The event is the nonprofit’s only official fundraiser of the year, according to Executive Director Teri Orr.
Although the Park City Institute hosts sponsorship parties in the summer and fall, those are designed to recruit underwriters for its winter and summer concerts, Orr told The Park Record.
"The Saints & Sinners Ball, on the other hand, is an official fundraiser and 100 percent of the money goes to our student outreach programs," she said. "And those programs are little more than just an additional performance like they are in many other communities."
One difference is the interaction.
"We will not just present a free performance, but, we’ll have a choreographer work with dance students or a Grammy Award-winning musician work with a music class," Orr explained. "This is much more participatory, rather than having the students sit back and have the experience come at them."
This season, approximately 3,000 students will experience workshops, demonstrations, talks and performances, ranging from technical secrets to modern dance.
"This is something that we have done from the beginning and we get participation from 80 percent of our performers," Orr said. "Although most of these outreach session are held in the Park City School District, we do take artists to North and South Summit school districts when we can. And we’ve also taken artists into Midway and Heber."
The funds raised will also help benefit the Park City Institute’s two Mega-Genius Supply Stores and IQ HQs. that operate after school on Swede Alley and at Kimball Junction.
"These are our free literacy tutoring centers," Orr said. "Kids come in to do their homework and have one-on-one homework help with tutors."
Last year the Saints & Sinners Ball raised nearly $85,000 through ticket sales and the auction.
This year’s auction items include a Clemson University football helmet signed by country singer Lee Brice.
"As many fans know, he played football at Clemson before going into music," Orr said. "We’ll also offer one  Sundance Film Festival package for the Eccles Center screenings."
This item includes reserved seats, a parking pass and a reserved parking space and early entry to the screenings.
"We will give you a pair of tickets for each day the festival runs, which means you get 20 tickets," Orr said.
Students from Julie Hooker’s Treasure Mountain Junior High School’s leadership class and music students from Park City High School will be on hand at the Saints & Sinners Ball to help out as volunteers.
"They are always great to work with," Orr said.
St. Regis originally pitched the idea of the Saints & Sinners Ball to the Park City Institute in 2011.
"It was their way to help us out when the economy was so grim," Orr said. "They told us they would be happy to put on an event for us. They donated the ballroom, the food and made sure the staff was there to help.
"We named it Saints & Sinners Ball because it was at the St. Regis Hotel and, I believe, the first event was held on St. Patrick’s Day," she said. "We had the whole ‘saint’ thing going, and knew that was one side of the coin. So we thought we needed to represent both sides."
The event has grown in many ways in the past five years.
"The first year we did it, it was sparsely attended," Orr said. "Now, we have around 150 people a year."
However, the idea of the Saints & Sinners Ball isn’t about expanding attendance.
"We don’t want this to become a giant, under-the-tent event," Orr said. "We just want to fill the space comfortably, so you can mingle and have conversations during the evening."
In addition to the pleasant conversations, there will be some shenanigans.
" shenanigans, we mean some good-natured mischief that keeps people on their toes," Orr said slyly.
And while costumes aren’t required, they are highly encouraged, she said.
"There are people who have dressed up in their favorite saints or sinners outfits," Orr said. "We will also have a basket of accessories on site, so people who didn’t want to dress up can at least don feather boas, horns or halos."
Orr said the Saints & Sinners Ball has shown how much the community appreciates the Park City Institute.
"That’s so heartwarming because we simply wouldn’t exist without the community’s help," she said. "We sit on a three-legged stool in terms of financial support. We rely on ticket sales, grants and donations and sponsorships, and the ball falls into that last category."
The Park City Institute’s fifth annual Saints & Sinners Ball will be held at St. Regis Deer Valley on Saturday, March 12. The revelry begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $200 per person or $1,800 for a table of 10. Call the Eccles Center box office at 435-655-3114 or purchase tickets online at http://www.ecclescenter.org .