Saints and Sinners gather to raise money for the Park City Institute |

Saints and Sinners gather to raise money for the Park City Institute

Funds benefit student outreach

Students in the greater Park City area are lucky.

Thanks to the Park City Institute, they had opportunities to take dance workshops from Alvin Ailey II dancers. They also participated in a special Q & A session with criminal justice reform mover and shaker Van Jones, or learn from world-renowned authors and speakers.

“A lot of people don’t know that many of the performers the Park City Institute bring to Park City don’t just perform one or two nights for the public and then go home,” said Melissa Band, Park City Institute board member.

The Park City Institute thinks it’s important to continue these events, so the nonprofit throws the annual Saints & Sinners Ball.

This year’s event starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 17, at St. Regis Deer Valley, and will raise funds for the Park City Institute student outreach program that includes artist presentations and workshops for students, as well as the Mega Genius Store and I.Q. H.Q. tutoring facilities.

The evening will include a cocktail hour, games and shenanigans, live and silent auctions, dinner, live music and dancing.

Guests can either come in cocktail attire or in costume that may or may not reflect the Saints & Sinners theme.

“While costumes are not required, every year they get more elaborate,” Band said. “Some people come in with just a hat or devil horns, while others come fully dressed.”

Someone arrived as a dinosaur, while another dressed up as Donald Trump last year.

“We’ve had people come as nuns and angels,” Band said. “One couple dressed up as a priest and a pregnant nun and another couple came as Jack the Ripper and his victim.”

“For those who don’t dress up, we’ll have a costume box with some items to put on,” she said.

Rachel Alday, who sits on the Park City Institute board with Band, said she enjoys the ball because it is different than other galas that are held in town..

“The games are silly, but fun,” Alday said. “Last year, you put your hand in a box to find out if it’s bigger than Donald Trump’s hand. It was hilarious.”

In addition, the night will feature a silent and live auction.

Live auction items include a package donated by Dishing Magazine.

“They have donated a Jackson Hole foodie trip that includes a stay at Hotel Jackson, a wine tasting dinner, restaurant gift certificates and a concierge experience,” Band said.

Other items include a New Orleans Mardi Gras trip and a season pass package for Deer Valley that includes a parking pass, ski tuning and gift certificates for dinner at the Chateaux and lunch or brunch at Stein Eriksen Lodge.

Some of the silent auction items include guitars and other swag that have been signed by the different artists the Park City Institute brought to Park City for concerts and performances.

“Then we have two items that only we can offer,” said Park City Institute Executive Director Teri Orr.

One is called “Front Row Joe.” It features four front-row tickets to every show at the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Summer Concerts, along with VIP parking.

“The other is our Sundance Film Festival package,” Orr said. “That includes reserve parking at the Eccles Theatre and VIP treatment.

A new item is the Riverhorse on Main package.

“It includes a stay at the new Riverhorse Provisions and private chef-made meals,” Alday said.

During the live auction, local students who have participated in the student outreach program will tell their stories, Band said.

“Many people only think Park City Institute presents outdoor concerts and Main Stage concerts at the Eccles Center,” she said. “They don’t know about TEDxYouth or the Mega Genius program.”

Even the Mega Genius mission has changed, Orr said.

“We still do the one-on-one tutoring, but we also work with the Bright Futures kids and we are also home to the Planned Parenthood Teen Council because they can’t meet at the high school any more,” she said.

This season, approximately 3,000 students will experience workshops, which Orr said costs $250,000 a year.

“When an artist does an outreach, it’s an extra service, which is about the same as presenting another performance,” she said. “If we have a choreographer who comes and hosts three dance classes in a day, that can theoretically be seen as three services, or it could be construed as a one-service day.”

Tickets to the Saints & Sinners Ball are $200 per person or $1,800 for a table of 10. Please call The Eccles Center box office at 435-655-3114 or purchase tickets online at

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