Gala Mask by Edward Drozdik

With just a few short weeks to go before Mardi Gras brings it’s parades, beads and balls back to the Island, it’s time to start making plans! Over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing more about our collaboration with Galveston’s Family Service Center.  FSC is a non-profit counseling agency that serves Galveston County residents of all ages and incomes and there’s some really great things in the works that we’ll be sharing with you all very soon. In the meantime though, get your schedule cleared (and your dance card) for their annual “Connections of the Heart” gala on Friday, February 3rd, 6 pm,  in the Tremont Hotel’s Davidson Ballroom.

The FSC gala will feature live music, dinner and live and silent auctions. Auction items run from artwork and antiques to overnight stays in luxurious hotels (swing by IBC’s Facebook page for a sneak peak at some of the auction items!), but the highlight is sure to be the over 100 adorned masks set to be auctioned off. The masks were created and donated by local artists such as Rene Wiley, Catherine Stroud, Edward Drozdik and Ann Wood, just to name a few. The annual gala is the agency’s only fundraising event of the year, with all proceeds going to support the programs of the agency, such as working with children, families and senior citizens. At the gala, guests will experience the celebration and excitement of Galveston’s Carnival season and it’s the  perfect kick-off to the Mardi Gras season.

Gala Mask by Catherine Stroud

To borrow a bit from FSC’s statement on the event:

“The Carnival season is all about decorative fun, from big bands to costumes and masks,” says Dr. Julie Purser, Executive Director of Family Service Center, “But it’s also about invoking a sense of community, working together for a common goal and sacrifice.” Galveston artists have joined this community effort by donating their time and artistic talents to decorate 100 masks for the gala. Catherine Stroud, artist and Galveston resident, described the effort as an opportunity to give back to her community in a different way. “This project unites artists, business owners and non-profits for the common goal of supporting children and families in our area.”

A Stay at "Casa Malibu" Auction Item

Family Service Center’s mission and their gala theme is all about connections – the connections we make as individuals, the connections we make as a community and the connections Family Service Center has with agencies and leaders that believe in “strengthening families and supporting communities.” Three community couples who truly live the mission of Family Service Center will be honored during the evening’s festivities. This year’s honorees are Jimmy and Jane Hayley, Vic and Janice Pierson, and Drs. Ben and Sharon Raimer.

We will be there on February 3rd and encourage you all to join us. It’s a great organization worthy of support and will be a tremendously fun evening. You can get your tickets online at or by calling 409-762-8636. All those present will have an opportunity to bid on masks, as well as other silent and live auction items.

Also, be sure to swing by Tangerine Boutiqe this coming Saturday during ArtWalk to see some of the masks for yourself. There’s even a couple done by some of us in IBC!



Will Wright was raised in the rough and tumble outlaw lands of West Texas (Canyon to be specific) and moved to Galveston in the summer of 2006. Aside from being completely unfamiliar with anything regarding large bodies of water, fishing or even possessing a proficient ability to swim (boy can he float though!) he none the less became attracted to Galveston and all the history, design, people and uniqueness it entails. Will is the Creative Director and owner of Willthing, a graphic design and Web site development company, co-owner of Islander By Choice, LLC and the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Galveston Historical Foundation.

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