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  SAMA Art Museum




SAMA is able to offer the public world-class exhibitions and events at its five museums thanks in large part to its fundraisers. As a non-profit organization, public donations and funds raised through events such as the Gala, the Garden Party, Think Pink, and Crystal Soiree are critical to SAMA’s success. These funds help us to maintain museum operations and sustain SAMA programs. Your support at these events helps us to bring art into the classrooms of schools across our six-county region and serve more than 15,000 students annually. Our fundraisers also help support SAMA initiatives like the Museum/Healthcare Partnership Program which helps area residents who suffer from chronic pain and discomfort. Additionally, these events also serve as “friend raisers,” providing the Museum with a vehicle for corporate and individual membership development, exhibition and education program awareness, and building new audiences throughout the region.

Through these fundraisers, SAMA raises unrestricted dollars through corporate donations and underwriting marketing initiatives, the selling of objects donated to live and silent auctions, and admission fees. Each year, hundreds of volunteers dedicate themselves to these events, which in turn typically attract more than 700 paying guests. For more information on SAMA’s fundraisers, or if you are interested in joining an organizing committee, please contact the Museum at (814) 472-3920.






Over the past four decades, the Gala has evolved into one of the most sophisticated and complex outdoor social events in Pennsylvania. Held on the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto, the Gala combines fine art, gourmet cuisine, live music and a variety of games of chance to create an electric ambience. Live and silent auctions feature spectacular items such as artwork, vacation and experience packages, antiques, much desired sports items. The Museum is indebted to the patrons, sponsors, benefactors and donors who contribute to this annual program. SAMA's 41st annual Gala, "Arabian Nights," will be held on June 29, 2019. Veiled dancers, a genie and his magic lamp will help to celebrate this wondrous night under the stars, with exotic colors, fragrant florals, gourmet cuisine, and the famous raw bar. Serving as chair for this year’s Gala is Michelle Passarello.


  Garden party


SAMA-Ligonier Valley’s Garden Party is a community event designed to benefit the Museum and its lavish 400-square-foot flower gardens. Since its inception in 2002, the event has welcomed more than 1,500 individuals. The Garden Party begins with a champagne reception in the gallery celebrating the featured exhibition. Following the reception, guests proceed outside under a tent on the Museum lawn for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Live music is often featured, and silent and live auctions provide an opportunity to purchase a variety of items including artwork, antiques, collectibles, garden accessories, gift baskets, and much more. The seventeenth annual Garden Party, "Orient Express," was held June 2, 2018. Chaired by Patty Jones, the event offered live music, games of chance, silent and live auctions and gourmet cuisine featuring the tastes of Europe. Added features included a ribbon-cutting for the Museum's new Donald M. Robinson Sculpture Park and a display of train memorabilia by Derry Railroad Association and other railroad enthusiasts. The live auction was highlighted by a 1934 brass Pennsylvania Railroad train bell, a weathered and worn metal train clock, original artwork from Rita Haldeman, and a Masters flag autographed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. The 2019 Garden Party is scheduled for July 27.



To read a press release about the 2018 Garden Party, please click here.



  Think PinK


SAMA-Altoona’s Think Pink fundraiser has become one of the Altoona area’s most anticipated and sophisticated annual events. The program debuted in 2003 and offers a signature blend of metropolitan flair. The event is known for its elegance, electricity and excitement, all while helping in the fight against breast cancer. Since 2013, when the event was rebranded as Think Pink, the Museum has donated more than $20,000 to various treatment programs and educational initiatives. In 2018, the Museum partnered with UPMC-Altoona's Magee-Womens Specialty Center and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Think Pink was held Friday, November 2 at the luxurious Blairmont Club in Hollidaysburg. The evening featured cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner stations and a silent auction, as well as a performance by the dueling pianos group, The Flying Ivories. This year's event was chaired by Jen Daniels and Lindsey Kranich. Join us next year on November 1 at the Blairmont Club for the 2019 Think Pink!





To read a press release about the 2018 Think Pink, please click here.




SAMA-Bedford will celebrate its first fundraiser in 2019.    Partnering with the Bedford County Humane Society, the Museum invites you to “Sparkle & Shine” at Crystal Soirée. This black tie-optional event features first-class dining, silent and live auctions, and a New York-style cabaret show featuring internationally acclaimed musician and composer Michael Kooman. A native of Altoona, Kooman will perform his music from the TV show Vampirina, as well as from his recent musicals including Romantics Anonymous and The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes. Kooman’s performance will include a surprise visit by a vocalist from New York City’s theatre scene. An elegant event to benefit animals and art, Crystal Soirée will be held from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on January 26 at the luxurious Omni Bedford Springs Resort. Tickets are $150 per person. For more information, call the Museum or visit


Download the Crystal Soirée Sponsorship Form here.


To read a press release about the 2019 Crystal Soirée, please click here.


Visit the Crystal Soirée Facebook page