ST. MATTHEWS — Calhoun County Museum & Cultural Center’s 55th Anniversary Gala on Feb. 2 drew a large crowd of supporters.
Museum Director Debbie Roland was ecstatic with the success of the event, thanking all those who attended.
One of the highlights of the evening was the unveiling of a painting of purple martins by artist Ed Allen. Allen was commissioned to do the painting of the migratory birds that are synonymous with Calhoun County. The county holds its Purple Martin Festival annually.
Roland praised the original director, Jean Ulmer, for having the vision to start the museum. She also recognized the contributions of artists Yvonne Smoak Knight, John Thompson, Clay Rice and Ed Allen.
Calhoun County Council Chairman David Summers commended Roland for her work with the Museum and Cultural Center, saying, “Debbie does a great job.” Then he told Ulmer, “I want to thank you for what you did.”
Roland said the gala was “not a fundraiser but a friend-raiser.”
She said she and her staff are already planning the next gala to be held in two years.
Musical entertainment was provided by The Men of Distinction and also included a violin duet.
Jack Brantley and his staff from Aberdeen Catery created the hor d’oeuvres, and flowers were provided courtesy of Amanda McNulty and Ruthie Morgan.
The Calhoun County Museum & Cultural Center began as a historical society in 1952 and expanded to collecting genealogical items and other artifacts in 1958. First located behind the old library in St. Matthews, the museum in 1976 moved to a 5,000-square-foot building on Butler Street that once served as a pecan plant. The building was renovated with private dollars and grant funding.
Today, the museum boasts 20,000 square feet and includes space for special presentations and mobile displays. A courtyard and a separate room are available for researching genealogical records.
The museum, located at 313 Butler St. in St. Matthews, is open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Admission is free.
A “Let Me Call You SweetHeart” Daddy/Granddaddy Date Night will be held at the museum on Feb. 11. Girls ages 4-10 are invited for a fun evening at $5 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Contact the writer: 803-874-3276.