The 20th annual Van Wezel Foundation Inspiration Gala was an elegant evening along the Van Wezel hall's bayfront, as well as a successful one for the Foundation's mission of education. More than $1.7 million was raised thanks to supporters, and the Foundation board also committed $20 million toward the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center that will eventually rise on the site. Guest performer Harry Connick Jr. actually took the mic to thank and encourage patrons to continue their education programs, and educators Maria Schaedler-Luera, Jillianne Abbott and Talia Casey were honored for their work. Gala co-chairs were Susan Travers and Kathy Martella.  

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