University News

Annual PAS Gala,'Come Fly With Me,' April 7 at WIU

March 6, 2018

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MACOMB, IL - - The Western Illinois University Performing Arts Society (PAS) will present its "Come Fly With Me" gala and auction from 5:30-11 p.m. Saturday, April 7 in the University Union Grand Ballroom.

This black tie formal event will have live and silent auctions, serve dinner, and feature a live band, "Hollywood 5," a five-piece, high-energy rock/dance band from St. Louis, MO. The entertainment is sponsored by Edward Jones - Cory Clem.

The event, themed around world travel, is sponsored by MidAmerica National Bank.

In a salute to the air travel theme, the silent auction will be divided into the following categories: Ladies, Gentlemen, Little Flyers (children's items), Departures (tickets to events or trips), In Flight Meal (food items/gift certificates), and Destination: Home (items for the home and artwork).

Live auction items will feature a theatre trip for two to London with WIU President Emeritus Al Goldfarb. The dates of the London trip are tentatively March 9-17, 2019. These tickets are guaranteed spots on the group trip, donated by the WIU Department of International Studies. During the trip, the winners of this package will also be invited to sit with Goldfarb at a production and follow up with a discussion about one of the shows over dessert. The brief live auction will also feature other domestic trips and more.

All proceeds will benefit four programs - The Youth Performing Arts Series (YPAS), which is fully funded by PAS and provides live shows for area school children - each year approximately 7,000 children experience these shows - scholarships for high school and junior high students attending the Summer Music Institute (SMI) camps; art grants to faculty, as well as community grants for arts organizations and the Senior Arts Series (SAS), a new program for residents of assisted living communities. The College of Fine Arts and Communication provides concerts for the residents at a convenient afternoon time and PAS provides refreshments.

"The gala is our biggest fundraiser; attending it gives an ideal opportunity to be community-minded by lending support to PAS," Gala Co-Chair Kim Thorman said. "Here's an opportunity to get dressed up and go out for a night of dining, dancing and entertainment, all while supporting the advancement of the arts in our community."

Jill Beck, assistant to the COFAC dean, said COFAC students are working tirelessly to ensure this fundraiser is a success and is entertaining. The students are lending many of their talents to the gala.

"As the College of Fine Arts and Communication, we are proud to showcase the many talents of our amazing students," Beck said. "Guests at the Gala will experience dancing, live piano, digital artistry, and more. The Performing Arts Society is thrilled to collaborate with our incredible students to offer dynamic layers of entertainment to our gala guests. Representatives from the School of Music, Department of Art, Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Broadcasting and Journalism will be on hand to add even more depth to this already one-of-a-kind event. Additionally, graduate students from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will be suiting up as flight attendants for an even more immersive step into the Golden Age of Flying. You will not want to miss this event."

General reservations are $75 per person and include your choice of three entrees, dessert buffet and bid number. Corporate tables are available for $100 per seat and additionally include three complimentary bottles of wine, business signage in the lobby and on the table and premiere seating. Also, a table flight attendant will be assisting corporate tables with checking auction items, retrieving desserts and getting drinks from the bar. General reservation guests may purchase a flight attendant for an additional $40 per table.

Mothers of WIU students, who are visiting for WIU Mom's Day, will receive $10 off each ticket, if they attend with their WIU student. Any WIU Mom attending the gala, who is staying in a local hotel, will receive a special gala swag bag, provided by the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Tables of eight, nine or 10 are available. Reservations can be made online at or by calling (309) 298-1618.

"The Come Fly With Me Gala and Auction is a 'must-attend' event for anyone who likes to travel," Thorman, said. "There are plenty of opportunities to leave this event with your next trip in the works."

For more information, visit

Posted By: Erika D Davis (
Office of University Relations