The Babylon Great Hall at Carroll Community College was transformed into a disco paradise Friday night for the school's ninth annual Starry Night Gala fundraiser. The event featured a cocktail hour, silent auction and a performance by the tribute band ABBA Mania.
Steve Wantz, of the Carroll Community College Foundation, said the money raised by the event will go to support technology purchases throughout the campus as well as scholarships available to students of need and of exceptional ability. Wantz said money raised at past fundraisers has gone to support modernized chemistry labs in the school's science department.
Over the past eight years of fundraisers, the foundation has raised more than $560,000 for student programs, according to college spokeswoman Sylvia Blair.
Wantz said every year the foundation works to select a theme for the event. This year, he cited the popularity of the "Mamma Mia" Broadway show and film as the reasoning behind the selection of ABBA Mania for the entertainment. In order to match with the concert, the Babylon Great Hall was decked out in a '70s theme, complete with disco balls.
This year featured a new twist to the annual silent auction, with the introduction of a live auctioneer. Wantz said the plan was to have the auctioneer take up items experiencing a silent bidding war to the front of the room for a flash live auction as a way to add an air of excitement to the bids.
After the silent auction and cocktail hour, the guests made their way to the Scott Theater at the college for a two-hour performance by ABBA Mania, consisting of the band's biggest hits, including "Mamma Mia," "Dancing Queen" and "Super Trouper."
Wantz said the event has brought more money each year compared to the previous, and the foundation was hoping to earn $100,000 at this year's gala.
Reach staff writer Jacob deNobel at 410-857-7890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.