It’s a Circus at Center for Creative Education

Circus Clown, Bruce Helander, Gregg Halmos

Circus Clown, Bruce Helander, Gregg Halmos

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Center for Creative Education uses art to help disadvantaged kids get ahead academically and applied some of its own magic for the group’s 20th anniversary celebration, “Circus at the Center.”

CCE’s headquarters were transformed into a circus tent for the occasion. Clowns, acrobats and musicians entertained supporters, and two stars of “Tuck Everlasting,” 11-year-old newcomer Sarah Lewis and Broadway pro Andrew Keenan-Bolger, gave a sneak preview of the Broadway-bound musical.

Lynne Wise Smith, Cheryl Gowdy

Lynne Wise Smith and Cheryl Gowdy

The center works across Palm Beach County, providing in-school and after-school programs to many students considered “at risk.” It uses the arts as a vehicle to teach children science, math and reading, and in other areas of education. CCE is also hired by private and independent schools to provide arts-integrated instruction.

Last year, the center served more than 12,000 children and worked with children in more than 50 school sites.

“Arts certainly took center stage at our benefit tonight,” said Bruce Helander, ringmaster at the event, along with co-chairs Cheryl Gowdy and Vicki Halmos.

The three co-chairmen, along with honorary co-chairs and mother-daughter duo Donna Long and Wendy Fritz, led a host committee that included Maribel Alvarez, Carl Bartel, Gigi and Harry Benson, Jackie and Beau Breckenridge, Peter Burrus, Susie Dwinell, Camila Helander, Claudia Helander, Vicki and Chris Kellogg, Margaret Luce, Pamela Miller, Morgan O’Connor, Pamela O’Connor, Jim Pappas, Aeyung Park de Melo, Pam Paton, Jillian Percella, Lisa Rowan, Tyler Sargent, Linda Soper, Carol Anne and John Stiglmeier, Bruce Sutka, Butch and Melinda Trucks, Michele Vogel, and Lynne Wise Smith.

Click photos to enlarge.

During the cocktail hour, guests were presented projects from CCE’s recent collaboration with the Benjamin School. Next, in the “center ring,” aerialists and a James Brown Tribute band performed.

Several items were up for auction during the Dec. 6, 2014, event, including an original Bruce Helander collage commemorating the Center’s 20th anniversary, four days and three nights at the world-renowned Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, two weeks in the Swiss Alps with Village Camps for one child and an original artwork by Nadine Kalachnikoff.

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio presented CCE with a proclamation honoring the group.

The evening’s sponsors included Altima International, Wilmington Trust, Field of Greens, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Provident Jewelry.

For more information, call CCE at (561) 805-9927.

Photos by Michael Price.

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