The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Community supporting the Arts: OPAS Encore announces theme for 2024 gala

David+Gardner+reminisces+about+his+past+37+years+as+one+of+the+biggest+supporters+of+OPAS%26%23160%3Bduring+the%26%23160%3BOPAS+theme+announcement%26%23160%3Bon+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+27%2C+2023.
Photo by Photo by Abdurahman Azeez

David Gardner reminisces about his past 37 years as one of the biggest supporters of OPAS during the OPAS theme announcement on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.

David Gardner’s Jewelers hosted the preview party for the OPAS Encore theme announcement on Wednesday, Sept. 27. 

OPAS Encore is the fundraising branch for OPAS, a non-profit organization that helps send elementary and middle school age children to live theater performances in and around the Brazos Valley. Every January, OPAS Encore hosts a gala to raise funds for the program to send more children to these performances. The theme for the 2024 OPAS Gala was announced on Sept. 27 at David Gardner’s Jewelers: Under the Arabian Moon.  

The David Gardner’s marketing team has been hard at work preparing for the influx of OPAS Encore donations this year, marketing representative Abbey Miller said. 

“The marketing team is solely focused on donations in preparation for OPAS,” Miller said. “We meet with the OPAS team and discuss what we’re going to raffle. This year we’re doing two $8,000 gift cards, and if all 600 raffle tickets sell, then a third gift card will be drawn for $10,000.” 

This year, the OPAS Encore and David Gardner’s marketing team is hoping to bring in the largest amount of donations yet, marking representative Taylor Neville said. 

“OPAS usually raises around $60,000 from the raffle tickets,” Neville said. “We want that number to be even higher, so that’s part of my job. David Gardner’s hosts the preview party, where they announce the theme for January, so that draws a lot of attention to the raffle as well.”  
The “Under the Arabian Moon” Gala in January will feature sponsorship opportunities, live auction items and a chance for patrons to come together and have a good time, raffle representative for OPAS Encore Robin Rackley said. 
“I am so excited about the amount of money we are going to raise to help us send children to OPAS events,” Rackley said. “Every student in the Brazos Valley, third grade through eighth grade, gets to attend an OPAS event. It’s exposure to the arts. Children who otherwise may not have that opportunity are able to see what it’s about and it may change their trajectory.” 

Some of the upcoming performances include Mean Girls, Little Women, Jesus Christ Superstar, Come From Away and To Kill a Mockingbird featuring Richard Thomas as Atticus Finch. Richard Thomas is an Emmy Award-winning actor most well known for his role as John-Boy Walton in the hit show, “The Waltons.” 

“I love seeing the community come together and love seeing the community raise money to send children to these events which within themselves are incredible,” Rackley said. “We’re in a very small town, and we get to see Broadway performances and that’s just amazing. We get to introduce children to these experiences who may not be able to travel and may not have ever been to a theater or seen a live play.” 
To find out more information about OPAS Encore and how to support the performing arts community, visit the OPAS Encore website

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