An Evening in Amalfi – Ciao After Dark
It was a beautiful night under the stars on the Amalfi Coast. There were lots of lemons and hues of bright blues, whites, and oranges all capturing the freshness of spring and the beauty of the Italian coastal line. Lemon tree ladies and living statues provided interest and an element of fun.
Ciao After Dark took place on Friday, April 21st, from 7-11pm on the grounds of Camp Aldersgate. VIP Sponsors and their guests were greeted with Aperol Spritzes at 6pm and treated to fine wines and small bites.
The party began at 7pm where guests could choose how to map their own Amalfi adventure. From campus tours and carousel rides, to shopping the Italian Marketplace and Art Gallery, guests had plenty of options to enjoy. The marketplace had several unique items this year including beautiful artwork – some of which was painted especially for this night!
Speaking of art, local Conway artist Steve Griffith joined us and painted a beautiful Amalfi coast scene titled Paradise. Guests watched the oil canvas transform into a vibrant scene as the night continued.
Of course, Ciao wouldn’t be complete without some delicious food. Guests enjoyed wood-fired pizzas, pasta, charcuterie, gelato, espresso martinis, and more. One of the showstoppers was the ice sculpture where limoncello was poured through, putting the chill in the ‘cello.’
At 7:47pm, guests gathered for our sunset surprise at the “Beach Club,” located outside of the Commons. Two unsuspecting waiters broke out into song and playful bantering, channeling Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. These Amazing Waiters gave our evening a fun twist!
The party had just begun after our surprise entertainment! After dark, we heard from Camp Aldersgate’s Board President, Jay Mitchell and CEO, Sonya Schmidt Murphy, along with Ciao Event Chair Shannon Aston and her son Drew Aston. Drew was one of our inaugural Kota campers and has been an advocate for Camp Aldersgate since. He shared his story with the crowd and encouraged guests to donate to help us reach our goal that evening. At that time, we needed $20,000 to reach our goal of raising $150,000. (Spoiler alert: Ciao After Dark broke records and raised a gross total of over $162,000!)
After hearing from our speakers, After Dark’s first-ever live auction commenced. Guests had a chance to bid on a Giant Escape 3 bike donated by Spokes Giant Little Rock, a custom tailored Zegna suit donated by Baumans Fine Men’s Clothing, the live painting by Steve Griffith and a four-course Italian Dinner al Fresco for up to 20 people donated by Drs. Hobart-Porter.
The rest of the evening included gelato, espresso martinis and a silent disco provided by Silent Events, complemented with a fire show! Guests danced the night away around the bonfire, while Roman Holiday played in the background.
This night would not have been made possible without the support of our sponsors, hosts, donors, event committee, guests and friends of Camp Aldersgate. Thanks to your support, we raised a record-breaking $162,000! All funds go directly towards our mission of creating life-changing experiences for individuals with special needs. Thank you for supporting Camp Aldersgate and the campers we serve.
Stay tuned for where we will travel next year at After Dark! Until then…Ciao, friends!