When a wedded couple celebrates their 30th anniversary, the traditional gift of a pearl symbolizes the many layers -- or years -- in which the pearl cultivates its beauty and strength.
This year, the Bexley Education Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary as well, and is planning a party that's been three decades in the making.
BRAVO! -- dubbed "a party with a purpose" -- is the foundation's annual extravaganza to raise funds for the group's classroom and district-wide grant program.
This year's BRAVO! event will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 23, returning once again to the Limited Brands World Headquarters, 3 Limited Parkway, in Columbus.
"The team has put together a fantastic 30th anniversary celebration," said Linda Sinoway, who is serving as co-chairwoman of the event along with Allison Lowery Palmer. "It's going to be a fabulous night."
With more than 24 vendors on hand, some 150 silent auction items, and the night's special feature, a Champagne Pearl Raffle, Sinoway said it's going to be a celebration to remember.
Other events at BRAVO! will include an auction of children's artwork, a cash bar, family photo opportunities and temporary henna tattoos.
Last year, some 800 tickets were sold for the event, and Sinoway expects about the same this year.
Highlighting the night is the 30th Anniversary Champagne Pearl Raffle. Sinoway said only a limited number of chances, 150 in all, will be sold. A $25 ticket buys a glass of champagne, a $25 free gift card to Star Jewelers in Bexley, and a chance to win the pearl necklace.
Of course, the annual children's auction returns to BRAVO!, with items donated from every elementary school classroom in the district. Items for bid from a vintage photograph to hand-painted collages and bird flash cards.
Food vendors on hand will include Raising Cane's, the Rusty Bucket, Johnson's Ice Cream, The Top, City Barbeque, Cafe Istanbul, Pizza Plus, Tim Horton's, the Thirsty Turtle and more.
Sinoway said she's thrilled to be able to present a number of exciting silent auction items this year, including two "Hollywood-style" experiences. BRAVO! organizers have secured a VIP set visit for two to the taping of How I Met Your Mother starring Bexley alum Josh Radnor, along with tickets to see The Colbert Report.
Other silent auction items include a one-day guided steelhead fly fishing trip in Michigan, a one-week get-away at a condo in Mexico, Ohio State University basketball and football tickets, and several local art pieces, to name a few.
"We've had a phenomenal response from everyone," said Sinoway in planning this year's anniversary event. "It speaks really well of the community."
For the first time, attendees will also be able to move through check-out lines much faster. Sinoway said several stations will be open to check out patrons, with multiple credit card machines as well. She expects the process to be much quicker this year, making for some pretty happy customers.
Tickets for BRAVO! are $50 each, or $75 for a Patron Donation. They can be purchased at the Bexley Education Foundation offices or online at bexleyeductionfoundation.org.
Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event for $60 each.