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(Guests at the Hylton Center 13th Anniversary. Photo courtesy of Melisa Pasero Photography.)

The Hylton Performing Arts Center presents a special evening of festivities for its 14th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, April 27, starting at 6 p.m. The one-night celebration includes: an elegant cocktail reception; dinner program including an honoree tribute and Raise Your Paddle fundraiser; and an opportunity to mingle with other attendees at a post-dinner reception. The Raise Your Paddle fundraiser in support of the Veterans and the Arts Initiative will feature a performance by Adiza Jibril, Mason alumna and vocalist in The U.S. Army. Guests will enjoy live music during the post-dinner dessert reception.

Hylton Center Executive Director Rick Davis expands upon his excitement for the 14th Anniversary Gala, stating, “Every year the Hylton Gala celebrates something very special, something that resonates beyond the walls of our beautiful arts venue—it celebrates the community that created the Hylton Center and the many communities that the Hylton Center has helped create in the 14 years since we opened our doors.”

The 14th Anniversary Gala will honor Dr. Sam and Lillian Hill and the Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation for their contributions to the Hylton Center and throughout Prince William County. Funds raised support the Hylton Center’s artistic programming, Veterans and the Arts InitiativeEducation Initiative, and endowment, ensuring artistic excellence across performances and offerings.

Sam and Lillian Hill have long been champions of education in the greater Prince William County area. Dr. Sam Hill served as the provost at the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College for 17 years, retiring in 2022. During that time, he was instrumental in growing enrollment, transforming the physical campus, and expanding programming. The Hills have a robust history of community involvement. Sam served as a commissioner on the Prince William County Future 2030 Commission, as well as a board member for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, and the Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas and Prince William County (now known as ARTfactory). The Hills have supported the Hylton Center since its inception as Copper Circle members, Take a Seat campaign donors, capital campaign co-chairs, and regular performance attendees.

The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation, led by Conrad Hylton, president of the Hylton Group, has supported a wide range of charitable causes across Prince William County and the Northern Virginia area since its establishment in 1989. From the arts to human and family services, education, health, and other community interests, their philanthropic spirit has breathed life into this region. Cecil D. Hylton was the founder of the Hylton Group, a real estate development company that built tens of thousands of homes and developed the localities of Dale City, Manassas Park, Marumsco, and more in the 1970s. The Hyltons have made an impact on this region in various ways, including the Cecil D. Hylton Memorial Chapel and the Irene V. Hylton Planetarium at C.D. Hylton High School. Their support has also included the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington (Hylton Club) and The Hylton Family Birthing Center at UVA Health Prince William Medical Center. The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation has been an ardent supporter of the Hylton Performing Arts Center since its earliest days, providing a catalyzing gift in 2007 to complete the construction of the Hylton Center. The Foundation has also provided critical operating support, ensuring that this region continues to have access to artistic excellence.

Executive Director Rick Davis adds, “This year’s honorees reflect those communities so beautifully—the Hylton Family Foundation has left an indelible imprint on institutions around our region and Sam and Lillian Hill have worked tirelessly to build community through their devotion to education, the arts, and other charitable works. I am excited to share the contributions of our honorees with a wonderful group of patrons and friends, old and new, and to celebrate the power of the arts to make the world a more welcoming place for all.”

The Hylton Center 14th Anniversary Gala Schedule:

Saturday, April 27
6 p.m. – Reception in Didlake Grand Foyer
7:30 p.m. – Dinner, Honoree Tribute, and Raise Your Paddle Fundraiser on Merchant Hall Stage
9 to 11 p.m. – Live music and post-dinner dessert reception

Individual tickets and table sponsorship can be purchased on the Hylton Center website.

For more information about Gala tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
Dylan Lambert at 703-993-7061 or [email protected], or visit the Hylton Center website.

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