By Kathy Jefcoats
Saturday was the night and Clayton College & State University was the place for baked brie and pate, kung pow beef and spring rolls, fish stew and roasted chicken with cous cous, and curry beef and mushrooms - an international menu that helped set the stage for the annual Cultural Crossroads fund raiser.
The French, Chinese, Indian, African, American, Mexican and German cuisine gave art and education supporters a taste of the evening's entertainment. Performing artists served up African drums, an international medley of song, Irish step dancing, jazz, Indian dance and a Philippine choral and dance group. The latter was surely intended to pay homage to Dr. Manolo Apanay, a Philippine native who practiced general surgery in Clayton County for 30 years before retiring several years ago.
A $1,500 Dr. Manolo "Manny" Apanay art scholarship is awarded annually to a Clayton County student who plans to study visual or performing arts at the college.
"I love music," said Apanay. "I can't sing but I love music. I would come to Spivey Hall for presentations and the music relaxed me."
The scholarship was established while Apanay was still active in the arts and education community. His past leadership includes serving on the university foundation's Board of Trustees, president of the Clayton, Fayette and Henry Medical Society and as director of Arts Clayton.
"When I retired, I wasn't as active in the community anymore and I thought they might not do the scholarship anymore," he said. "But they kept it going and this year, they decided to hold Cultural Crossroads in my name. I feel very honored tonight."
To boost the scholarship fund, a silent auction was held featuring original works by Georgia artists, caricatures by FitzRoy were created for $10 each and a diverse group of displayed art was available for sale. Apanay said he hopes the students who have gotten the scholarship - and will continue to do so - will take full advantage of their academic opportunities.
"I hope whatever they do - and we've seen students go on to be very successful - that they will do well," he said. "I hope the community continues to support the scholarship. I'd like to see it get bigger because there is so much diversity in Clayton County."
The fundraiser was co-hosted by Clayton County Chairman Crandle Bray and his wife; chairman challenger Eldrin Bell, the medical society, the college and the Arts Clayton Board of Directors. The scholarship will be awarded in June.