Ariane Dart’s 14th annual tea party took on an Irish flair Friday, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. Many of the afternoon’s 180 female guests arrived at the Coral Beach Cottage Garden dressed in green, ready to bid on eight auction items to benefit Cayman’s National Gallery.

The afternoon’s auction brought in nearly CI$25,000 for the National Gallery’s education programs. A murder mystery dinner for eight at the gallery sparked particular interest, and auctioneers decided to offer separate evenings to two guests, at CI$4,100 each.

National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart said the gallery must raise CI$500,000 a year to maintain free admission and to operate its educational programs. The gallery serves a broad range of ages, with the youngest student at 18 months old and the oldest at 100, Ms. Urquhart said.

Additional donations were raised for the Sponsor-a-Scholar program, which funds free youth art classes at the gallery. Each CI$100 donation funds materials and tuition for one student.

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