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Friends of St. Avips

The Legacy of St. Avips

St. Avips, or “Spiva” in reverse, embodies the history, dedication, and passion of Joplin’s art community. Conceived by Mary Stanley, a close friend of George Spiva, this initiative was designed to financially support and sustain the art center. Its inception can be traced back to May 1962, when the first-ever St. Avips Ball was organized at the Connor Hotel. Over the decades, this annual event has become a much-anticipated occasion.

The core of St. Avips is driven by 40 dedicated volunteers who come together each year with a singular goal: to orchestrate a gala to garner funds for Spiva. These members pledge their time and embrace the opportunity to host the ball, with a planned schedule stretching all the way to 2031. The roles they assume vary, from curating invitations and decorations to overseeing food and more, culminating in an event that epitomizes community spirit.

A Shift in Strategy, a Growth in Donations

For many years, while St. Avips’ contributions to Spiva were cherished, they weren’t substantial. However, a shift occurred in 1998 when the group started actively seeking underwriting for the ball. This strategic move invited companies and individuals to financially back various facets of the event, from the wine on tables to the invitations sent out. 

By 2008, underwriting had surged to nearly $40,000. The boost in funds meant St. Avips could increase their donations to Spiva. As a testament to this growth, in 2023, the Friends of St. Avips contributed an impressive $120,000 to Spiva, taking their total donations since the group’s inception to over $1.2 million

Art, Auctions & Associations

Integral to the St. Avips ball is the Sana S. Shagets art auction, providing artists a platform to showcase their creations and simultaneously raise funds for Spiva. 

The bond between St. Avips and Spiva goes beyond financial contributions. While members of St. Avips often find representation on the Spiva board, both entities operate autonomously, often uniting in collaboration and support. It’s this mutual respect and shared vision that forms the cornerstone of this partnership, all in the pursuit of ensuring art plays a valuable role in our community.

Learn more about the Friends of St. Avips 

Thank You to the 2024 Underwriters

Artist Circle

Lance and Sharon Beshore | Debra and David Humphreys | MacCo Builders

Patron Level

Mitch and Melanie Dolloff | Freeman Health System | Leggett & Platt, Incorporated

Cherub Level

Mike and Juanita Cragin | Edward Jones – Logan Stanley, Ryan Stanley | FORVIS Private Client Michael A., Mary Louise & Christine L. Glauber Foundation | Guaranty Bank Wealth Management Guru Marketing | Dr. and Mrs. Todd Moen | The Satterlee Family

Platinum Level

Dr. and Mrs. Brant Ansley | Kent and Karolee Blanchard | Carlin – Bandy Family Foundation | Christy Cragin | Gay Cragin Currence | Scott Cragin | Crossland Construction Company, Inc. | Dorothy and Rudy Farber | Mark and Leigh Frogge | GB Engineering – Civil Engineering and Design Steve and Diana Graddy | Brian and Amy Ipsen | Dee Kassab | Kile and Heather Lesmeister | Dr. Rob and Mrs. Karen Lieurance | Dr. and Mrs. Ryan Longnecker | Maningas Cosmetic Surgery | Brad and Emily McIntyre | Mid-Missouri Bank | Renée and John Motazedi | Joe and Rebecca Newman | Sara V. Newman | In loving memory of Diane Pine | Rob and Cari Renger | Satterlee Plumbing, Heating, & Air | Mike and Kristi Seibert | Anne Sharp | Dr. and Mrs. Newt Sharp | Frank W. Shagets, M.D. | Mindy and Steven St. Clair | Stephen and Michelle Wade | Justin Thomas – The Wild Flower

Gold Level

Arvest Wealth Management | BBC Electrical Services, Inc. | Corner Greer & Associates | Davis CPA Group | Liberty Utilities | The Insurancenter | Mercy | Amanda and Philip Mitchell Southwest Missouri Bank

Silver Level

Paula and Gene Baker | Susan Burleigh | CNC Machine Products, Inc. | Alan and Lori Marble | Sebastian Equipment Company | Eric and Louise Secker | Larry and Jan Shelley | Mr. and Mrs. Donnie Simpson | Mitch and Deborah Stinnett | Mark Williams

In-Kind Donors

Athena Marketing & Events | Jill Brennan & Cary Oserowsky | Comeau Jewelry Company | Connect2Culture | Finn’s | La Boussole Medical Spa and Wellness Center | Maningas Wellness and Injectables | Pittcraft Printing | Mitzi Starkweather | USA Print & Digital Services, Linda and Keith Kuehle | Doughmen Kitchen | Wilder’s Steakhouse | Oasis Salon and Day Spa | Epic Drives | Dr. Brian and Amy Ipsen | Yeti Expeditions, LLC

Contact Us

Location & Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Wednesday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Thursday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Saturday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Sunday: Closed

212 W. 7th Street
Joplin, M0 64801