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Film Commission fundraiser rolls out the red carpet
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Over a 140 guests filled the Carnegie Arts Center on Sunday for a Hollywood themed fundraiser to benefit the Turlock Film Commission. - photo by Photo courtesy of Tasha Van Santen

Flashing cameras welcomed VIPs as they stepped out of their limousines Sunday night and onto the red carpet. After fielding questions from “paparazzi” guests were ushered into an elegantly decorated ballroom by Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe.

This was not the scene of an A-list party during Hollywood’s golden age, but rather a Tinseltown themed fundraiser for the Turlock Film Commission.

Turlock Goes Hollywood was the film commission’s first fundraiser since its inception a year ago. The evening event included a dinner catered by Toscana’s Ristorante, screening of the Academy Awards ceremony, entertainment, and live and silent auctions, all held at the Carnegie Arts Center in downtown Turlock.

“Everybody had a great time,” said film commission co-founder and Turlock Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Sharon Silva. “It was a beautiful evening and it was great to utilize such a wonderful building.”

Organizers of the sold-out event encouraged guests to wear formal attire or dress as a favorite movie star.

“People dressed to the hilt,” Silva said. “It’s not something you normally get to do.”

Turlock Unified School District Superintendent Sonny Da Marto chaired the event committee, whose goal was to raise enough funds to launch the film commission’s website.

Along with a website, Silva said the commission is working on getting a membership base together to be called upon when the film industry comes to town.

The commission was the brainchild of local business owner Michael Everett and Silva. The commission’s goal is to woo film producers to do business in Turlock. While still in its infancy, the commission has already had some success. In August 2011, Modesto-based sister band the PreZcotts shot two music videos. Their videos, directed by Rich Correll — creator/director of “Hannah Montana,” “Suite Life of Zack & Cody” and “That’s So Raven” — were filmed in different locations in town with the help of the Turlock Film Commission.

To learn more about the Turlock Film Commission, contact Silva at the Chamber of Commerce, 632-2221.