Telfair Ball – A Speakeasy-Inspired Fundraiser
Savannah’s biggest annual fundraiser needed to adjust in response to COVID-19 regulations and an ever-evolving nonprofit environment, so this year’s Telfair Ball featured an unconventional speakeasy theme.
Mary Telfair was best-known as a patron of the arts; however, her most notable contribution to American Foundering involved organizing Georgia’s state treasury.
Early Life and Education
Edward Telfair sent his three sons Josiah, Thomas and Alexander north for education; as adults they would become prominent men themselves. Their wealth allowed them to spend summers visiting New York City drawing rooms and Philadelphia public gathering places, while also remaining part of an aristocratic group that felt just at home there as Savannah.
As the COVID-19 crisis has altered nonprofit fundraising strategies, some organizations have altered their fundraising activities accordingly. Some have turned away from traditional gala events in favor of smaller, in-person breakout events; others have entirely switched their fundraisers online; for many local groups though, fundraising remains as crucial as ever, particularly when it comes to education – that is why Telfair Museums’ Annual Ball is such a crucial event – with this year’s event raising over 300k dollars!
Sebastian Telfair is a New York native who made a name for himself in basketball. From Brooklyn streets to grand arenas of NBA play-offs and beyond, Sebastian represents all that is best about American success stories: hard work and determination are central tenets of our sporting traditions.
Telfair made headlines throughout his high school career before being selected 13th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. Since then he has played point guard for eight different teams across his decade long NBA career.
He has enjoyed an outstanding international career, playing for Tianjin Ronggang and Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. Today, Telfair remains a significant figure in Savannah’s community, serving on boards such as United Way and Chamber, and serving on committees for this year’s Telfair Ball.
Achievement and Honors
Sebastian Telfair became one of the most talked-about high school basketball players ever before entering the NBA when the Portland Trail Blazers selected him 13th overall in 2004. But his remarkable rise from Brooklyn projects to a $20 million Adidas deal before graduating Lincoln High was even more astounding.
Savannah-based artists, designers and makers were at the core of Savannah’s decor at this year’s Telfair Ball. Following its theme “laissez les bons temps rouler!” — an homage to New Orleans and its Creole heritage — 20 local artists were invited to create two crowns as centerpieces for the evening’s festivities.
Sebastian Telfair was an elite high school recruit who decided to forego college and enter the NBA draft instead. Portland Trail Blazers took him 13th overall but he never lived up to expectations, playing for teams such as Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns during his short NBA career.
His personal life has also been fraught. In 2019, he was arrested on suspicion of weapon possession and is now serving a 3.5-year prison sentence.
This year’s Telfair Ball was inspired by Savannah’s French Quarter, described by McCurry as a cultural melting pot that provides musicians, visual artists and culinary artists an opportunity to flourish. Its overarching theme was “laissez les bon temps rouler”, or let the good times roll!
Sebastian Telfair played 10 years of professional basketball across various NBA teams and amassed an immense wealth through earnings that contributed to his net worth.
As a professional basketball player, he was initially drafted by Portland Trail Blazers in 2004 before going on to represent various organizations including Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder. Additionally he spent some time playing Chinese Basketball Association clubs including Tinjin Ronggang, Xinjiang Flying Tigers and Fuijan Sturgeons.
Telfair has made waves away from basketball as an entrepreneur and founder of 99 Moves, an organization designed to assist athletes with financial literacy. He is an active philanthropist, having supported numerous charitable causes. Furthermore, he shares two children with Samantha Rodriguez; their relationship remains amicable at present.