Catalina Island Museum turns 65 celebration planned for Sept. 8

Pop Nouveau. Courtesy photo

The Catalina Island Museum has come a long way. In 1953 Philip K. Wrigley and a group of community leaders founded the Catalina Island Museum to be a “well-rounded” museum with a variety of exhibitions that preserved and shared the extraordinary history of Catalina Island. Now, 65 years later it has completely fulfilled that vision with the success of the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building and is proud to be the oldest non-profit serving the public in Avalon.

To celebrate this amazing milestone, the museum is planning an unforgettable afternoon of art and entertainment in our spectacular outdoor plazas on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m. Surrounded by stunning views of Avalon, guests will enjoy a hosted cocktail hour, world-class magic, a fine selection of heavy appetizers, cool jazz and a silent and live auction filled with creatively curated opportunities and items.

Celebrity Auctioneer: Matt Rogers

In addition to being an auctioneer, Matt Rogers is a TV personality and singer/songwriter. He got his start as a finalist on season three of “American Idol,” has been a host of numerous television shows and has served as a correspondent for a variety of entertainment and sports shows. He is a graduate of the University of Washington where he played football as an offensive lineman for the 2001 Rose Bowl championship team.

Currently, you can see him on the Hallmark Channel’s daily talk show “Home & Family.” He is probably best known for hosting “Coming Home,” a reality docu-series on Lifetime which followed the surprise reunions of military members and their loved ones, as they returned home from active duty. He even wrote and performed the theme song for that series, titled “I’m Coming Home,” which has since served as a voice for the experience of military families around the country.

During a recent visit to the museum, Rogers promised a “live auction like Catalina Island has never seen before!”



Whit “Pop” Haydn has been dubbed a “legend in magic.” He has opened for the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, the Smothers Brothers, Loretta Lynn and numerous others. He has performed on large cruise ships of many different lines, including the Queen Elizabeth 2, and the Diamond Princess. Working hotels and casinos including Caesars Tahoe, Haydn was one of the first acts chosen in 1996 to open Caesars Magical Empire in Las Vegas.

In March 2015, he was named Stage Magician of the Year at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. He is the winner of seven Performer of the Year awards from the Magic Castle, the clubhouse of the Academy of Magical Arts.

Live Music

Pop Nouveau is known for transforming top pop hits into swinging, sultry, jammin’, jazz classics. The group has over 50 years of combined experience and has performed at thousands of events all over the world. Members have collaborated with international pop star Pitbull on the hit song “Fireball”, Mexican pop artist Yahir, Macy Gray, Barry Manilow, Englebert Humperdink, opened for the legendary Kenny G, as well as many others!

Silent and Live Auction

The museum and its celebration committee have been carefully selecting unique items and experiences for its silent and live auction. Bidders will have the opportunity to take a flight on a P-51 Mustang – an experience that cannot be bought – plus getaways to Hawaii, the central California coast, and travel to Las Vegas aboard a private jet! Other offerings include a limited-edition Houdini pinball machine, Catalina Island paintings and memorabilia, exclusive access to the Magic Castle and the annual Houdini séance, tickets to the opera and sporting events, wine tastings, private movie screening, boat excursions and much, much more!

Catering and Specialty Cocktail

Executive Chef Kathleen Vojkovich-Bombard from Zest catering will delight celebration goers with a variety of delectable hors d’oeuvres. Vojkovich-Bombard, a second-generation native of Catalina Island, was raised in a family whose cultural heritage sparked her passion for food. Her father and grandfather were fishermen and her parents owned the only fish market on the island. Following a three-year stint as executive sous chef for the Casino Ballroom and Descanso Beach Club and managing several other kitchens and restaurants, she enrolled in the Pro Chef Program at the Culinary Institute of America. She is always looking for new trends and inspirations, continuing her education in the off-season months. Most recently she staged at Tilth in Seattle with Chef Maria Hines, and Providence in Los Angeles under Chef Michael Cimarusti. For the past seven years, she has been invited to participate as a working chef in the World of Flavor Conference at the Culinary Institute of America. Through her catering company Zest, located at the “M”, she has been able to showcase her interpretation of seasonal ingredients to produce simple yet elegant dishes, with international flavors that make up her Modern American Cuisine.

The evening will feature wine by Rusack Vineyards and a specialty cocktail created by Margaret Bray at Maggie’s Blue Rose especially for the celebration. Taking inspiration from the immensely popular Vincent Van Gogh painting “Starry Night,” Bray created a refreshing bubbly cocktail of the same name for the museum’s guests to enjoy.

Proceeds from this first-ever fundraising event will support further preservation and research of Catalina Island history, diverse exhibitions and educational and public programming.

The Catalina Island Museum’s 65th Anniversary Celebration event takes place on September 8th from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Tickets are $175 per person. Space is limited and tickets are selling fast. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Avenue. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 or at its website:


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