Rita and Steve Schaefer, one of the couples in the pay-to-vote costume contest for the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, are Dickens' Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge. Photo by Greg Strelecki

Rita and Steve Schaefer, one of the couples in the pay-to-vote costume contest for the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, are Dickens’ Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge. Photo by Greg Strelecki

By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor

Let’s call it cosplay for charity.

The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA), in Buckhead, has enlisted local celebrities to play a grown-up, dress-up game in an effort to raise funds for the museum’s children’s art programs. To that end, 16 well-known local residents, and couples, have channeled Halloween a little early and put on costumes to shoot photos that the public is invited to pay to vote on – hence the fundraising – in an effort to name a contest winner.

The locals participating? Babs and Hiram Johnston; Bob and Rose Mary Hughes; Chuck Hanes and Elizabeth Collins; Claudia and Ken Davis; Karen and Peter Wibbell; Katie Wibbell; Christine McCauley; Leigh Lofgren; Lydia Ivanditti; Mickey and Emmie Smock; Kim and Rob Watts; Jake Grant and Luna; Steve and Rita Schaeffer; Karen Strelecki; and Ruth Porter and the Zumbies.

Voters should go to steffenthomas.org and click on the “d’Art Shadows” banner at the top of the homepage to be taken to the page with contestants’ pictures, where voting is enabled through PayPal; and those who wish to can donate-vote for more than one contestant(s). The single or couple with the most money donated wins the contest.

But it doesn’t stop there.

STMA will hold a “grown-ups only” event – “d’Art Shadows: Come as You Aren’t” – on Oct. 26 from 7-10 p.m. at the museum, where the winner of this online contest will be awarded. Additionally, the party includes a live costume contest, and a winner from those in attendance at the party will also be chosen, and will win a prize.

“The folks at STMA think this is going to be the best and most entertaining fundraiser we’ve ever had! Our celebrity costume contestants had a GREAT time dressing up for the competition and we think tons of people in the community will feel the same way and pull those crazy Halloween costumes out of their creepy old attics and join us for a howling good time!” STMA’s Karen Strelecki said.

Tickets to the party are $35. The d’Art Shadows party will include a “Thriller” dance-off with the Zumbies of Madison Fitness Center, food from Save Room for Seconds, “Dr. Demento’s cash ‘laBARatory,’” a silent-as-the-grave auction – no, we can’t make this stuff up – music and a light show. A hand-hammered, sterling silver bracelet with freshwater pearls, from Aurum Studios, will be raffled off as well; raffle tickets are one for $10 or three for $25.

What’s going on with all these costumes?

“d’Art Shadows: Come as You Aren’t”

A Steffen Thomas Museum costume contest and party for adults

Fundraiser for children’s art programs

Saturday, Oct. 26, 7-10 p.m.

At the museum, 4200 Bethany Road, Buckhead

Tickets are $35

For more information, 706-342-7557 or steffenthomas.org

Vote for your favorite costumed local celebrity at steffenthomas.org