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|March of Dimes gala Oct. 20|
The March of Dimes Fifth Annual Gourmet Gala will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the West Monroe Convention Center.
Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with a wine tasting hosted by Glazer's. The honoree this year is Lou Toney, a registered nurse in the St. Francis Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit. She has worked with babies for over 28 years.
"I am very proud to announce that Kelsey Bourg, of Los Angeles, formerly of West Monroe, will serve as our emcee and star entertainer. Kelsey was a participant in the nationally televised show, "Dance Wars'. Her team, Team Bruno, won the competition," said event chairman Mark Sanders. "Kelsey became a fan favorite from the beginning of the series.
Since the show, Kelsey remained in Los Angeles, where she has performed in videos and live engagements. "We are so happy to have Kelsey with us," Sanders said.
"This year, the Gourmet Gala will reach new heights," said Sanders. "We have 24 chefs serving their signature dishes and offering fabulous dining experiences for the Chef's Auction. The event is a competition for the chefs and each one is going all out to capture the prizes."
Sanders said the tastings offered by the chefs include everything from sushi to Cajun dishes to wild game to specialty desserts. "It will truly be a taster's paradise."
An integral part of the event is the auctions. According to Sanders, the chef's auction packages are tremendous this year. "We have a Mexican Fiesta for 30, a dinner on a ranch and a duck hunt at the Wilhite family's private hunting compound, "Eagle's Nest," a dinner dance cruise for 20 on a luxurious houseboat, a rolling picnic, sushi rolling classes with dinner, and so many more that are just as great."
"The Silent Auction will feature a duck hunting trip to the private club of Elton Kennedy in Mer Rouge, original art by local and regional artists, autographed sports memorabilia from NFL starters, as well as the KNOE Top 28 Countdown football, donated by Aaron Dietrich." Sanders said other items of interest include a trip to Las Vegas, several fishing trips, and spa retreats.
"We are particularly happy this year to have the wonderful support from our area art community. Many local artists have contributed paintings, pottery, and jewelry. That part of the auction will be displayed and overseen by two local artists who can answer questions about the pieces of work." Sanders said.
"One item of particular interest for country music fans could be the Brooks and Dunn autographed jacket and final CD," Sanders said. "Since the duo has retired, those items could become valuable collectibles.
"Another item, which we expect to bring competitive bidding is a deer hunter's dream trip. This will be their opportunity to claim a trophy deer while enjoying the thrill of the hunt at Bosco Lodge, the area's newest managed white tail deer ranch."
Sanders said the 2009 Gourmet Gala is going to make for an evening that everyone will be looking forward to in 2010. "We are very grateful to our major sponsors, The Woman's Clinic, Louisiana Lottery and Louisiana Plastics. Of, course," he stated, "we appreciate all our sponsors and appreciate how so many people can come together in efforts to bring healthy babies into this world."