January 27, 2022

5 night trip to Little Cayman up for bid at MMHF gala

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MMHF gala will raise funds for addiction services

Surprises will keep guests engaged at the Once Upon a Time Gala, a fundraiser for Margaret Mary Health Foundation, Saturday, Sept. 29, at The Barn at Walhill Farm, Batesville.

The sixth annual gala’s tagline is “in pursuit of happily ever afters.” That’s because the paddle raiser will gather dollars for MMH’s new addiction services program, according to Mary Dickey, Margaret Mary Health Foundation executive director.

“I’m not sure anyone around here can say they haven’t been affected or haven’t known someone who’s been affected” by addiction, she points out. “As the problem continues to escalate, we knew that we needed to do something. Substance abuse was No. 1 on the Margaret Mary Health community needs assessment that was done in 2016. When we create our strategic plan and look at the initiatives we want to focus on, we take that information very seriously.”

To get the crowd enthused, the paddle raiser announcer asks for bids of $5,000, then $1,000, then other amounts in increments down to $50. There’s a lot of applause and amazement at donors’ generosity.

Dickey believes, “This is such an important year because of what we’re raising money for that I really want to get people in the door. We have space for 250.”

The elegant evening begins with a 5:30-7 p.m. complimentary cocktail hour. Appetizers include bacon-wrapped, blue cheese-stuffed dates; Benedictine cucumber and cheese; sausage-stuffed mushrooms; and ricotta and honey bruschetta.

On the 7:30 p.m. dinner menu are arugula salad with grilled plums, shaved Parmesan cheese, lemon and olive oil; beef ragu with root vegetables; lemon and thyme chicken breast; roasted shallot mashed potatoes; and roasted fall vegetables. Pavlova with berries and crème fraiche, and salted caramel and apple galette are the desserts.

Dinner music is a fresh enhancement. Heartland Acoustic, Shelbyville, blends the “phenomenal voices” of Miranda Moore and Nick Fischer.

Two auctions let guests select trips, items and services to remember the event. Silent auction bidding begins in the barn at 5:30 p.m.

Eager bidders can start the fun even earlier. Online silent auction bidding will open Sept. 16 and close that night. She explains, “Anyone that bids online will get a text giving them a 10-minute warning with the closing time.” The advantage? “Even if you can’t attend, you can still bid.”

So far silent auction items include jewelry, events tickets, photography packages, artwork, Adirondack chairs, golf lessons, kids’ parties, massages, carpet cleaning and lawn services.

The live auction takes place after dinner. Up for bid will be a five-night trip to Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman Island; a Big Green Egg grill and smoker; Bolognese sauce making and gourmet dinner for 14 at Grandpa’s Wurst Haus, Enochsburg; Bernedoodle puppy; Indian dinner for 12; and live edge coffee table, with more listings to come.

Auction donations are welcome until the Sept. 10 deadline. Live and silent auction items may be viewed online soon.

Dancing to the music of new band Flashback will round out the evening from 9:30 p.m.-midnight. Vocalist Fischer also is part of the six-person central Indiana band, led by Catfish Davis, which blends sounds of two guitars, bass, keyboards, sax and drums into funk, blues and rock tunes.

Cocktail attire is encouraged.

The event is “not to be missed, when guests should expect the unexpected.” Dickey describes it as “an evening of fabulous food and music, new and unique auction items and after the auction is over, it’s a party. Enjoy the giving party during the cocktail hour by bidding on silent auction items and participating in the wine and bourbon pull and fun games of skill.”

This fundraiser is important “because the money raised helps us to provide grants for programs, services, equipment and initiatives at MMH that may not otherwise be possible.” The executive director reports, “Last year we raised more than $130,000.”

She emphasizes, “This is not an invitation-only event. If you are interested in coming, we would welcome your attendance.” Dickey can provide invitations at 812-933-5141 or [email protected].

Gala tickets are $100 per person. There also are sponsorship levels: Silver Sponsor, $500, includes two tickets; Gold Sponsor, $1,000, includes four tickets; Platinum Sponsor, $2,000, includes eight tickets.

Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.mmhealth.org/annual-foundation-gala-2018 or by contacting Dickey.

Prospective attendees shouldn’t procrastinate. “Last year it sold out. Already over half the tickets are sold just through the sponsorships.”

“Hillenbrand/Batesville is our title sponsor again for the second year in a row.” The executive director adds, “We still have a few corporate sponsorships available”: one dessert sponsor, $2,000; one video sponsor, $2,500; and one dinner sponsor, $3,000.

Persons who want to support the foundation, but are unable to attend may purchase raffle tickets at $20 each or three for $50 or, of course, make tax-deductible donations in any amount.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at [email protected] or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

Event organizers

A committee led by Dickey will make the magic happen. Members include Brenda Benning, Mindy Bunselmeier, Kasi Christin, Thais Cook, Alyssa Dickey, Kim Dieckmann, Tracy Dwenger, Susan Gigrich, Amy Gutzwiller, Elizabeth Hall, Michaela Hamin, Liz Kellerman, Geralyn Litzinger, Darci Metcalf, Diana Storms, Lisa Tuveson, Andrea Wade and Venita Williams.

“We can always use more volunteers if people want to help” with event setup or by being on the committee in future years.

For more on this story go to; http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.com/news/local_news/mmhf-gala-will-raise-funds-for-addiction-services/article_9511579d-8926-502c-8b42-eceb3826f599.html

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