Scotland Memorial Foundation’s 19th annual Putting on the Ritz will offer its 480 attendees something “a little bit special.”
The Ritz will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday on the campus of Scotland Memorial Hospital in a ballroom tent erected for the occasion. The black-tie event traditionally offers an evening of dining, dancing, and donations to the Foundation, the charitable arm of Scotland Health Care System.
DJ Lloyd Hinson will provide music from 6-9 p.m., with the Craig Woolard Band, a six-man beach music ensemble, taking over until midnight. “I had them here for John Blue and you won’t believe the show they put on,” said Hinson. “Craig Woolard is the ultimate showman.”
Dinner and dessert are integral to the evening, with five dining stations open for guests to select from. This year’s offerings include prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese, crab napoleon, a sushi array, buffalo mozzarella ravioli with venison sausage, roasted strip loin, Duroc pork, pumpkin mousse, apple-cranberry tarts, and crepes made to order.
“We have chefs coming from throughout the Southeast to begin preparations for this event,” said Mike Vinson, Ritz chairman. “They’ll bring in a separate sushi chef and pastry chef - these guys are specialists at what they do. That always makes it seem a little bit special.”
Proceeds from the Ritz are directed to funding mammograms and health screenings for the uninsured and underinsured, as well as sports physicals for student athletes and other community health initiatives. In recent years, the Ritz has raised more $100,000 with each event.
“Our first party had 100 people in attendance I think and we raised about $10,000 that first year, and now we hope to raise in excess of $100,000,” said Vinson, who has chaired the Ritz since its inception in 1994.
This year’s Ritz underwriters include Morrison Healthcare Food Service, The Morgan Foundation, and the Dr. Thomas F. Henley/Focus On Hope, Inc. Foundation.
The silent auction, open for two hours during the Ritz, will feature 118 items donated from businesses in Scotland County and throughout the country: UNC and NC State basketball tickets, assorted pottery items, golfing and fishing vacations, spa treatments, and services ranging from a catered wine and hors d’oeuvres party for 10 people to bat and squirrel removal.
This year’s live auction offers nine items, many of them unique experiences like a round trip in a private plane to Myrtle Beach, S.C., a party for 100 at Scotch Meadows Country Club catered by Brady’s Flowers and Catering, and a guided quail hunt and overnight stay at Willow Oaks Plantation in Eden. The auction will close with the 2012 Fund the Need drive. All “bids” placed for Fund the Need will be donated to the Charles L. “Chuck” Hicks Cardiovascular Patient Assistance Fund.
“The announcement of the final amount of funds is always a high point - that will follow our Fund the Need auction, which this year is funding the Charles Hicks Memorial for cardiovascular patients,” said Vinson. “Of course, that’s a big need for Scotland County and our populace, so we’re excited to channel those funds for the use of those particular patients to honor the memory of Charles L. Hicks, Jr.”
The winner of the Putting on the Ritz car raffle, sponsored by Scotland Memorial Foundation, Nic’s Pic Kwik, and Scotland Motors, will be drawn on Saturday evening. Up for grabs this year is a 2012 Chrysler 200 convertible. Attendance at the Ritz is not required to win. Raffle tickets can be purchased through Friday at the Scotland Memorial Foundation office, all Nic’s Pic Kwik locations, many local businesses, and at the Ritz on Saturday night.