Some 300 supporters of the local Red Cross chapter are expected to turn out for an evening of costumes and casino games during the organization’s premier annual fundraising event.
The American Red Cross of Scotland and Robeson County will hold its 17th annual Celebrity Dinner and Game Night on tonight at the St. Andrews University Belk Center. The event will begin with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m, with a silent auction open throughout the evening.
The silent and live auctions will include art, jewelry, weekend passes to the Mossy Oak Bluegrass festival in Guyton, Ga., gift certificates to area restaurants, passes to five area golf courses, beauty treatments, and tickets to Givens Performing Arts.
“In total, we have just short of 200 items,” said Red Cross Director Carol Ann Lentz. “People have just been very, very generous.”
The festivities will conclude with a live auction, where attendees will bid with “fun money” distributed at the dinner. All gambling involved in the games, ranging from blackjack and craps to bingo and cornhole, will also be done with fun money.
Traditionally, the highlight of the dinner is the parade of 70 volunteers and celebrity waiters and game hosts, who will all be in costume for the occasion.
“Our celebrity waiters in costume and themed dress actually come out and put on a performance in front of the judges,” Lentz said. “Those folks are being judged on the best performance, table decorations, and most original theme. They have 30 to 45 seconds to show us their talent, and they are very talented - the creativity that’s in that room is amazing.”
The team of volunteers from Murphy-Brown, LLC, inspired by the television show Moonshiners, will be dressed in their hillbilly best.
“It takes a good month or so to plan out because you want to get some outfits and get ideas for decorations and music and the performance for the parade,” said event co-chair Angi Romaine of Murphy-Brown. “You have to think of all the different things you want to do to put it all together - it probably won’t all come together until the last minute.”
Following the parade, Red Cross volunteers will testify to their experiences with the organization and why they continue to devote their time and energy to it.
“It’s amazing the people who want to come and help whether its with this dinner, blood drives, helping with disasters, or teaching classes,” said Lentz. “There are all these stories, but it’s very special to hear all of the reasons why - from being on the fire department and seeing what we do to having family in the Red Cross.”