By Tia Lynn Lecorchick
Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) Auxiliary is gearing up for its 14th Annual Festival of Friends fundraiser this Saturday, Aug 23. A swanky cocktail party will be held at the James Madison Inn at 6 p.m., where guests can mingle before heading off to one of nine themed-dinner parties throughout Madison. The themes range from a country hoe down to a lavish Hollywood bash. Festival of Friends will also feature a silent auction before dinner, selling over 100 items, which include: vacation to Antigua and Tuscany, Atlanta Braves tickets, oil portraits, and giftcards to a variety of local restaurants, spas, and boutiques. Whidby Jewelers of Madison also donated 14-carat diamond pendent to be raffled off during the event.
“It’s one of the premier fundraisers of the year,” said Megan Morris, director of development and community affairs for MMH. “And it’s so important because it enables the hospital to purchase equipment we need, but would otherwise not have money in the budget to purchase.”
All proceeds will go toward funding needed equipment for the hospital. MMH hasn’t decided on what equipment they will purchase yet, but once all the funds are in, they will evaluate their equipment needs and move forward from there. Morris estimated that the event typically raises around $25,000 each year. Since its inception 14 years ago, the event has yielded about $400,000 total for MMH.
“We couldn’t be more grateful,” said Morris. “It really is a community effort,” said Morris.
Businesses and community members volunteer to host the various dinner parties and pay out of pocket to ensure the hospital receives all the proceeds from ticket sales.
“Our hosts are gracious enough to absorb the cost of the dinner parties themselves,” said Morris.
Ticket prices range from $60 to $150 dollars, depending on the dinner party. Tickets are still available for certain dinner parties. To find out more information or to purchase a ticket, contact Megan Morris, at 706-752-2237. The “Pig Pickin’ with all the Fixin,”dinner party, a country hoe down at a farm located at 2230 Sandy Creek Road, is being hosted by Gary and Lissa Phelps, Hoyt and Brillo Jackson, Ed and Pam Latham, Jim and Lorene Malanowski, Bill and Renee Pritchard, John Maddox, and Jennifer Cochran.
According to the Festival of Friends press release, attendants should, “Put on your boots and calico and come on down to the farm to pick the pig and kick up your heels, hoedown style. Bluegrass music in the barn and Lynchburg lemonade will make a toe tappin’ good time…” Tickets are $60.
The “Authentically Maryland…in Madison!” dinner party, that will feature crab cakes, hard crab soup, angel biscuits and wine from Maryland vineyards, located at 786 Old Post Road, is hosted by: Connie Cooke, Betsy Carlson, and Cathy Whitcomb.
“Enjoy an authentic Baltimore Crab Dinner in a historic Madison home! Serving food prepared with ingredients straight from the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounds, your native-Maryland hosts are planning a delectable dinner from their Grandma Harvey’s recipes. It doesn’t get more authentic than this! The seated dinner for eight will be served in the dining room but with a family-style flare.”Tickets are $100.
The “Plato and Aristotle Walk Into a Temple Bar…” dinner party, celebrating Ancient Greek culture and art, will be held at 485 Old Post Road and hosted by Steve and Linda Huggins Kevin and Cassandre McGowan. “Madison’s Classic Greek Revival architecture meets the recent revival of the delicious cuisine of Greece at the historic and elegant Joshua Hill House. After enjoying appetizers and Greek wine by the pool and “temple,” Chef Kevin McGowan and Diplome cooking-school teacher Linda Huggins will serve delectable grilled lamb and chicken accompanied by traditional Greek salads, sides, pita, and desserts. Wine will complement your evening’s pleasure. Dress in a Greek chiton, Roman toga, or come Madison casual.” Tickets are $150.
The “Hooray for Hollywood” dinner party, that will feature all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, will be held at Variety Works, located at 274 W. Washington, will be hosted by Linda Redford, Nancy Vaughan, Stephanie Nuesse, Clay Bryant, Annie B., Philip Williams, The Beckers, Hoges, Lewans, Longs, Palmers, Schmidts, Speyers, and Trulocks. “Consider yourself a Star, Paparazzi or Fan as you mingle, imbibe and dance through the evening in Hollywood. Enjoy cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres with the glitz and glamour of Rodeo Drive’s “A List” celebrities. Perhaps you will win an Oscar!” Tickets are $75.
The “Under the Tuscan Moon” dinner party, that will feature a multi-course Italian meal, will be held at 187 West Jefferson St. (the loft above Whidby’s) and is hosted by Connie Bryans, Vickie Hunt, Karen and Gene Massey. “Savor a gourmet, multi-course Italian dinner that even the Tuscans would envy! Prepared by Chef-Instructor John Oechsner of the Art Institute of Atlanta’s International Culinary School., this feast will begin at the lovely Massey loft and end with drinks and desserts at the equally lovely Hunt loft. John is also a certified Executive Pastry Chef! Viva Italiana!” Tickets are $100.
“An Evening in the Country” dinner party, featuring the serene atmosphere of Serenata Farm, located at 2911 Clack Road, is hosted by Susan and Bill Kurtz, Cindy and Rick Starling, Bob Robinson, and Ken Smith. “An exquisite four-course masterpiece awaits you at beautiful Serenata Farm. Cuscowilla’s Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director Gerald Schmidt partners with Senior Sous Chef Jeffery Miller and Madison’s own Kelly Somogy to create a culinary masterpiece coupled with the perfect complementary wines. You are promised an unforgettable dining experience!” Tickets are $150.
The “Southern Primer Progressive Party,” that will feature traditional southern cuisine, will take place at 686 Hill Street and is hosted by Chastity and Blake Burroughs, Rob Hanselman, Chris and Foss Hodges, Margaret and Tim Ligon, Christine McCauley, and Melissa and Brian Martin. “Begin with Southern cocktails and appetizers at the Martins’ on Hill Street followed by a hayride to our Low Country Boil in the magical yard of the Burroughs on Dixie. Complete the evening with tasty desserts around the Ligons’ cement pond. Southern delicacies and lessons in the ‘Southern way’ will be yours throughout the night. Casual attire, preppy, of course!” Tikets are $60.
The “UGA Bulldog Tailgate Party “ will be geared to hometown fans, located at 1960 Godfrey Road and hosted by Karen and Mike Garrett, Carolyn and Andy Ainslie, Maxine and Michael Nabors, Martha and Calvin Welch. “Come red and black tailgate casual for the Varsity’s all-you-can eat burgers, dogs, onion rings, and fries plus their famous fried pies. Kick off the 2014 season in true DAWG fashion … Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof!” Tickets are $60.
The “Ye Olde Fish and Chips Shoppe” dinner party, will be a British-themed event, located at 1511 Doster Road and hosted by Mark and Jane Crawshaw and Josef and Conny Kullmann. “Join our resident Brits and Bavarians for an authentic fish and chips dinner with a modern twist. Created especially for Georgia’s long, hot summer evenings, the menu includes sunburst salads with crabcake medallions, salmon, fries (aka “chips”) and parmesan pea puree with a trio of strawberry desserts. English beer and American wines will quench your thirst, pub style.” Tickets are $100.