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An Evening Extraordinaire
Annual Chamber event benefits Hospice, Cystic Fibrosis
Article published on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
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Photo by JAY RICHMOND
The 2013 Evening Extraordinaire gala was held inside Inverness Hall at Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort. The annual event is hosted by the Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce.
PALM HARBOR – The 2014 Evening Extraordinaire Mystique annual gala takes place Saturday, March 1, inside Inverness Hall at Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort.

The red carpet event is hosted by the Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce. The event is open to the public and accommodations for up to 300 are available.

Last year’s event attracted nearly 200 attendees. It raised about $12,000 for chamber programs, which help support economic, educational and cultural endeavors in the community.

“Our goal is to raise $24,000 this year,” said Connie Stewart-Schuck, past chairman and event coordinator. “Some of the proceeds will help support Suncoast Hospice and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.”

Dressy evening attire is required for those attending the gala. This year’s theme is Mardi Gras, officially celebrated March 4.

Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Event hours are from 7 to 10 p.m. The live auction begins at 8 p.m.

“This is one of our biggest annual fundraisers at Innisbrook and it’s held in a gorgeous hall,” Stewart Schuck said. “We invite restaurants to come and let people sample their food. It helps our local businesses advertise at no cost to them.”

Up to 14 top area restaurants will be participating in the wine and food event including Innisbrook’s own Market Salamander Grillé and Packard’s Steakhouse. Local area participating restaurants include LuLu’s Beach House Café and Peggy O’Neill’s.

Each restaurant will decorate and display specially prepared food on individual tables, where guests can select from the catered cuisine. Fine wine will be served at designated wine tasting stations along with a sampling of different desserts.

New to the gala this year are food contest awards for two lucky restaurants.

The Best of Show will be hand selected by panel judges – State Rep. Carl Zimmermann, Honorary Mayor Pamela Sprecher, and an as yet unnamed executive chef.

The People’s Choice award will be judged by guests attending the event and will be based on food presentation and taste. The award recipients will each receive plaques to display in their restaurants.

Tables may be reserved for parties of 8 or 10. Small standing tables will be available for anyone.

Area businesses are donating items – gift baskets, framed art and travel packages – to be auctioned off by Complete Auctions, a full service auction and estate sale company in Palm Harbor. High-end goods will be sold to the highest bidders as well. A silent and Chinese auction also will be held. Door prizes in the form of gift cards and certificates will be raffled off.

“All the auction items will be on display inside the huge hall at Innisbrook,” Stewart-Schuck said. “As you’re eating you can mull around the auction item tables.”

Guests will be treated to the acoustic vocals of Jayne Kelli early in the evening. Later, guests can dance to live music by The Edisons, a local band specializing in classic rock and pop songs from the 1960s and ’70s. The band’s members include Tom Errico, Nick Bostinto, Al Ehrhart and Roger Gabbey.

“Jayne Kelli has a beautiful voice and she’ll entertain us through the dinner hour,” Stewart-Schuck said. “We’re going to rock out the night to The Edisons. They’re a great band and so much fun.”

Sponsors for the annual gala event include Tampa Bay Times, Bright House Networks, P3 Agency, Complete Auctions, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Curlew Hills, Tampa Bay Magazine, Bringing Home Community News, Jay Richmond Photography, SunTrust Bank, SML Project Management Inc., Beck Graphics and Arthur Murray. Donations of high-end auction items are needed.

To reserve tickets or tables, call the Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce at 784-4287.
Article published on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
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