What happens in Columbia County on Feb. 27 will stay in Columbia County -- according to the mantra for this year's annual county charity gala.
Members of Columbia County Arts Inc. are organizing the Las Vegas-inspired event, which features casino-type games, guest impersonators and music by the band Swingsation, of Aiken.
"When you come in and you gain entry with your ticket, you will receive some play chips to do the Vegas-style games," said event coordinator Bobby Christine. "There's no real value to those because there's no gambling."
The gala will begin at 7 p.m. at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. Tickets cost $75. The proceeds will benefit the Columbia County Arts Endowment and Columbia County Cares Food Pantry.
"While we support charities everywhere, there's a need right here," said Christine, a member of the Columbia County Arts board of directors. "The money we raise that night is going to stay here to address some of those needs."
The event has attracted charitable donations of many kinds.
In celebration of his 30 years in the restaurant industry, chef Jeff Freehof will provide the food.
Before he was approached about the charity, Freehof said, he was planning to hold the same type of event for his anniversary celebration.
"Every aspect of what they're doing, other than the casino part, is what I envisioned doing," said Freehof, the owner of the Garlic Clove. "It just was a perfect fit."
Freehof plans to feature several international dishes on stations spread throughout the ballroom. Salad and dessert stations will be included.
"It's just great when you can use your skills to benefit others," he said. "That's, I believe, why we exist."
The event is the result of hard work from many people and organizations in the community, Christine said.
For instance, artist Jason Lutz created the poster and graphics at no cost.
"It's just been a blessing how folks come out of the woodwork to help," Christine said.
The gala is black-tie optional and guests can use faux chips to play blackjack, roulette, poker and craps.
Upon entry, guests also will receive a ticket for the raffle, where some high-value items will be given away. Additional raffle tickets will be sold at the event.
"It's just all for a good purpose, and it's all good, clean fun," Christine said. "It's just wonderful stuff."
For information or to buy tickets, visit www.columbiacountyga.gov or call the Columbia County Community Events office at (706) 312-7191.
What: Columbia County Charity Gala, a Vegas-style event
When: 7 p.m.; Feb. 27
Where: Savannah Rapids Pavilion
Cost: $75, includes dinner, two drinks and play chips for casino-type games
More: Call (706) 312-7191
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