Annual American Cancer Society benefit to feature exotic theme, charity auction

Thursday, March 2, 2006

The American Cancer Society's 20th gala event, titled "Welcome to the Jungle," will take place Saturday at the Arena Building.

Bella Italia restaurateur Mark Dirnberger will handcraft a parrot sculpture from a block of ice by chain saw. Exotic plants, bamboo, flowers and vibrant colors will be used to decorate the scene.

By purchasing tickets guests at the annual gala help to raise money for those suffering from cancer by contributing to research, education, advocacy and service.

JoBeth Scherer, ACS community specialist and income development, said the 2005 gala raised $38,218; this year's goal is $25,000.

Another chance to contribute to the American Cancer Society at the gala is the silent or live auction. The lineup includes more than 100 items including a ring from CP McGinty Jewelers; a trip voucher for $2,500 from the Jackson Jaycees, a wine cabinet from Beussink Brothers, a Thomas Kincaide painting from the Fantastiks, and a Lasik Eye surgery from Dr. Shawn Parker.

Guests will have the chance to select signature dishes from some of Cape Girardeau's restaurants to build meals. They may choose from Mollie's Cafe and Bar pasta bar, Bella Italia fresca salad, Port Cape Girardeau's Bel-Air potatoes and bread pudding, Outback's grilled chicken and made-to-order fresh-cut steaks. The menu also includes a variety of Celebration's hors d'oeuvres.

Mid-Life Crisis will provide musical entertainment.

Co-chairs for the event are Tina Weber and Linda Penzel.

Tickets can be purchased at the American Cancer Society in Cape Girardeau, The Bank of Missouri and McDowell South, both in Jackson. For more information, call 334-9197.

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