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‘Festival for Families’ gearing up for annual gala

Posted: Friday, Nov 16th, 2012

City news

EVANSTON — As the holiday season rapidly unfolds for yet another year, area residents are gearing up for their annual power shopping treks and planning for fun, parties and family get-togethers. Another holiday event, the annual Festival for Families — which has become a staple in the Evanston community since its inception nine years ago — is also preparing for its gala event Nov. 30 that will raise money to provide for needy families.

Event coordinator Rusty Lym told the Herald this year’s event will feature some important changes aimed at making Festival for Families even more successful, and possibly bringing its total contribution toward helping local families in need over the $350,000 mark.

“This is the first Friday we’ve had the event on,” Lym said. “We wanted to try to have it earlier, so it didn’t conflict with all the other Christmas parties, and people being so busy during the holidays.”

And patrons attending the adults-only event this year will also have the opportunity to reserve their own eight-person table, for $100, to be sure they have a place at the event.

Lym said fundraising for the event has been going well, but they are still looking for silent and live auction submissions.

“We’ve already raised over $13,000 this year,” he said, “which now exceeds over $300,000 for the total since we started. We’re hoping that this year our final totals will be around $350,000, over the nine years.”

Lym noted that, as always, all the proceeds from the effort go toward helping families in need, for purchasing Christmas gifts for children, including clothes and toys, as well as helping with utilities in some cases.

He emphasized another change this year, as well: recommendations of families in need of assistance will be limited to those submitted via email only, to festivalforfamilies2012@gmail.com. The recommendations must be submitted no later than Dec. 8.

Featured this year will again be an available cash bar, along with live music courtesy of local band Cold Fusion.

This year’s menu will consist of hors d’oeuvres, including shrimp cocktail, boneless chicken wings and meatballs, and for dinner patrons will enjoy chicken cordon bleu and prime rib, with salad, mashed potatoes and baked potatoes, along with the related fixings.

Admission to the Festival for Families is the purchase of at least one $10 raffle ticket, which can be obtained at Trona Valley Federal Credit Union, Kate’s, Anderson Service Center, Last Chance or Suds Brothers Brewery.

Raffle prizes this year include: (first prize) $2,000 Walmart gift card; (second prize) $1,000 cash; (third prize) rifle and scope; and (fourth prize) 60-inch television. Raffle ticket holders need not be present to win.

The ninth annual Festival for Families is slated for Friday, Nov. 30, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Evanston Historic Roundhouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served from 6:30 to 7:30 and the live auction beginning at 7 p.m.

Table reservations can be made by calling Trudy at (307) 670-0745.

Lym specifically offered his thanks to the many individuals helping to sell raffle tickets, as well as the Festival board, which includes a number of new members this year.

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