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Community Foundation benefit gala

Evanston Community Foundation hosts its annual Celebrate!Evanston benefit from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Michigan Shores Club, 911 Michigan Ave., in Wilmette.

The theme for this year's benefit is "Celebrating the Bounty of Evanston". The evening features a fall-themed dessert contest, a stage parody highlighting the Foundation's many contributions to Evanston, and a live auction.

Proceeds support the Foundation's mission of helping Evanston thrive as a vibrant, inclusive and just community. 

The benefit begins with cocktails, music, hors d'oeuvres and the unveiling of a passion fruit martini called "Vibrant Community". Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite fall bounty-inspired desserts prepared by Evanston's finest bakeries and restaurants.

Guests will have the opportunity to sign up for future private parties including a special tour of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Fiesta dinner party, as well as behind the scenes culinary experiences at some of Evanston's most popular restaurants and businesses including Lupita's, Temperance Beer Company, and The Spice House.

A three-course dinner will be served at 7 p.m., preceded by the live auction. Featured auction items include a San Francisco getaway and a suite for 12 at a Chicago Blackhawks game. 

A highlight of the evening is the stage parody "The Wizard of EvanstOz" performed by professional actors and featuring cameo appearances by leading Evanstonians including State Rep. Robyn Gabel and other surprise guests.

Sharing the emceeing duties are NBC-5 Reporter/Fill-in-Anchor Christian Farr and ECF Board Member Kevin Mott. They will be assisted by members of the Northwestern University Dance Marathon Executive Board. The evening concludes with desserts prepared from the fall harvest dessert competition.

Last year's sold-out fundraiser at the Levy Senior Center reached its capacity at 300 guests, prompting the move to a larger venue to accommodate ECF's growing base of supporters.

"Evanston is a resource rich community," said co-chair Lisa Altenbernd. "The money raised at Celebrate!Evanston will help the Evanston Community Foundation in extending Evanston's bounty."

Celebrate!Evanston is made possible with support from Corporate Benefactor Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC and Platinum Sponsors Hagerty Consulting and IRMCO.

Celebrate!Evanston tickets begin at $150. Reservations are requested by Oct. 8. For tickets and information visit evanstonforever.org or call 847-492-0990.

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