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Winterfest Gala on tap tonight at midtown venues

LISA CAPITELLI ¦ Assistant Editor

(Nov. 16, 2012) Enjoy dinner, music and four hours of open bar tonight, Nov. 16, during the 17th annual Winterfest Gala.

Winterfest Gala committee member, Nancy Dofflemyer, said this will be the final year for the event, and all are invited to come out and enjoy one last party.

The black tie-optional gala will begin at 8 p.m. at the Coconut Malorie on 59th Street in Ocean City, where guests can listen to the sounds of the UMES Jazz Symphony Orchestra and Apple & Britt, and sample food provided by the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association. Tarot card readers will also be on hand. Attendees can have their photos taken at the Coconut Malorie and received a complimentary personal keepsake to take home with them.

The party will move to Fager’s Island on 60th Street at 10 p.m. Transportation will be available from Coconut Malorie, courtesy of Century Taxi.

The Quake, a dance party band from Philadelphia, will perform on the main stage, while DJ Hook plays tunes on the deck. The upstairs of Fager’s Island will be transformed into a jazz lounge, where Dark Gold Jazz will entertain guests. Light fare, an array of desserts, cordials and a coffee bar will also be located on the top floor of the 60th Street venue.

Tickets cost $100 and include the party at both the Coconut Malorie and Fager’s Island, entertainment, open bar from 8 p.m. to midnight (cash bar midnight to 1 a.m.) and a variety of food and desserts. Tickets will be available at Coconut Malorie tonight.

The cost is $50 to attent just the festivities at Fager’s Island.

Proceeds from the Winterfest Gala will benefit The CRICKET Center, the Worcester County Children’s Advocacy Center.

“We are delighted to have been chosen as beneficiary of the Winterfest Gala this year. We deeply appreciate the hard work which the gala committee has put into this event and look forward to a fabulous evening,” said CRICKET Center Program Manager Wendy Myers.

The CRICKET (Children’s Resource Intervention Center — Kids Empowerment Team) Center’s mission is to provide a comprehensive, culturally competent, multidisciplinary team approach to the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child physical and sexual abuse in a child-friendly environment. This collaborative team response will enhance the investigative process, facilitate the prosecution of those who commit these crimes in Worcester County, minimize the trauma of abuse for the child victim and the nonoffending family members, prevent further victimization, and promote emotional healing for the child victim and family.

The Child Advocacy Center, located behind Atlantic Health Center on Healthway Drive in Berlin, includes child protection workers, medical and mental health professionals, local law enforcement, Atlantic General Hospital, Life Crisis, Inc. and the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“We are the only child advocacy center in Worcester County and are dedicated to providing services free of charge to victims and non-offending family members,” Myers said. “We provide investigation and prosecution of these crimes due to the generosity of our partnering agencies. We also provide medical and mental health services and family advocacy at The CRICKET Center. Funds will be used for direct services including group therapy to child sexual abuse victims.”

For more information about The CRICKET Center, visit www.thecricketcenter.com.

Because there are so many community and charity events in this area annually, Winterfest Gala organizers decided not to host the party in 2010.

“We thought we would get a better response and keep the enthusiasm for the event up if we had it every other year,” Dofflemyer said prior to the 2011 festivities.

Approximately 300 people attended the gala in 2009, the last time the event was held before organizers brought it back in 2011. The poor economy had a noticeable effect on the 2009 event at the Princess Royale Hotel on 91st Street as ticket sales were down from previous years and the party was generally scaled back.

The gala, which took place every November for 15 years until 2010, was first held at the Coconut Malorie before moving to Seacrets on 49th Street. The fall celebration was at Seacrets for several years, but then in 2008 and 2009, it took place at the Princess Royale.

In 2011, the gala relocated to the Coconut Malorie and Fager’s Island and benefited Coastal Hospice at the Ocean Residence Project. Approximately 225 attended last year’s party, helping to raise about $2,000 for Coastal Hospice.

“It was great. Everyone said they loved it,” Dofflemyer said of the 2011 event. “They liked the two different venues.”

For more information about the Winterfest Gala, call 410-251-6555 or visitwww.winterfestgala.com.

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