Help support the battle against cancer on Friday with a New Orleans-style celebration.
The 5th Annual Mardi Bras and Boxers Ball will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, with the proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life of Cape Coral. The fund-raiser will feature live entertainment, live and silent auctions, a chef's challenge and more.
"It is about Mardi Gras, but it's all about fighting cancer," event co-chair ToniRae Hurley said.
Since its inception, the ball has raised a total of almost $80,000 to support the battle.
"Last year, we presented the American Cancer Society with a check for $37,000," she said.
This year, organizers hope to reach approximately $50,000 for the funds raised.
If You Go:
What: 5th Annual Mardi Bras and Boxers Ball
When: Friday, Feb. 28,
from 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: Cape Coral Yacht Club, 5819 Driftwood Parkway
Tickets: For advance tickets, call (239) 541-5201
Why: To raise funds for the American Cancer Society
and the Relay for Life
of Cape Coral.
"I think we're almost there," Hurley said Tuesday.
Attendees will be greeted by street performers, and ROCKER will perform throughout the night.
"We have a live auction, silent auction and French Quarter raffle," she said.
The live auction will feature a two-night stay at a New Orleans hotel with accompanying area gift certificates, a Napa Valley Epicurean Adventure and an original painting by local artist, Marie Dyer.
"Last year, her painting went for just under $5,000," Hurley said.
Also on the auction block is airtime on ABC-7 and NBC-2 and a baseball signed by World Series Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, which comes with tickets to a Red Sox-New York Yankees spring training game. There is a guitar autographed by Foreigner and one signed by guitarist Tag Graves.
Hurley explained that Graves signed the guitar before passing away from liver cancer in 2011. On the guitar, he signed that it must be auctioned off every year to raise funds for the fight against cancer.
"So, whoever gets that guitar can hold it for 12 months, but then it must be donated back for auction," she said. "It's kind of a neat story."
The silent auction will include a wide range of items and packages.
"We have getaways. We have art. We have jewelry. We have golf," Hurley said. "We even have a day with the Cape Coral (Police Department) SWAT team."
Attendees can try their luck at the French Quarter raffle or the wine cork pull. There will also be a champagne and diamond event, where guests can buy a glass of bubbly and possibly win a diamond. The other glasses will contain a cubic zirconia, and a jeweler will be on hand to verify the winner.
Throughout the night, nine competitors will dish up tasty delights in the chef's challenge.
Competing are Bubba's Road-house & Salon, Cardoos Catering with Distinction, I Ragazzi Pizza, Lobster Lady Seafood Market & Bistro, Oasis Culinary Class, Richee B's Sports Restaurant, Send It Sweetly, Sip & Send and The Crazy Olive. They are competing for bragging rights and an award.
"They get an award and it is called the Grand Chef de Cuisine," Hurley said.
"The guests will be voting on who gets the award," she said.
The honorary chair for the 2014 fundraiser is Carol Rae Culliton, president and chairwoman of the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation. Devoted to helping her community, Culliton herself battled cancer.
Tickets to the event cost $75 per person; VIP tables for eight are available for $1,000.
"They get signage on the table, champagne and an individual king cake," Hurley said of VIPs.
As of Tuesday, about 175 tickets had been sold. An estimated 200 people attended last year.
Guests are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance, but they will be available for sale at the door.
To purchase advance tickets, call (239) 541-5201.
"Everybody's lives have been touched by cancer in some way," Hurley said.
"This is a fun event to raise funds to battle in this fight against cancer," she said.
The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.
For more information on the Mardi Bras and Boxers Ball, visit: www.mardibrasandboxers.com.
For more information on Relay for Life of Cape Coral or to start a team, visit: www.relayforlife.org/capecoralfl or call (239) 936-1113.