By: Mary Katherine Murphy Staff Writer
October 17, 2013
LAURINBURG — Though they will attend for the Irish-themed dinner, beach music, and all the glamour Scotland County has to offer, few attending Saturday’s Putting on the Ritz: A Gala of Giving will leave empty-handed.
“Basically most of everything is going to be Ireland-themed,” said Meagan Moore, executive chef at Scotland Memorial Hospital. “We’re going with the whole emerald thing because this is the 20th Ritz. We even have a couple of beers mixed in here and there.”
Though far from the only items on the menu, the Irish selections include corned beef and red potatoes tossed in a cabbage creme sauce, Irish Colcannon, toasted Irish soda bread with currant butter, and Irish bread and butter pudding glazed with tea and whiskey sauce.
“I think my favorite’s going to be the Guinness cupcake,” Moore said. “The Guinness is in the chocolate cupcake batter and then we’re going to color the icing so it looks just like a Guinness beer.”
More than 15 Morrison Healthcare Food Service cooks and chefs are arriving at the Ritz tent this morning to begin two days’ preparations for a meal wildly outside the parameters of hospital food.
“This is a chance for all the Morrison chefs to come down and help us out,” said Moore. “They get to have fun, let loose, and make great food. We usually have a waiting list of people who want to attend.”
More than 400 people are expected to attend the 20th annual Ritz, sponsored in large part by the Morgan Foundation and the Dr. Thomas F. Henley/Focus on Hope, Inc. Foundation.
The Ritz raises over $120,000 annually for Scotland Memorial Foundation, which funds community health needs including mammograms, medical supplies and equipment, prescriptions for low-income patients, annual diabetes fairs and chronic pain education seminars, as well as the Charles L. “Chuck” Hicks, Jr. Memorial Fund for cardiovascular patients.
The fundraiser’s 140-item silent auction and eight-item live auction offer everything from weekend getaways to the Surf Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and lift tickets to a West Virginia ski resort to a puppy, a kitten, and dozens of jewelry and pottery pieces.
With certain sets of auction items, the event offers the chance to buy an all-inclusive vacation, with proceeds directed to Scotland Memorial Foundation.
“A lot of it is we just solicit through letters — we just sent something to Kitty Hawk Kites in the Outer Banks and they sent us two hang gliding packages,” said Ritz auction chair Elizabeth Cooley. “You never know until you ask.”
This year, the auction will be open to those not in attendance at the Ritz, as all bidding will be conducted online. Those at the Ritz may use their smartphones or devices distributed at the event, though lots subjected to heated bidding may be moved into the live auction.
“A lot of times when we’ve had bid sheets for people to write down the bids, I have pulled things out of the silent auction and put them into live to keep the peace,” Cooley said.
The following items will be sold via live auction at the Ritz:
Anyone can register online at bidpal.net/2013Ritz and, after securing their account with a credit card, bid as if attending the Ritz in person. Auction winners not present may pick up their items from the Scotland Memorial Foundation office next week.
Some seats remain available for the black-tie gala, which begins on Saturday at 6 p.m. on the campus of Scotland Memorial Hospital. For information, call the Scotland Memorial Foundation office at 291-7543.