LAURINBURG — With less than three weeks to the event, organizers of this year’s Putting on the Ritz: A Gala of Giving plan to put on an unforgettable evening — though they hope guests leave with a few souvenirs, just in case.
The 22nd annual Ritz will be held on Nov. 7 on the campus of Scotland Memorial Hospital.The event benefits a myriad of community’s health care needs including mammograms and other health screenings for the uninsured; wigs and personal items for cancer treatment patients; prescriptions and assistance for the needy; and free physicals for middle and high school students.
Hundreds of items, donated by individuals and businesses in Scotland and surrounding counties, will be auctioned off for the cause in both silent and live format during the event. The Ritz auctions typically raise some $40,000 for the foundation.
“We have a lot of the same donors and each year we get some new folks that find out about the auction and want to donate,” said Scotland Memorial Foundation development coordinator Renee Collins. “They really support the foundation and the programs and services that the Ritz funds.”
Silent auction items will include items like pottery, jewelry, and a baseball signed by Scotland High School baseball star Curt Britt, who now plays professionally for a Miami Marlins feeder team. Ritz-goers can also line up a vacation experience with a weekend at a beach or mountain home, tickets to NASCAR events, Carolina Panthers games, and the ACC tournament, and even a trip to Orlando, Florida with Disney tickets included.
The live auction will feature, among about a dozen other big-ticket items, a day at Gryphon Group in a weapons clinic or driving course.
The foundation’s executive director, Kirsten Dean, is looking forward to a healthy turnout to match a boost in the event’s sponsorship. Headline “white glove” sponsors for the 2015 Ritz are Focus on Hope, Inc. and John and Elizabeth Cooley.
“We’re excited to have a great event,” Dean said. “Seats are still available, but it is filling very quickly. We were very fortunate this year to have more underwriters than we have had in the past, and the majority of them are using their seats.”
The auction is the climax of an evening that opens with a sumptuous dinner prepared by a team of 14 professional chefs, who volunteer several days of their time to plan and prepare the array of dishes available. The latter part of the Ritz will be set to live music provided by Mr. Potato Head.
Also during the Ritz, the winner of the ongoing benefit raffle will be drawn. The winner may select from a $10,000 cash prize, a 2015 Fiat 500 Pop, or a John Deere Gator. Raffle tickets are available at all Nic’s Pic Kwik stores, Scotland Motors, Southeastern Farm Equipment, Scotland Health Care System clinics, and many downtown businesses.
For information about the Ritz or to reserve seating, call Collins at 910-291-7543.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.