Epic for Epicureans
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
A good old gala has proven to be a winner in the charity fundraising department. Dressing up, dancing, hotel three-course dinners—steak, fish or chicken—and big screen presentations are all expected parts of the evening. And usually, at the end of the evening, fun was had by most.
Hilton Head Heroes, a non-profit with South Carolina Angel Charity status, is excited to announce its annual gala to be held on Friday, November 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This gala, unlike any other, is a food extravaganza. That is why it’s called The Gourmet Gala and why Hilton Head Heroes supporters and epicureans flock to this sell-out event each year.
The Gourmet Gala will again be held in the beautiful clubhouse of TidePointe, a Vi Community, which is an elegant retirement living community known for its gracious hospitality and coastal beauty. Guests will enjoy an exquisite, cocktail-style party, with a spread of food offerings second to none. Under the direction of Executive Chef Stephan Stewart, CEC, CDM, CFPP, tops chefs from TidePointe, a Vi Community, will prepare the smorgasbord with the utmost talent, ensuring delightful wine pairings, signature cocktails and a magnificent montage. Gastro hits in the past have been lobster tempura passed on silver platters, crab cakes chock full of local crab and beef tenderloin. This year’s guests can expect this and more.
Enjoying the music of The John Brackett Trio, guests can meander between the wine tasting room, the martini bar, the dessert room, the cheese room, the main club ballroom and the silent auction room. The wine tasting room houses experienced wine stewards, who offer a variety of upscale pours for wine lovers. The dessert room is filled with a menagerie of confectionary delights, including a sublime sugar sculpture created exclusively for the evening by TidePointe’s pastry chef.
This extravagant event is presented to perfection for one reason: Hilton Head Heroes. Nineteen years ago Gregg Russell, of Harbour Town Liberty Oak Tree singer/entertainer fame, recognized a need for families with terminally ill children to take a vacation. His love of Hilton Head Island made him want to share the happiness of the Island with these families he knew were struggling mentally and financially. From that vision, Gregg, and his wife Lindy, founded the charity.
The mission of Hilton Head Heroes is to bring families with children between the ages of 2-18 suffering from life threatening illnesses to Hilton Head Island for a resort vacation. Children are referred to the program through doctors, healthcare providers and hospital administrators. The families are housed in the Hilton Head Island Hero House located in Sea Pines Resort. They are given gift certificates to local restaurants, grocery stores and many island amenities—everything they need to enjoy the week.
Living in the Lowcountry, many take for granted what a week in our paradise can mean. All of the families who visit through the HERO program spend their days in and out of hospitals, treatment centers and caring for a child who may need constant care. The regime is usually exhausting and expensive. Often a week on Hilton Head is the first fun many of these families have had in a very long time. Hilton Head Heroes provides a time when “the illness” can be put on the back burner as much as possible, and the entire family can just relax, enjoy, play and breathe. It truly is a gift for these parents and families, who experience more stress than many will ever know.
The Gourmet Gala is Hilton Head Heroes’ only fundraiser for 2017. Tickets are on sale for $100 and are all-inclusive. Because of the popularity of the event, guests are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as only 300 will be sold. Tickets can be purchased by visiting
www.hhheroes.com or calling Leila Nelson at 843-298-0433.