Date set for ‘Chest’ dinner

A perennially-popular event that raises tens of thousands of dollars each year to help district individuals and families with medical bills, the eighth-annual “Community Chest” benefit dinner is slated for Sunday, Feb. 17 at La Place Rendez-Vous.
Georges Blanc, who helps organize the dinner as both co-owner of the Rendez-Vous and a member of the local Knights of Columbus, noted those who plan to attend should get their tickets as soon as possible since the evening always sells out.
Tickets cost $30 each or $300 for a table of 10. They are available at the Rendez-Vous, and can be reserved by calling 274-9811.
A total of 275 tickets will be sold.
(While you can’t get a tax receipt for the meal tickets, you can get them for cash donations made to the “Community Chest”).
Wayne Woods, CEO of Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc., will be the guest speaker this year. He’s expected to speak on keeping health care “close to home” for residents of Rainy River District.
As in the past, the dinner will feature several types auctions and raffles. Anne Zucchiatti and Luke Schill have been rounding up items for the auctions.
These can be donated by individuals, businesses, or groups, and can be new or homemade.
Those who want to donate auction items or prizes to the “Community Chest” dinner can contact Zucchiatti (274-8537) or Schill (274-6235).
Cocktails will be served at 5 p.m., with dinner to follow at 6.
All of the food served is donated by the Rendez-Vous’ suppliers to reduce costs and thus maximize proceeds, while the staff donates their time to work that night.
The Muskie cheerleaders also will help serve that evening.
The benefit dinner is a co-operative effort of the Rendez-Vous staff, the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, the local Kiwanis and Lions clubs, Knights of Columbus, and the “Spirit of Christmas” committee.
The purpose of the “Community Chest” is to provide financial aid to local families who may need help to cover medical costs. Blanc noted the committee usually allocates $50,000-$60,000 a year helping those in need.
“It’s used for everything from hotel accommodations to meals and travel expenses to advancing people travel grants,” he explained. “You and I know how long it takes for the government to reimburse travel grants and some people can’t afford to wait.”
Last year’s dinner was a sold-out event, raising $20,600 for the local charity.