Dewey chases away the wintertime blues; Winter Gala setfor Feb, 12

by Michael Short on February 24, 2011

By Michael Short

Shake off those wintertime blahs with a black tie extravaganza this weekend.

The Third Annual Winter Gala in Dewey Beach on Saturday, Feb. 12  features all things Dewey while supporting three causes close to the hearts of Dewey Beach residents.

It’s not really a black tie event, but black tie is optional (a jacket and tie are just fine). But it is a bit of a walk on the sophisticated side with lots of music, a host of food and beverage offerings and a silent auction.

The proceeds benefit the Dewey Beach Police, the Dewey Beach Lifeguards and the Dewey Beach Beautification Fund. Steve Montgomery of the Starboard is one of the organizers of the event, which has raised almost $17,000 in its’ first two years.

Montgomery, this year’s event chair, said that the town carefully budgets for salaries and other basic operating expenses. But with no property tax and a tight budget, there’s a need for funding for supplies and that’s what the Winter Gala helps fund.

The event has its’ roots in the former Bartender’s Ball and it’s a way for Montgomery (Monty to almost everyone), Jim Baeurle and others to give back to the community. Not even two feet of snow last year could put a damper on the event.

The cost is $85, but that includes some of the best that Dewey Beach has to offer. “The Winter Gala is the biggest party of the off-season and it is also the most important,” according to the website wintergaladewey.com. “The money raised at the gala is used to purchase items that are necessary to keep the town of Dewey safe in the busy summer months. In years past, money raised at the gala has been used to purchase essentials that just don’t fit into the town’s budget.”

“We started this gala three years ago in an effort to find a fun way to raise money for our lifeguards and police department here in Dewey. In a town that operates without any property taxes, these departments excel in functioning with little to no budget for material items. Public safety is extremely important in a town relying so heavily on tourism,” according to this years Winter Gala program.

The event at the Baycenter kicks off with Comfort Zone playing in the Cove from 8 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Performing sets on the Baycenter main stage until 1 a.m. will be Leroy Hawke and the Hypnotics, The Flamin Caucasians and Jimi Smooth and the Hit Time.

There are five bars scattered throughout two floors, including a beer bar, crush bar, martini and bourbon bar, ice luge and upside down margarita bar.  Heavy hor dourves are the order of the night, including an oyster bar with oyster shooters, bloody mary shrimp, beef brisket sliders, nachos and quesadillas, pasta and carving stations and desserts.

The mouth-watering fare is meant to be some of the best of the Dewey Beach area with offerings coming from The Lighthouse, The Cove, The Starboard, Bethany Blues, Que Pasa and Hammerheads.

There’s also a silent auction with all of the proceeds from the auction going to benefit the Dewey Beach Beautification Fund.  Winners will be posted at midnight and will also be on the website on Monday.

You can bid on phillies tickets, a spa package at Made Ya Look Salon, sports memorabilia, a Stone Balloon Package, a Dewey and Rehoboth Beach Package, a Lewes Package or a golf package.

“Why not make fundraising fun?” asked Montgomery.

“We try to make it a well-rounded gala so that if you’re 22 or 72, you’ll have a good time,” he said. “I think people would be surprised at what a fun event this is. . . I have a blast every year.”

“I know it’s a fun time. It’s truly a Dewey Beach event,” he said.

“It’s also an easy out for a guy that wants to bring a date and call it Valentine’s Day,” he joked.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or through wintergaladewey.com or starboard.com.

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