Gala raises funds for Million Meals

Feathered headbands and an abundance of tassels held sway over the attire of female students in attendance at George Whitworth's Gala Royale last Friday night. As students decked in their versions of "roaring twenties" attire filed in through the doors of the Hixson Union Building, upbeat dance music trumpeted from the dance floor speakers. The loud  bass was enough to make the black, white and yellow streamers hung above vibrate. Within the first hour of the event, the dance floor smelled of perfume and sweat.

For those not interested in dancing, the Multipurpose Room held seven gambling tables and a mocktail bar serving drinks like "Abstinence on the Beach," "Pine Cone Curtain" and "Spritzer with Benefits." Here also black, white, and yellow decor encrusted the room. Colored tissue paper, rhinestones and yellow-wrapped chocolates covered the tall tables where students sipped their mocktails.

The Gala was initiated and spearheaded by ASWU Special Events and Tournaments Coordinator Raleigh Addington. He wanted to create another opportunity for students to break out their really formal attire, Addington said.

"It was that one scene when they have the Gatsby party and the guy walks up," Addington said. "It's just pure chaos of just everything that the roaring twenties had to offer for the upper class. That was basically what we're shooting for."

In order to throw such a party, ASWU had to go through the steps to procure one of two temporary gambling licenses. This process took a fair amount of work, Addington said.

"We had to obtain that [license], which meant proving that ASWU was a governing body, proving that we existed and basically working with them," Addington said. "That was a lot of behind the scenes work."

ASWU and other volunteers also had to pull together prizes for the evening and create mocktails. The mocktail bar served six drinks. There were three themed prize baskets: "Cooking," "Gourmet Candy" and "Board Games." There was also a money prize: a $100 Visa Gift card

With so many aspects to the event, many students couldn't pick one favorite part.

"It's kinda fun to have an excuse to go play some casino-type games without having to go to a casino, and it's for a good cause, so I like that," senior Zachary Morgenthaler said.

Senior Morgan Gariano was of the same mind as Morgenthaler, while sophomore Kailee Carneau claimed the mocktails as her favorite part of the night. Still, other students stated a preference for the dance floor.

With 326 people passing through the doors Friday night, ASWU raised more than $1,600. Every penny of the proceeds from the Gala will go straight to the Million Meals program, which is being organized by Whitworth and sponsored by Generation Alive, Addington said.

Whitworth, in conjunction with Generation Alive, has set out to make a million meals in one sitting. The actual making of said meals will not happen for another couple months, but in the meantime, ASWU, Generation Alive and other community organizations and volunteers are busy behind the scenes.

"We have external/internal engagement committees, we have finance committees that are broken up between ASWU coordinators, executives, senators and representatives," Addington said. "We're making teams and getting the word out there. We'll be having informational nights."

On "Packing Day," student volunteers from elementary schools through universities, as well as volunteers from local churches, businesses and private groups will come together to pack one million meals. The program plans to use the Fieldhouse and set up tables where volunteers will pack ziplock bags with six meals worth of dehydrated food in an assembly line fashion, Addington said.


Alanna Carlson Staff Writer

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