The Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce is jazzing up its largest annual fundraiser.
The Evening of Elegance: A Gatsby Affair will start at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at Villa Milano, 1630 Schrock Road. The fundraiser will celebrate the 1920s with a 16-piece jazz band, In Full Swing, to accompany the event's live and silent auctions.
Attendees are urged to forego their usual ball gowns and tuxedos in favor of '20s-inspired garb.
"The theme is taking a different spin this year than we've done in past years," said Erin Glaser, chamber of commerce communications manager. "The room will look completely different than it has in past years. People will be in flapper-ish dresses, and men will be in suits from that time. That's kind of a fun change of pace."
To go with the grandiose theme, the chamber also has an impressive lineup of auction items, Glaser said.
Some auction highlights include a zoo-themed package donated by OhioHealth that includes a one-year family-plus membership to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, an overnight stay and tour at the Wilds, a gas gift card and a Cameron Mitchell gift certificate; a French country wine dinner for two at the Refectory; a whitewater rafting trip for two by River Expeditions; and two tickets to Broadway Columbus' White Christmas, donated by Sterling Consulting Services.
As it does every year for the Evening of Elegance, Roush Honda has donated a one-year lease of a 2013 Honda Accord. For the first time, however, the winner of the lease will be able to select a different car model, Glaser said.
The Evening of Elegance again will feature a chocolate raffle. For the raffle, participants purchase a $20 box of Chocolaterie Stam chocolates for a chance to win one of three pieces of fine jewelry valued at more than $800.
As it does every year, Glaser said, the chamber is keeping a few secrets about the Evening of Elegance auction to provide attendees with some new surprises.
In addition to the auction, the Evening of Elegance will feature drinks, dinner and dessert bars, followed by dancing.
The evening provides Westerville-area residents and businesspeople a chance to network in a fun social setting, Glaser said.
"It's a great way to network, mix and mingle," she said. "You have a lot of businesses that bring their own guests, a lot of individuals that bring their own guests."
Tickets to the event cost $65 per person, or $700 for a corporate table of 10, which includes table signs, recognition in the program and two bottles of wine at the table.
Proceeds from the event benefit chamber member services, as well as local charities and events, such as the Westerville tree-lighting ceremony, Westerville Caring and Sharing and Leadership Westerville.
"This is kind of the lifeblood of a lot of the (chamber) committees that don't necessarily pull in the funds," Glaser said. "It's not only benefitting the chamber, it's benefitting a lot of local organizations."