Rain organization hosts gala for AIDS education

Thursday, October 16, 2008 | 12:20 p.m. CDT; updated 6:37 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 16, 2008

COLUMBIA — Columbia's Rain organization is a multi-faceted service that provides education and prevention teachingof AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as case management, medical aid and housing opportunities. And once a year, it's also in the business of throwing a party.

Friday will be Rain's 14th Annual Wine and Art Gala, with the theme, A Walk Through the Enchanted Garden. It will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center.

Rain’s 14th Annual Wine and Art Gala

What: Fundraiser with the theme A Walk Through the Enchanted Garden with a silent auction, wine-tasting, a formal dinner and a live auction

When: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center, 3200 Vandiver Drive

Admission: $65 a person; $100 for a couple

Informaton: Reservations can be made by calling 875-8687.



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Rain employees have planned this event since May, and on Friday night, they hope to see the fruits of their labor. 

"It's about staying connected with the community,"Cale Mitchell, executive director, said. "We want to gather people together, have a party-like atmosphere and raise awareness. We want them to know there's still a need. Rain is still here, we're still providing care."

Rain hopes to raise not only awareness, but money as well. The goal for the gala is to bring in $50,000. The money will go toward the client services fund, which helps fund emergency utility and rental services.

There will be a silent auction and wine tasting. After a formal dinner, the live auction begins. A few of the items up for bid are works of art, a piece of jewelry, wine, sports tickets and party packages at places such as The Tiger Hotel.

"We've seen wonderful support from the business community," Mitchell said.

That support is vital for Rain, organizers say, and this event is designed as an entry-level occasion for current and prospective supporters to make contacts in the organization. The gala has a guest list of 1,500 and is also open to the public at $65 a person and $100 for a couple. Reservations can be made by calling 875-8687.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the band Dr. Zhivegas will be performing. Mitchell said he is confident that the band's high energy will add to the night.

"There's a lot of fundraisers, there's a lot of events," he said. "What has always made ours different is the look — it's very theater."



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