The University Gala, the largest scholarship fundraiser at Southwest Minnesota State University, will be held on Friday, Oct. 5 starting at 6 p.m. in the R/A Facility on campus.
The University Gala, the largest scholarship fundraiser at Southwest Minnesota State University, will be held on Friday, Oct. 5 starting at 6 p.m. in the R/A Facility on campus. The event has been tied to Homecoming for several years and draws a good crowd to enjoy an evening of music, food and fun unique to southwest Minnesota. Over $40,000 was raised for music, fine arts and presidential scholarships last year, and event organizer Stacy Frost, director of annual fund and parent relations, hopes that number is surpassed in 2012. Food plays a big part of the event and four food stations will highlight the evening. The main entrée, prepared by Chef Dennis Nord from ARAMARK, will include Pork Steamships with Cranberry Demi Glaze; Yukon Gold Escalloped Potatoes with Smoked Gouda; Grilled Vegetables; and Sage Butter and Roles. Culinology students will help prepare and serve the food at three other food stations. They include: • Mash-up Station: Vegetarian Pho Shooters with Tofu and Soba Noodles; Milk Braised Pork Bao with Spicy Cucumber Slaw and Mango Chutney. • Hand-held Station: Arepas filled with Shredded Beef, Fried Plantains and Queso; California Roll Sushi with Avocado and Krab; Spinach and Feta Cheese Spanakopita. • Down Home Station: Sgt. Pepper’s Roast Tomato Soup with Cheesi Panini; Perfect Romano’s Mac ‘n Cheese Roll; Pollo Potpie Empanadas de Capitan Padilla. The Gala has moved away from a formal sit-down dinner. “The new format is popular,” said Frost. “People are able to move around, look at the decorations and the auction items. There will be a sit-down dessert, before the live auction.” The band Something New, fromSalem, S.D., will provide the dance entertainment. The band recently played at the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, said Frost. Over 200 silent auction items will be available for bid during the evening. There will also be a live auction,conducted by Tim Deutz. “There are so many silent auction items this year,” said Frost. “For the live auction, there’s Twins suites, Viking suites, a Fogarty print, spa day, an Ordway package, a jewelry set, pool parties and a mystery prize, to name a few. People really enjoy that part of the University Gala.” Over 100 SMSU students help with the event, and Frost said their efforts make things run smoothly. “Our students really help the evening run smoothly,” she said. “This event is for the students, and we want the spotlight to be on them.”