Fun, food, and merriment for a purpose

Darrue Fank in Mardi Gras costume - Photo by Marc Parker

Prattville – Mardi Gras is a time for costumes, masks, beads, rich food, and kicking up your heels, and the revelry was in high form on Friday night at the Doster Center.

Over 300 guests gathered to attend the 4th annual fundraiser for the Family Support Center, hosted by JT and Leanne Thompson of Mix 103.3.

State Representative H. Mac Gipson and Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr. were among the attendees.

JT and Leanne Thompson dancing to the tunes of the Sweet Young 'Uns - Photo by Marc Parker

The gala had a Mardi Gras theme which was the brainstorm of the center’s Executive Director, Darrue S. Fank.

“I’m in the Mardi Gras crew, the Athena that’s here in Prattville, and with the parade, the city gets into the Mardi Gras spirit,” Fank said. “Nothing really goes on during this time of year so I thought it would be the ideal time for a fundraiser.”

MarChelle’s Bistro, which officially closed its doors in Prattville on January 30, gave the crowd a special treat with some New Orleans cuisine; shrimp grits, red beans and rice, sausage gumbo, and roast beef sliders with honey or spicy mustard for dressings.

Everyone was in a festive mood and danced the night away to 60s and 70s classics sung by the Sweet Young ‘Uns, including , “Crying,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Margaritaville,” and two Wilson Pickett standards, “Mustang Sally” and “Midnight Hour.”

New Orleans Saints gift basket among the items for silent auction- Photo by Marc Parker

A silent auction was also held and featured gift certificates from Dreamland BBQ, Olive Garden, Marriott Hotel Inn & Resorts, Bama Lanes, Lagoon Park Golf, Winn Dixie, and Gifts of Love Gift Baskets.

Nathan Fank, Prattville City Councilman, and the director’s spouse said, “My wife did such a fantastic job putting all of this together for such a worthy cause.”

The night set a record for number of attendees at 325, about a hundred more than last year, and the largest crowd ever at a Family Support Center charity event. Money raised will be earmarked for the family programs at the center.

Article by Melissa Parker

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