RAOC’s Annual Mardi Gras Fundraiser
“Lets the Good Times Roll!”
Published on The News-Gazette on Wednesday February 10, 2016
Sights and sounds of New Orleans prevailed at the Rockbridge Area Occupational Center’s Annual Mardi Gras Benefit held at Col Alto on Sunday, January 31. This year’s King and Queen of the Krewe of FRAOC (Friends of RAOC), Steven Grist and Anne Hansen, graciously showered their subjects with strands of beads and other souvenirs from atop their float which featured an over-sized throne and pouncing “Rex the Lion.” Jester and Master of Ceremonies Jesse Lyons led the activities and entertainment to the music of Second Line bands and classic Jazz.
Sponsors donated a king’s ransom of items for the raffle table and silent auction. Guests shopped at the “Boutik” for iconic merchandize such as perfumes from Bourbon Parfums (established in 1843 and highlighted by Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite cologne); Café du Monde Beignet Mix and coffee cups; music, streetcars and books. Sales of handmade RAOC necklaces were brisk.
Continuing the tradition of offering “A Taste of New Orleans,” this year’s fare included Hurricanes (donated by Green Forest Surveys), Chicory Coffee (Café au Lait), muffalettas and Creole deviled eggs (donated by Bistro on Main), pralines, and King Cake freshly-baked and flown in from New Orleans.
The entire event was underwritten by donors and sponsors in Rockbridge County and in New Orleans: one hundred percent of all proceeds from Mardi Gras will directly benefit RAOC, which has provided employment and training for adults with disabilities for over 40 years. Our heartfelt thanks to all who attended!